Tag Archives: USA

Saab Cars North America Sales & Service Team By Oct 5th

Posted on 21. Sep, 2009 by .

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At the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show, Jan Ã…ke Jonsson introduced Mike Colleran who has been designated as the the new COO and President of Saab Cars North America, Inc. Mike Colleran who has worked as the Sales Director for Saab USA for the past 5 years, spoke at the 2009 Saab Owners Convention back in late August that I covered. Following this speaking engagement, his announcement with this new position, succeeding Steve Shannon took place back on September 3rd, 2009.

This video indicates a few announcements for the newly established Saab Cars North America, beginning with the new appointment of John Anderson, the head of sales & service for United States and North America markets. Although there is no press release available for this new position, I would expect there to be one, once a new communications director has been announced since Jan-Willem Vester left Saab USA on April 20th, a month after I interviewed him about his career.

In addition to the announcement of the new staff member, it also indicates that the remainder of the Saab Cars North America sales & service team will be completed by October 5th, 2009. This new team, speculated to consist of 46-49 people, may be half former GM employees with the other half, former Saab USA employees and/or from the outside.

In terms of the new headquarters location for this new team, it has been rumored to be initially within the GM Renaissance center, then will move to some facility nearby again, still in Michigan.

I am guessing that within the next few weeks by this date, the details will come out soon as to what this team will consist of, where they will be located and what the new Saab Cars North America will look like.

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Saab USA Jet Into Spring Sale Ends 4.30.2009

Posted on 24. Apr, 2009 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab USA (left) / Saab History (right)

The Saab USA “Jet Into Spring” sales event ends on the last day of April.

The Jet Into Spring event offers 0% for up to 60 months for qualified buyers on the entire 2009 Saab 9-3 lineup (sport sedans, sport combis and convertibles.

If you are in the market for a new Saab, check out the prices on the Saab USA website directly.

I also encourage you to, if logistically possible, to go through the Saab History’s Saab dealerships sponsors directly as indicated on the banner ads on this website, as they will surely take care of you in your market!

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1995 Saab NG 900 Pikes Peak Car Sold At Auction For $8,470

Posted on 14. Jan, 2009 by .

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Photo Credit: Barret Jackson

At 4:00pm yesterday in Scottsdale, Arizona, the 1995 Saab NG 900 Pikes Peak Car sold for $8470.00 at the Barret Jackson Auction house.

I mentioned this vehicle back on December 19th, and I hope it’s the last Saab USA Heritage Collection car to be sold.

I hope that this car makes its way to its rightful owners, either the Saab Automobile museum in Sweden or the Rocky Mountain Saab Club who are hosting the 2009 Saab Owners Convention nearby Pikes Peak Colorado.

At this time, I have no idea who purchase the car, but I hope to find out soon.

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Saab History Interviews Former Saab USA President Joel Manby

Posted on 31. Dec, 2008 by .

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Photo Credit: Manby (L-to-R Ralph Millet, Joel Manby, Bob Sinclair)

I have recently had the privilege of interviewing Joel Manby, the former Saab USA President from June of 1996 until April of 2000.

Below is his updated and candid account of our interview, it is a great read, so take the time and enjoy!

Thank you Joel for your time and contribution, we all appreciate it!

Saab History: How Did you end up joining Saab Cars USA in June of 1996?

Manby: I worked at Saturn as a Regional Vice President and was picked to lead Saab Cars USA in order to improve the dealership distribution network by making it more focused and more profitable.

I used to co own some retail dealerships so I knew how important the car buying experience was in the customer’s final decision on what brand to buy, especially since it was the 2nd most expensive purchase a family would make after a home. I also knew that our competitors like BMW, Audi and Volvo had a much more profitable and focused dealer network. I was determined to reinvigorate the dealership network to turn around the car buying experience to one that was enthusiastic for not only the customer, but the dealership’s sales team as well. We were asking dealers to invest in exclusive dealerships and sales people so in many cases we actually removed some dealers who were not committed or dueled with poor brands in order to get other dealers to invest heavily. Our basic goal was to go from selling 25,000 Saabs through 360 poorly focused stores (average = 70/year per store) to 40,000 sold Saabs through 240 stores (a more focused and profitable average of 170/year per store). Dealers need to know they can be profitable before they will invest.

Saab History: How did this strategy work?

Manby: The units sold per dealership increased to over 150/store as did the national sales figures which topped 40,000 during my time. We had more exclusive stores than any time in recent history and had the 2nd highest sales year in Saab history to that point….so I would say it worked well. We also gained huge share in Southern California where we were almost non existent.

Saab History: Consistent advertising was never something that Saab had, what did you do to turn this around?
[…]

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General Motors To Sell Saab USA Heritage Collection Cars

Posted on 19. Dec, 2008 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab History 2007 (L-to-R) Peter Backstrom Saab Car Museum Sweden / Dick Balsey GM Heritage Collection

Photo Credit: Saab Automobile USA

Jalopnik has reported that the 1995 Saab 900 Pikes Peak Car, will be going up for auction at the Barret Jackson auction house early next year in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The 1995 Saab 900 Pikes Peak Car is the first car in the Saab USA Heritage Collection to be auctioned off, and it may not be the last.

I have checked the Barret-Jackson website and have not seen it listed, so I’ve contacted them as well as Saab Automobile USA to confirm or deny these reports. They have confirmed this now.

I have also contacted Jan-Willem Vester at Saab Automobile USA and he has confirmed these reports as well.

In finding that these reports are true, and I am absolutely livid and floored that GM can be so short-sighted in this regard.

I have asked many people from Saab Automobile USA, to the GM Heritage Collection to the Saab Car Museum as to why this car can’t be offered to the Saab Car Museum in Trollhättan, Sweden! and here’s what I have understood at this time from the GM Heritage Collection as well as Saab Automobile USA, which seem to be conflicting statements:

The Saab Car Museum is not part GM, therefore we can’t send the cars to them – GM Heritage Collection

The Saab Car Museum does not have the budget in Sweden to acquire even a few cars at this time – Saab Automobile USA

No response as of the time of this posting from Peter Backstrom at the Saab Car Museum.
[…]

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Saab 9-3 Turbo-X Reviewed in Colorado

Posted on 14. Oct, 2008 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab Automobile

A Saab 9-3 Turbo-X has recently been reviewed by a journalist in Colorado for Colorado Daily.

The review was quite positive and great given that it could provide some good exposure to the Colorado market. Here is my favorite line from the writeup.

“Saabs are as sophisticated in safety as they are in active handling and performance.”

The thing is here I would hope that these vehicles would sell, and there were only 600 available in North America! It is worth mentioning that Saab Automobile USA used to have some great presence in Colorado with two great Colorado police departments. These police departments in ski resorts (Vail & Aspen respectively) used to be active ambassadors for the brand for nearly 30 years until 2005, when unknowningly, GM pulled the plug on this relationship.

When I asked both departments about why the program ended, they told me that they wanted to continue and tried as hard as they could but GM did not give them an option of continuing, which is absolutely sad.

So here we have another press release of the Turbo-X, and wouldn’t it have been quite the appropriate police interceptor for both departments, but again too little too late both police departments have moved onto Toyota & Volvo.

I see the 2009 Saab Owners Convention as Saab Automobile’s last hope to save this particular market in the United States.

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Production Concept