Saab Automobile Appoints New Sales Director

Seems Saab managed to pinch one back from the Germans.

Huzzah!

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Saab Automobile today announced the appointment of Adrian Hallmark as Executive Director, Sales.

AdrianHallmark.jpg Hallmark joins Saab´s senior management team from Volkswagen, where he was Executive Director of Asia, responsible for operations in 50 markets, including China and Japan. He takes up his new position with immediate effect and will be based at Saab´s headquarters in Trollhättan, Sweden, where he will report directly to Saab Automobile President and CEO, Jan Åke Jonsson.

Hallmark assumes responsibility for Saab´s global sales operations from Knut Simonsson, who retains the position of Executive Director, Brand and Marketing.

“Saab is embarking on a new era as an independent company and I am delighted to be joining the management team at such an exciting time,” said Hallmark. “With three new products about to be launched and a re-energized dealer network in place, I look forward to building sales volumes and reinforcing the brand´s presence in major markets around the world.”

Announcing the appointment, Jan Åke Jonsson said:

“I am very pleased to welcome Adrian to our senior management team. His broad range of experience makes him ideally suited to this role and I am confident he will add significant value as we start to regain our position in various markets and further grow the Saab business.” He continued: “Over the next 16 months we will be launching three new products – the 9-5 Sedan, the 9-4X and the 9-5 SportCombi — Adrian´s contribution will be vital in optimizing the sales of these exciting new products.”

Hallmark is a former Managing Director of Porsche Cars GB Ltd and has also been responsible for Bentley´s global sales, marketing and PR activities. He served as Executive Vice President Volkswagen of America Inc, based in Detroit, before taking up his position as Executive Director of Asia.

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Commence greeting card jokes…………. now.

Chicken Soup for the Saab soul

After the speed bump that has been the EIB Loan kerfuffle and ensuing discussion in the last few days (forgive me, I’m grumpy), this article from JustAuto really does read like good therapy.
JustAuto went along to one of the Saab 9-5 European roadshow events in England and sat down for a chat with Knut Simonsson. It’s a good reminder as to how things should/will be for a new, independant and resurgent Saab.
Click here to read the whole thing. Here’s a few tasty morsels.
My thanks to Kurt K for the link.

For a long time, GM appeared not to know what to do with its quirky Swedish premium brand. There was an almost criminal paucity of investment in new Saab product. And twelve year model cycles aren’t a recipe for competitive success. Even worse, industrial planners at GM were keen on consolidating output on a plant-platform basis so that more Saabs would be made by Opel at Russelsheim.

“We have accomplished a lot in a short space of time,” he says. “We were given the chance to change and we are doing that. Since the reorganisation began in February we have taken out excess stock, lowered our cost of production and transformed our balance sheet. We are very confident about our business plan.”

And there is undisguised joy that from the list of 34 potential buyers for Saab, the new Nordic owner – Koenigsegg – is facilitating a kind of Swedish homecoming for the brand. The Trollhattan plant will be the undisputed manufacturing and engineering heart for New Saab

Simonnson enthuses over the Chinese connection. Saab currently sells around 1,000 cars a year in China. He reckons importing cars for distribution by Beijing Auto could yield an immediate volume rise to 5,000-8,000 a year. If an agreement could be struck for local assembly, that figure should be three or four times higher.

While the pressures weighing down on the whole industry right now are considerable, Simonnson is undaunted. A smaller and leaner Saab, he believes, is well placed to take advantage of the shifting sands affecting everyone. Partnerships are key.

Simonsson sums it up: “These are exciting times. We have a small, flat and innovative organisation. We have experienced life at the bottom of the food chain, but now we have a new opportunity.”


And there’s a lot more where that came from.

Saab marketing guru talks about Saab (my goodness, what a terrible headline)

Saab have been a sponsor of the Swedish Tennis Open in Båstad, and it was here that TTELA caught up with Knut Simonsson, Saab’s chief of marketing and brand manager.
The following are excerpts via a Google Trans. The original article in Swedish is here at TTELA.

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Back to the roots. Now, Knut Simonsson is soon to look ahead again. With Koenigsegg Group [as] Saab owners they can go back to their roots, to the “innovative thinking differently” that marketing believes is the company soul. Over the years with GM, such thinking was not encouraged.

Swedish Open Båstad: tennis, celebrity spotting – and Saab.
Saab’s marketing and brand manager Knut Simonsson smells the morning air. After nearly two decades with U.S. owners, Saab will be Swedish, or at least Scandinavian, again…..

He sees a future where Saab will return to its roots. Where it once started, with a bunch of aircraft engineers who dared to think of tvärsen with what then existed in the industry. And built a sporty, front wheel drive car with a transverse engine standard.
“They came with the most complete, incredibly different thinking and the whole culture of Saab.”

…..

– “Saab is innovative thinking differently. It is the core of all what Saab stands for. But if you are in a company which is the world’s largest car manufacturer, I can say that you have a [long way to travel] when you come with different ideas.”

Read moreSaab marketing guru talks about Saab (my goodness, what a terrible headline)

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