Peter Dörrich wins prize as Best Manager 2011

Peter Dörrich

Peter Dörrich, who has among other things been resposible for the development of the 9-4x and the 9-5 SC, is, according to Unionen’s manager-paper “Position”, the most popular manager 2011. Unionen published that in a press release today:

Peter Dörrich is the most popular manager in 2011. Which is why he will be rewarded the “Position” newspaper prize.

Peter Dörrich is 51 years and has held various positions within Saab, including the U.S.. He is now director of the Project Center at Saab Automobile in Trollhättan.

The award will be presented on Wednesday at the “Skills Fair” by the “Position”‘s magazine editor Dag Bremberg.

Read morePeter Dörrich wins prize as Best Manager 2011

Fat Lady news snippets (What are GM and SweGov up to now?)

Top Gear on Friday featured an article about Saab’s current predicament. Saab now only days from disappearing?.

It mentions what we have heard elsewhere, that the Swedish Government say they will try persuading GM to allow Saab continued access to GM technology and parts.

That’s big of them. The Swedish Government has been fantastically unhelpful to Saab ever since its funding crisis started almost a year ago. It has turned down various foreign investors and chucked several administrative spokes in the wheels.

It might be too late now for it to make sympathetic noises.

— Paul Horrell, Top Gear

Read moreFat Lady news snippets (What are GM and SweGov up to now?)

Saab 9-4x in Aftonbladet

Robert Collin from Aftonbladet was in LA for the auto show and whilst it was a few weeks ago now, he’s just published some thoughts on the Saab 9-4x.

The article covers quite a bit about the vehicle’s development and Robert speaks with Peter Dorrich, who some of you will remember from this quick video.

In the Aftonbladet article, Peter goes into a bit more detail about the work that was performed, the fights that he had to have in order to get the Saab 9-4x to be a real, Saab-derived vehicle.

Peter Dörrich, a Saab man from Trollhattan for 30 years despite his German sounding name, had the technical responsibility for the project in which both the Saab 9-4X and Cadillac SRX would be developed…..

…..- I had been involved in developing both the Saab 9-2X and Saab 9-7X and had lived in Detroit since 2000 when I assumed responsibility for the new project in 2005

– We had many ideas that were not shared by Cadillac (that is, Cadillac didn’t see the value in them), not in the beginning anyway,” says Peter Dörrich when we meet in Los Angeles. But the American executives at GM had full confidence in me and I was working on getting the Cadillac people convinced of how we wanted the car…..

……The most important thing was driving characteristics. They had to be European

The story goes on to speak of how many characteristics were developed for the Saab side and were then picked up for the SRX.

The XWD system, for instance.

And thanks to Saab also the Cadillac has all-wheel drive from Haldex. Originally, the SRX was to have a cheaper system, but Saab were relentless, it must be Haldex, and also with the special slip differential eLSD rear, and the SRX got the same system.

– I’m extremely happy with the handling characteristics. They are better than the 9-3X (who received the highest rating for handling the Aftonbladet last year), mostly thanks to the engines. They are stronger, have better torque and run better.

There’s also a little bit about the considerations given to a V6 diesel, however the translation is a bit vague and I don’t want to risk a mistake here. So here’s the original Swedish and hopefully someone can provide an accurate translation.

– De var för dåliga, säger Saab-chefen Jan Åke Jonsson till Aftonbladet. Det var en V6 från italienska VM Motori och en fyrcylindrig GM-motor, men de var för klena och inte tillräckligt snåla. Då är vi hellre utan, även om vi förstår vad det betyder för försäljningen i Europa.

Translations now received (thanks!)

They were too bad, says Saab boss Jan Åke Jonsson to Aftonbladet. It was a V6 from italian VM Motori and a four cylinder GM engine, but they were not powerful enough and not fuel efficient enough. Then we rather have no diesel, altough we understand what that means for sales in Europe.

The Saab 9-4x as shown in LA looks like it’s going to be one heck of an interesting Saab. It’s the first genuinely Saab-developed vehicle in the segment and personally speaking, I can’t wait to have a crack at it.

Thanks to Arild for the tip (check that link to see the fun Arild’s having with his new 9-5).

Is the Saab 9-4x a real Saab?

I was standing around talking with Dick Lague and his sons at the LA Auto Show when Saab’s chief midsize vehicle engineer, Peter Dörrich, came up and joined us. I introduced him by name and to put his role in context, he told Dick and the boys about his relationship to the Saab 9-4x.

It was a perfect moment in time, one that we tried to catch on tape a second time around…..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sKENuYb7r0

It was my first time meeting Peter. He’s another one of those great Saab guys that you feel like you know just minutes after meeting him. I can tell you one thing, he’s definitely passionate about his baby, the Saab 9-4x. Peter started working for Saab in the early 1970s and as mentioned in the video, he’s been working on the Saab 9-4x since 2005, ensuring that it would indeed be a real Saab, from the ground up.

If you ever get the chance to go to a Saab event, be it a motor show, Saab Festival, or any other event, the one thing that will make an instant impression on you is how ‘flat’ the organisation is. There are no ivory towers. Everyone’s accessible. Everyone’s approachable. And everyone’s working their tail off for a common goal – the sustained success of the company.

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