GM terminate ex-Saab heads – Spenchian, Shannon

Hmm, I wonder if it was the time spent at Saab or at Cadillac that proved to be the poisoned chalice?
From AdAge:

DETROIT (AdAge.com) — General Motors terminated three Cadillac marketing executives as part of this week’s management overhaul, Automotive News reports today. Steve Shannon and John Howell were dismissed Monday, said eight people familiar with the moves. Jay Spenchian, an executive director who worked on Cadillac and other brands, was also let go, the people said.

Spenchian seemed to be the more lively of the two guys in his time at Saab. He’s the one who fathered the “Born From Jets” ad campaign. Despite what we may think of it now, it was actualy pretty effective back then.
Shannon was a Buick guy before coming to Saab and his time with Saab, through no real fault of his own, coincided with the decline of the brand into the beginnings of 2009, when the division was placed on the market. It wasn’t his fault, but it was reasonably obvious from meeting him that he wasn’t ‘a Saab guy’.
Nice guys, both. Good luck, fellas.

Monday Night Snippets – Steve Shannon edition

Todd Agostini from the Autos section of examiner.com sat down for a chat with Steve Shannon at the New York Auto Show a few days ago. The exercise was in conjunction with Saab History so Ryan was behind the camera, capturing the conversation for posterity.
There’s a few lollipops in there, but over all it’s as forthcoming an insight into Saab’s current situation as we could expect from a GM guy in the US marketplace. The most interesting question for me was the one relating to what the two parties, GM and Saab, have got from the relationship over the last 20 years. I think the ledger is firmly stacked in GM’s favour there and Shannon’s lack of response as to what Saab got from the relationship (basically, it’s survival) is a case of damning GM with faint praise.
The conversation lasts 22 minutes and is well worth a look. Thanks to Todd for the heads-up via comments.
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It’s worked in France and Germany so it seems the Brits are going to have a crack at the scrapping bonus.

ALISTAIR DARLING, the chancellor, is set to end months of speculation by announcing a “scrappage” scheme to encourage people to trade in old cars for new in his April 22 budget….
….Details of the scheme are still being finalised in discussions between the Treasury and the business department, headed by Lord Mandelson. It is expected to involve a £2,000 allowance for people trading in for scrap a car more than nine years old against the purchase of a new or nearly new vehicle.

Two grand is a reasonable allowance, I reckon, especially if your nine old banger really is an old banger.
I’m sure the usual suspects will be the main beneficiaries of this scheme, but it might be a good time for Saabists to get a few more pennies off.
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I have some great photos to show tomorrow from the Saab Car Club of Australia’s national gathering in Canberra, including one of our mates here at SU, Hawkeye, taking a prize in the national Concours.
Great stuff!!
Until then, enjoy this classy shot from Total Abstainer, via Flickr
Black9-3shadows.jpg

NAIAS: Steve Shannon on the 2010 Saab 9-5

This one’s interesting.
Steve Shannon’s taken off the Cadillac hat that he was wearing earlier in the week and put on his Saab hat whilst talking to the guys at Motor Trend. Asked about future model releases, he said enough to provide the following:

So what about Saab’s version of the new Cadillac SRX unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last January? It’s on the way, says Steve Shannon, Saab’s executive director in the U.S. Launch cadence is four or five months behind the Caddy’s, which means a late 2009 on-sale date and no plans for a U.S. auto show debut.
And Shannon says Saab continues work on a new version of its 9-5 flagship. “It’s about a year-ish away,” he says.

That’s all very encouraging, if true. And that’s a big “if” that I’ll have to try and iron out. One’s got to take a marketing director at his word when he says such things, but history’s proven that one has to also be cautious.
For starters, there’s the whole GM’s-in-trouble-and-has-put-non-essential-or-not-ready-enough-products-back-six-months-or-more thing that happened not-so-long ago. The outcome from that was that both the Saab 9-5 and 9-4x were believed to be delayed. In fact, GM’s own press release from November 8 said that the 9-4x would be seen in 2010.

GM will launch 15 new vehicles through year-end 2010, 14 of which will be fuel-efficient cars or crossovers, including the Cadillac CTS wagon and SRX crossover, Chevrolet Camaro Coupe and Equinox crossover in 2009, and Saab 9-4x crossover, Chevrolet Cruze small car in 2010.

In an interview with Eric Geers from Saab Sweden late last year we were able to all-but-confirm that the 9-5 will be appearing at a major international motor show later this year, with production following soon afterwards.
It may be a year-ish before you can walk into a showroom and buy a Saab 9-5 in Steve Shannon’s market, but according to my mail it’ll be rolling off the lines late in 2009.
As to the Saab 9-4x coming in only six months, with no US show debut planned……well, how much sense does that make to you?
I can tell you that the word to me via Djup Strupe a few months ago is that Saab were working hard to keep the car on schedule but that things were tough, there was a lot of discussions being had about it, and that the 9-5 was likely to come first. Maybe those discussions have been finished and the outcome has been favourable for Saab.
I hope so, but no US debut for the vehicle seems very strange. More than any other Saab, the 9-4x is a vehicle that’s made with the US as the primary focus.
——
I’ll wait on this one and try and find out more. If the 9-4x is coming sooner than expected, then great. But I’d like to hear a little more information before I get too excited.

2010 Saab 9-5 is ‘on schedule’

A regular commenter at Trollhattan Saab posted what I think is a pretty important comment for Saab and for Saab enthusiasts:

GM announced to the US Saab dealers that the “new” 9-5 is back on schedule…..

Now, that could be anyone, of course, but through the magic of CMS software I can track this person’s comments over the life of this site and let’s just say that his contributions here give his comments some weight. Like this one, for example:

I have been an exclusive Saab dealer for 20 years next week….

The Detroit Auto Show starts this weekend and it’s not uncommon for a dealers briefing to take place prior to a major show like this one. I’d imagine that it’s this sort of occasion that’s just seen this confirmation of the Saab 9-5 take place.
We heard Steve Shannon say via Motor Trend, yesterday, that the Saab 9-5 would be around 1 year away on American shores. That, and this announcement to dealers today, would tend to confirm the whispers going around that the Saab 9-5 will be shown later this year and commence production shortly thereafter.

9-5sketch1

2010 Saab 9-5 is ‘on schedule’

A regular commenter here has just posted what I think is a pretty important comment for Saab and for Saab enthusiasts:

GM announced to the US Saab dealers that the “new” 9-5 is back on schedule…..

Now, that could be anyone, of course, but through the magic of CMS software I can track this person’s comments over the life of this site and let’s just say that his contributions here give his comments some weight. Like this one, for example:

I have been an exclusive Saab dealer for 20 years next week….

The Detroit Auto Show starts this weekend and it’s not uncommon for a dealers briefing to take place prior to a major show like this one. I’d imagine that it’s this sort of occasion that’s just seen this confirmation of the Saab 9-5 take place.
We heard Steve Shannon say via Motor Trend, yesterday, that the Saab 9-5 would be around 1 year away on American shores. That, and this announcement to dealers today, would tend to confirm the whispers going around that the Saab 9-5 will be shown later this year and commence production shortly thereafter.

9-5sketch1

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