Posted by: saabnuts | December 19, 2010

Mike Colleran, President Saab N.A. ProJo Interview

Mike Colleran, President, Saab North America

Mike Colleran, President, Saab North America beside one of Saab’s new vehicles earlier this month at the New England Auto Show at the Boston Convention Center.

The Providence Journal featured a story about Saab and interview with Mike Colleran, President Saab North America.

Some highlights from the article which are not news to people following Saab news closely but worth mentioning:

“iconic Swedish carmaker Saab Automobile AB is back on form, bringing new vehicles to market and seeing black ink in 2012.”

“The [second generation] 9-5 was phase one of Saab’s renaissance,”

The 9-4X is phase two.”

“Colleran was in Boston earlier this month to introduce the 9-4X crossover SUV at the New England International Auto Show. It debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.

He said Saab was looking for sales of the 9-4X to reach 10,000 to 12,000 a year, with half in the United States. Overall, the company is looking for global sales of 30,000 to 35,000 this year, down sharply from around 90,000 in 2008.

However, Saab Chairman Victor Muller sees sales of 80,000 to 85,000 in 2012, which he has said will make the company profitable.”

“He (Colleran) said the company was now back on track with “current models on time, no late production.” The 9-4X is expected on showroom floors in April. Meanwhile, the 2.0T turbo version of the 9-5 arrived in November and the Sport Combi version is expected in July.

In addition, Colleran said the company was getting back to its Swedish heritage.

“The 9-5 was designed by Swedes in Sweden under the guidance of GM,” he said. “It’s a Swede from top to bottom.”

“And he (Colleran) cited the 9-4X for its echoes of classic Saab styling, including the wraparound windshield and the long, U-shaped hood.”

“He said that while Saab was looking into developing a small car — unofficially dubbed the 9-2 in a nod to the classic Saab 92 from the early 1950s — it was “not in our product portfolio plan right now.”

““Turbo technology gives you some great mileage,” he said in a nod to a technology that Saab developed. The 1978 Saab 99 was the first turbocharged production car.

He also said the company would continue with incentive and discount packages, noting that “incentives are a way of life in the U.S. [market].”

“And he (Colleran) said Saab would be refocusing on leases through GMAC in 2011, noting the U.S. market was “predisposed to lease.”

Meanwhile, he said Saab would be gearing up its advertising in key “pockets of strength” across the country, including New England down to Washington, Atlanta, Florida, the West Coast and Denver.

“It’s very regional,” he said.

Saab’s current advertising slogan is “Move your mind,” a reference to placing the brand as “the intelligent choice.”

“It’s a unique choice in the luxury segment,” Colleran said.””

Editor’s notes: I am glad to see an interview with Mr. Colleran and hope that we continue to see more news in North America, Saab’s largest (or potentially largest) market.

Perhaps Americans require more convincing to consider purchasing a Saab than folks in other countries. I believe that people like us and other Saab owners are proof that Americans are capable of recognizing the incredible value, versatility, safety, economy, performance and utility of what we consider to be the best overall value and fun offered from any car company… SAAB.

Thanks to the Providence Journal and to Mr. Colleran for speaking to the press.

We wish you and Saab continued success and are behind you and Saab on the road ahead.

Saab up“! 🙂

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