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Saab CEO resigns after 'three demanding years'

TT/AFP/The Local · 25 Mar 2011, 14:25

Published: 25 Mar 2011 08:25 GMT+01:00
Updated: 25 Mar 2011 14:25 GMT+01:00

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"The last three years have of course been very demanding and forced me to devote my time to one thing - my work. It is now time for me to also spend a little time with other things which have been forced to take a back seat due to my responsibilities at Saab," Jonsson said.

"I am convinced that Saab Automobile is on the right track," he added.

Saab's chairperson, Victor Muller, will assume the responsibilities of the CEO role in the interim period until the AGM is held on May 19th, the firm announced.

The hunt for a new CEO has begun and Jan Åke Jonsson has agreed to continue to assist the running of the firm during a transitional period until September.

Victor Muller, whose firm Spyker Cars took over Saab in 2010, expressed "sadness" that Jonsson had decided to leave the firm which he has served for almost all of his 40 year career.

The announcement came hours after Spyker announced its net losses had

soared last year, to €218 million ($309 million) against €23 million in 2009. Sales for 2010 amounted to €819 million.

The firm sold 31,696 cars in 2010, an increase of 15 percent on 2009.

Spyker acquired Saab from US auto giant General Motors last year hoping to

relaunch the iconic Swedish brand.

Last month Spyker said it planned to sell its original sports cars business, change its name and focus on expanding Saab.

Story continues below…

The company has sold an average of 150 luxury Spyker sports cars a year.

Jonsson's departure comes just two months after Saab replaced its top executive in the United States.

Two weeks ago Russian businessman Vladimir Antonov said he planned to invest some $50 million in Saab to boost its dwindling liquidity.

During the Swedish automakers 20 years under General Motors (GM), Saab never turned a profit.

TT/AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

09:56 March 25, 2011 by NEW SWEDE
A very brave man and yes you deserve time out!!
16:04 March 25, 2011 by millionmileman
I just read this article and I am saddened because I have met Jan-Åke on several occasions. He is such a nice man and I wish him well on his well earned retirement. These past three years have been very demanding for all of us Saab devotees.
17:35 March 25, 2011 by mojofat
The Local buried the headline here...Saab is still making cars? People are still buying Saab's? Talk about having money to burn!
02:02 March 26, 2011 by repat_xpat
There is new hope for SAAB today. More top heads need to roll to change the work culture at SAAB to focus on productivity, both in engineering and in manufacturing. I wish the best for the workers and their jobs. Good move.
04:03 March 26, 2011 by jackx123
Spyker is on the right track. However, SAAB needs to get away from competing head on with VW, Fiat etc. With a production of 30-50,000 cars it would be suitable at a niece market. A good try with Spyker and I think that they should leverage at their now father's connection in Russia since that can become the most single important battle ground for them. Can easily sell 100k cars there
16:16 March 27, 2011 by Mike in America
STOP!!! This is the English Police. Pull over!

NEW SWEDE, Jonsson doesn't deserve "time out," he deserves "time off."

jackx123, a "niece market" is somewhere your sibling's daughter shops. A "niche" market is a narrow group of consumers. And that's not even English, it's French!
23:58 March 27, 2011 by NEW SWEDE
Do Not disregard Russia, money is what SAAB needs at the movement and WAGES!!
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