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SAAB

Saab recruits new North America head

Swedish car maker Saab AB has announced the recruitment of a top executive from Japanese firm Subaru to run its North American operations as it bids to rebuild its embattled brand.

Saab recruits new North America head

Tim Colbeck, formerly the top sales executive at Subaru, has taken over effective immediately, Saab said in a statement.

Saab Cars North America had been without a top executive since January.

Under Colbeck’s direction, Subaru of America achieved record sales and market share gains and was the only brand to achieve sales increases in each of the last three years.

“Tim’s impressive accomplishments during his automotive career in rebuilding the Subaru brand are invaluable to the Saab team and represent his ability to further Saab’s vision for success,” said Matthias Seidl, head of Saab Automotive’s global sales.

“We are pleased to have Tim join our North American team during such an exciting time for Saab Cars North America and we are confident Tim will help increase our brand image and sales.”

Earlier this month, Saab shored up it finances by entering into an agreement with Hawtai Automotive Group, a Chinese automaker, while also securing some much-needed cash from the Gemini Investment Fund.

Spyker Cars NV of the Netherlands acquired the Swedish brand Saab from General Motors in February 2010.

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CARS

Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court

Swedish car maker Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson and the firm's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have appeared in court in Vänersborg in west Sweden, accused of falsifying financial documents shortly before the company went bankrupt in 2011.

Former Swedish Saab bosses appear in court
Saab's former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson. Photo: Karin Olander/TT
The pair are accused of falsifying the paperwork at the height of the Swedish company's financial difficulties at the start of the decade.
 
A third person – who has not been named in the Swedish media – is accused of assisting them by issuing false invoices adding up to a total of 30 million kronor ($3.55m).
 
According to court documents, the charges relate to the firm's business in Ukraine and the paperwork in question was signed just before former CEO Jan Åke Jonsson resigned.
 
Both Jonsson and Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers have admitted signing the papers but denied knowledge of the Ukranian firm implicated in the case.
 
All three suspects deny all the charges against them.
 

Saab's former head lawyer Kristina Geers. Photo:  Björn Larsson Rosvall/TT
 
Saab filed for bankruptcy at the end of 2011, after teetering on the edge of collapse for nearly two years.
 
Chief prosecutor Olof Sahlgren told the court in Vänersborg on Wednesday that the alleged crimes took place in March 2011, when Saab was briefly owned by the Dutch company Spyker Cars.
  
It was eventually bought by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (Nevs), a Chinese-owned company after hundreds of staff lost their jobs.
 
The car maker, which is based in west Sweden, has struggled to resolve serious financial difficulties by attracting new investors since the takeover.
 
In October 2014 it announced it had axed 155 workers, close to a third of its workforce.
 
Since 2000, Saab automobile has had no connection with the defence and aeronautics firm with the same name. It only produces one model today, the electric 9-3 Aero Sedan, mainly targeting the Chinese market.