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Saab Snatches Subaru’s Colbeck as New U.S. CEO

Sign that things are getting back to normal?

by on May.09, 2011

New Saab Cars North America CEO Tim Colbeck.

Saab Cars North America has wooed Tim Colbeck away from his job as the top sales executive at Subaru’s as Saab’s top executive in North America.

Colbeck will report directly to Saab Automobile AB vice president and head of global sales & aftersales, Matthias Seidl and the Saab Cars North America Board of Directors.  Seidl had been serving as interim chief executive since January, when the Swedish maker ousted former Saab North American boss Mike Colleran.

Colbeck joins SCNA with 25 years of automobile industry experience in the United States with Subaru of America.   But his hiring could bring more than just an experienced hand to Saab.  The Swedish company has been struggling to get its house in order since it was acquired by the Dutch Spyker Cars, in early 2010.  But financial problems forced a month-long closure of Saab’s headquarters’ assembly plant, a crisis only resolved by its tie-up, earlier this month, with Chinese automaker Hawtai. (Chinese deal saves cash-starved Saab. Click Here for that story.)

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Colbeck has an enviable track record as Subaru’s senior vice president sales.   Under his direction, the Japanese maker achieved record sales and market share in the last two years 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,” Seidl said.