International Newsmaker Q&A: Mike Colleran

Jan. 1, 2020
Mike Colleran was named president and COO of Saab Car North America in February of 2009.

Established in 1937 to build planes for the Swedish Air Force, Saab began as the Swedish Aeroplane Co. (Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolag).

Following World War II, the Saab 92 automobile began production, designed and hand-built by 16 aircraft engineers – only one of them had a driver’s license.

The early Saabs accumulated key racing victories and the company became known for an emphasis on before-its-time engineering innovations, including the first standard-equipment headrest, diagonally split dual brake circuits, cabin air filters, impact-absorbing self-repairing bumpers, assorted fuel-saving technologies long before such measures became an international issue of concern, asbestos-free brake pads, the 16-valve turbocharged engine and direct ignition, which did away with the distributor and spark plugs.

Eventually General Motors obtained full ownership of the firm, selling it to Spyker Cars N.V. of The Netherlands in February of this year.

Mike Colleran was named president and COO of Saab Car North America in February of 2009.

Prior to his current responsibilities, Colleran had been national sales director at Saab Automobile USA since 2005. In 2008, his duties were expanded to include General Motors’ other premium nameplates – Cadillac and Hummer.

He recently discussed the company’s current U.S. operations:

What changes, if any, are planned for the U.S. retail dealer sales and service network under the new ownership? Are you anticipating adding more dealerships?

No changes are being implemented within our dealer network other than improving the overall efficiencies and quality of the dealer network. We are pleased with our current number of dealers – 200 – in the U.S.

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What changes, if any, are planned for Saab’s parts distribution network, especially relating to the availability of parts to the American aftermarket and independent repairers?

We only distribute parts directly to Saab dealers who in turn can resell to the independent distributors and repair shops in the U.S. We distribute parts to all dealers in the U.S. from our PDC (Parts Distribution Center) in Allentown, Pa. Our availability of parts has improved significantly since the Spyker acquisition from a low point of 88 percent in March to a current average of 94 percent.

How have Saab’s sales performed since you became an independent operation?

In September Saab Cars North America had its best month since the acquisition by Spyker Cars N.V. The MTD retail sales came in at 1,127 and were 123 percent versus the month’s objective, and 288.6 percent above the previous month’s sales. Year-over-year, September was 132.9 percent above last September’s.

What are your sales projections and/or goals going forward into 2010 and 2011?

We anticipate an even stronger sales performance with the arrival of the 9-5 2.0T’s currently entering dealerships and the introduction of Saab’s first crossover vehicle, the 9-4X, at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

For more information, visit www.saab.com.

Established in 1937 to build planes for the Swedish Air Force, Saab began as the Swedish Aeroplane Co. (Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolag).

Following World War II, the Saab 92 automobile began production, designed and hand-built by 16 aircraft engineers – only one of them had a driver’s license.

The early Saabs accumulated key racing victories and the company became known for an emphasis on before-its-time engineering innovations, including the first standard-equipment headrest, diagonally split dual brake circuits, cabin air filters, impact-absorbing self-repairing bumpers, assorted fuel-saving technologies long before such measures became an international issue of concern, asbestos-free brake pads, the 16-valve turbocharged engine and direct ignition, which did away with the distributor and spark plugs.

Eventually General Motors obtained full ownership of the firm, selling it to Spyker Cars N.V. of The Netherlands in February of this year.

Mike Colleran was named president and COO of Saab Car North America in February of 2009.

Prior to his current responsibilities, Colleran had been national sales director at Saab Automobile USA since 2005. In 2008, his duties were expanded to include General Motors’ other premium nameplates – Cadillac and Hummer.

He recently discussed the company’s current U.S. operations:

What changes, if any, are planned for the U.S. retail dealer sales and service network under the new ownership? Are you anticipating adding more dealerships?

No changes are being implemented within our dealer network other than improving the overall efficiencies and quality of the dealer network. We are pleased with our current number of dealers – 200 – in the U.S.

PAGE 2


What changes, if any, are planned for Saab’s parts distribution network, especially relating to the availability of parts to the American aftermarket and independent repairers?

We only distribute parts directly to Saab dealers who in turn can resell to the independent distributors and repair shops in the U.S. We distribute parts to all dealers in the U.S. from our PDC (Parts Distribution Center) in Allentown, Pa. Our availability of parts has improved significantly since the Spyker acquisition from a low point of 88 percent in March to a current average of 94 percent.

How have Saab’s sales performed since you became an independent operation?

In September Saab Cars North America had its best month since the acquisition by Spyker Cars N.V. The MTD retail sales came in at 1,127 and were 123 percent versus the month’s objective, and 288.6 percent above the previous month’s sales. Year-over-year, September was 132.9 percent above last September’s.

What are your sales projections and/or goals going forward into 2010 and 2011?

We anticipate an even stronger sales performance with the arrival of the 9-5 2.0T’s currently entering dealerships and the introduction of Saab’s first crossover vehicle, the 9-4X, at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

For more information, visit www.saab.com.

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