Jay Spenchian: The Trollhattan Interview

I sent these questions over to Saab USA a few weeks ago and I’d like to thank Saab USA General Manager, Jay Spenchian for taking the time to provide us with some answers, as well as Jan-Willem Vester for helping put the whole thing together. Your willingness to communicate with a very passionate Saab community is appreciated.

Jay’s been the General Manager of Saab USA since April 2005 and has responsibility for the sales, service and marketing of Saab vehicles in the biggest single market Saab have: the United States. Prior to joining Saab, Jay led a very successful revival of Cadillac in the US market.

He’s joined Saab at a crucial time. Saab are undergoing a huge model revamp and his time at the company has already coincided with the US launches of the 9-7x, the 9-3 SportCombi, the refreshed 9-5 as well as the establishment of the Born From Jets ad campaign.

Naturally, there’s a lot to talk about…….

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10 Comments

  1. Steven,

    Excellent response and both the questions and Jay’s answers! I absolutely love your pitch at the end, and I don’t blame you! I’ve had that on my mind for the past 9 years!

  2. WOW that’s amazing that you got JS to respond. Not only were the questions well thought through (did I miss something you sent out ?), but I’m more amazed by JS’s non-nonsense, direct approach. He’s Da Man !

    Sounds like Jay’s still got a bunch of surprises up his sleeves as far as new products go.

    Man, this makes my day. No wait, my entire week. Thanks Swade !

  3. Sales data for Sweden – August 2006

    Not that good for 9-3. Hopefully plp have waited the new 07 model and deliveries will start in September…

    Aug +9.2%
    Jan-Aug: +6.1%

    1: Volvo V70
    Aug: 1351 vehicles, +6.29%
    Jan-Aug: 19.124, +21.35%
    Market share this year: 10.32% (9.02%)

    2: Saab 9-5
    Aug: 981 vehicles, +62.14%
    Jan-Aug: 9.487, 49.47%
    Market share this year: 5.12% (3.63%)

    3: Volvo V50
    Aug: 708 vehicles, -2.74%
    Jan-Aug: 8.273, +9.46%
    Market share this year: 4.46% (4.33%)

    4: Saab 9-3
    Aug: 517 vehicles, -40.98%
    Jan-Aug: 7.360, +47.85%
    Market share this year: 3.97% (2.85%)

  4. Swade you old non Swede! Congrats on this interview-a real coup.

    I think its great that Jay S decide to participate- it means Trollhattan Saab really does now have profile.

    If you get the job, I am the designer in need of Saab employment ok!

    Rgds

  5. And don’t forget to put your Canadian Saabisiti over here on the payroll too, Swade. I’ll be the field auto spy, roaming the automotive landscape with my arsenal of SLRs and lenses hunting for competitors’ concept and test cars designed to compete with Saab.

  6. Thanks Swade!

    I esp like this comment –

    “Personally, I cannot imagine that such can be credibly achieved without a manufacturing presence in the country of origin.”

    Give me some hope. I realize that this is as much as he can say – without letting the cat out of the bag. Call me an optimist, but I think the 9-5 will be made in Trollhattan.

  7. great q-a session. i enjoyed the artfulness, on both sides.

    overall, this resonates the most with me:

    “For next year, we are much looking forward to the Saab 60-year anniversary…. …we will use the opportunity to also put some significant product news in the spotlight… So stay tuned!”

    thx, swade. good job!

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