Jay gone, in comes a guy named Steve

Hey, his name’s Steve so he can’t be a bad guy….but I still feel a little sick about this right now. Jay was a decent guy and I think Saab could benefit more from some stability. more on all this later – I’ve got work to do.

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Detroit – Steve Shannon has been named general manager, Saab Automobile USA. He replaces Jay Spenchian, who has been appointed executive director, GM Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing strategy and revenue management. Both appointments are effective immediately.

Shannon, 47, joined General Motors in 1982 and has held positions in field sales, marketing and product planning in both the United States and Europe. His most recent position was general manager of Buick. Starting in April 2005, he oversaw the launch of an array of critical new Buick products such as the Lucerne sedan and the Enclave crossover.

Prior to his role at Buick, Shannon had been the Executive Director of Marketing Services for GM’s Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing organization since 2000. There, he was responsible for supporting GM’s marketing divisions and the field sales organization for auto shows, dealer business meetings, creative services, vehicle event coordination and GM racing.

From 1997 until 2000, Shannon lived and worked in Europe as the Executive Director for General Motors Europe Marketing Services.

Steve Shannon earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard College in 1982 and a Master’s of Business Administration from the Columbia Graduate School of Business in 1986. He is married to wife Cindy, has three kids and resides in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

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9 Comments

  1. I agree with you, but I guess that we should give the guy a chance. Jay has done lots of good, and hopefully will he keep feelings for saab moving up in the organization.

    A few years more with Jay would have been good, but I guess that GM thougth he had the capacity for the entire group.

    Even thou its important with a carismatic guy on the top (and maybe the buick guy is a star so we should to cry to loudly), the important thing in the near future is getting those new vehicles out. I can not tell if the buick launches has been successful but maybe there is someone out there that knows… All I know about buick is that I would not buy one and that they sell lots of them in china….

  2. I hope he’s not a numbskull. Buick is much closer to cadillac than Saab :).

    I could at least relate to spenchian, he was a fellow armenian…

  3. This is good and bad.

    The Buicks at the NY Auto Show were a bit better than they have been in the past. At this level, it is more important to be a cheerleader with some corporate pull rather than a car guy from one school or another.

    Hopefully, he’ll keep Saab USA heading in the right direction. New 9-5’s all around!

  4. Hey, let’s hope for two birds with one stone:

    We all know that the Vehicle Sales, Service and Marketing strategy could be beefed up with Saab…and I won’t complain having the former Pres. of Saab leading that division- if he will go to bat for the brand.

    Concerning Steve, you have to admit that Buick has done well with getting some good publicity (including Tiger Woods as a spokesperson), and though I haven’t checked the sales numbers I’d bet the Lucerne and Lacrosse have sold well…so hey, if he successfully revived a brand by overseeing a new batch of vehicles to be rolled out, I will give him a fair shake. That’s exactly what’s happening at Saab soon. That would be about as close to the stars aligning as I could think of…potentially speaking. We’ll see what reality brings.

  5. lol. Wondering what Buick was even selling these days, I just went to their website. Their whole navigation just says “undefined” a couple of times.

  6. …executive “musical chairs”….

    “Starting in April 2005, he [Steve Shannon] oversaw the launch of an array of critical new Buick products….” now it’s ’07 and he has a new gig; arguably, he’s on a 2-year tract to somethin’ else.

    1. i’m not seeing the passion and dedication in the brand, with all the management shuffling. high turnover, for “career’s sake,” spells disaster;

    2. mr. shannon has some big shoes to fill;

    3. where’s the continuity of vision for the brand if it starts from scratch every 2 years, unless mr. shannon’s goal is to not change what’s in progress; in which case, he’s just along for the ride (to something better);

    4. what are his “saab” credentials? okay, working 3 years in europe for gm is a “start,” kinda;

    5. assuming he has good ideas about the brand, it’ll take time to get things sorted out. and by then, his career “timeclock” will have expired (for this gig). then we’ll have to start all over with someone else.

    6. i’m just not feeling it right now. i hope i’m wrong; and

    7. for starters, it’d be good if he could get the (independently made) “blackbird” commercial in saab’s “stable.”

  7. Oh, great! With Jay, at least we had someone who presided over the Cadillac resurgence and increased sales through the CTS and Escalade. But now we get the guy from Buick??? Who the heck is buying Buicks these days other than Tiger? No one, which is why Buick’s sales are tepid. Rumors abound about GM killing off Buick like they did Oldsmobile. So, why not move an exec from one underperforming brand to another. Glad to see GM is “committed” to SAAB.

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