Steve Speaks!

Saab USA’s new head honcho, Steve Shannon, has posted his first article at GM’s Fastlane weblog.

It’s a “hi, how are you” piece that gives us a little of his background. He stops short of providing his full CV (which I guess he did at the interview) but gives us the positive news of knowing how to get things done.

There’s not a lot more I can say about it without just regurgitating it here. One thing, though – when Jay arrived there were trumpets blaring from various places due to his previous experience with Caddy and the consequent success that Caddy had, which gave some reassurance about him. Jay had also replaced Debra Kelly-Ennis, who’s “Gee Wizz” thoughts showed something less than an ideal understanding of Saab.

There’s no trumpets here. What we have is an appointment that has to be taken on trust. Which is fine as long as it works out. Steve says it as follows:

I understand that I need to prove myself, and that it may take a while. Please be patient with me as I learn the ropes around here. But I am confident that if you give me a chance, you’ll like what you see.

He’s writing this address quite directly to the Saab community, so go have a read and make your own impression.

Welcome to the family, Steve.


And while we’re talking about GM – there’s a Flickr set on the Saab display currently on show at GM’s headquarters in Detroit.


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  1. i admire his willingness to address the whiplash-type concerns some may have (certainly i did) of saab’s trusted stewardship being yanked from under us, at such a fragile time for the brand.

  2. A good first step & his approach seems genuine.

    One criticism: I must admit that the first paragraph does not read well and may be thats just because I’m not a citizen in corporate america but…..the sentiment behind “played that role” indicates a touch of the GM revolving door approach to Saab management. Maybe I’m overly sensitive and after all, quite a bit developed under Jays watch but perhaps consider this Steve:

    Many of your customers have been buying Saab for more than 10 x Jays 2+ year stint. In some ways, we see you as a caretaker of something that we actually own. Your reflection on your childhood memories of Saab along with your European experience will have a lot more resonance with the likes of us than most of your colleagues at GM.

    Best wishes & may the road rise with you.

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