North American Saab Owners Convention Celebrates Silver Jubilee

The following is a press release from Saab USA:

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Saab Enthusiasts Coming to Troy, Michigan this Weekend

DETROIT – For the first time in history, Saab owners and enthusiasts from all over North America and beyond will gather in Michigan this weekend, celebrating the passion for their cars and the Saab brand. The Saab Club of North America expects more than three hundred owners and their Saabs to attend the event, opening Thursday, August 23 and running through Sunday, August 26.

The 25th annual Saab Owners Convention is organized by the Great Lakes Saab Club, with president Jim Laman serving as convention chairman. Commemorating the 60th anniversary of Saab as a car manufacturer, the 2007 Owners’ Convention will celebrate the highlights of Saab’s proud past, present and future.

Saab Owners Convention The center of activities for the event is the Troy Hilton. The venue has excellent facilities and is ideally located, as it is close to most attractions in the area. Though registration for the event is now closed, day passes can still be obtained at the Saab Club registration desk in the hotel.

“We are honored by the Saab Club of North America’s decision to choose Southeastern Michigan as the location of their Silver Jubilee convention,” said Steve Shannon, Saab Automobile USA general manager. “I am looking forward meeting many owners and their cars in person, and participate in their unparalleled passion for Saab.”

Beyond exhibiting its flourishing heritage collection and latest array of products, Saab Automobile USA has selected this venue for the North American public debut of the new Saab 9-3. In addition, the Saab Born From Jets Tour trailer exhibit will be present, including a full-size replica of the award-winning Saab Aero X concept car.

One of the highlights of this Saab Owners’ Convention weekend will be a banquet dinner at the General Motors Heritage Center in Sterling Heights, which is home to hundreds of noteworthy GM products of all times – including several Saabs. Fritz Henderson, chief financial officer of General Motors Corporation, is scheduled as the keynote speaker at the event.

Continuing updates on the 2007 North American Saab Owners’ Convention, including details on the exact event location and program activities are available at www.saabconvention.org

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Frederick (Fritz) A. Henderson became vice chairman and chief financial officer for General Motors on January 1, 2006. Prior to his promotion, Henderson was a GM group vice president and chairman of GM Europe, based in Zurich, Switzerland.

In his current position, Henderson has responsibility for GM’s worldwide financial operations, GM Asset Management (GMAM), and Economic Development and Enterprise Services. He also serves as GM’s global process leader for finance. Henderson is a member of GM’s Automotive Strategy Board and Automotive Product Board.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, on November 29, 1958, Henderson earned a bachelor of business administration degree with high distinction from the University of Michigan in 1980, with an emphasis in accounting and finance. He was a pitcher on the varsity baseball team in 1978-1979. He also received a master’s degree in business administration from Harvard Business School in 1984, where he graduated as a George F. Baker Scholar.

Henderson started his career at General Motors in 1984 as a senior analyst in the Treasurer’s office in New York. After holding a variety of financial assignments, he was transferred to GMAC in 1989 as director of mortgage banking. He was promoted to several positions of increasing responsibility until becoming GMAC group vice president of finance in Detroit in 1992.

In 1994, he was appointed executive in charge of operations for the former Automotive Components Group in Pontiac, Michigan, and then became a GM vice president and general manager of Delphi Saginaw in May 1996.

From 1997 to 2000, Henderson was GM vice president and managing director of GM do Brasil with responsibilities for GM operations in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uruguay. In June 2000, Henderson was named group vice president and president of GM Latin America, Africa and Middle East (LAAM) headquartered in Florida, and in January 2002, he moved to Singapore as president of GM Asia Pacific. In 2004, Henderson assumed responsibility for GM’s European operations.

Prior to graduate school, Henderson was a certified public accountant, working for PriceWaterhouse in Detroit, Michigan. He received the William A. Paton Award for achieving the highest score in Michigan on the May 1980 CPA examination; he also received the Elijah Watt Sells Award for attaining one of the top 100 scores in the U.S.

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25 Comments

  1. Sounds like a great time! Whoever is going please enjoy.

    …and can someone find out about Bluetooth integrations and what Saab plans to offer now that the MY08 comes standard with OnStar?

  2. Whoever is going, screw your own enjoyment, spend all day taking pictures so those of us full of resent towards you for being able to journey to Mecca when we can’t don’t harbor lakes of hatred towards you.

    …I’m a little pissed that I can’t go, if anyone can’t tell.

    All jokes aside, whoever’s going, please take lots of pics. Big, wallpaper-sized pics.

  3. Interesting GM is sending the finiancial boss to the meet. Hopefully he will make public the many billions of dollars GM is allocating to Saab’s new product development and 10 new models in the line-up.

  4. I just got my MY08 9-3 US version brochure in the mail today and don’t see anything in it about bluetooth…which is something I was really hoping it would have. The only other thing that caught my eye is that the Bose Centerpoint Surround System will not be “Available late in the 2008 model year”

  5. “Interesting GM is sending the finiancial boss to the meet.” — turbin.

    i agree, and it seems odd to me, as well. wouldn’t steve shannon be a more appropriate keynote speaker than gm’s cfo? is the chief financial officer more intimate with the brand than the brand’s own us general manager? didn’t the cfo hint that he thinks saab should be sold? i don’t get it.

    change of subject: where was that picture taken?

  6. saab9x,

    Maybe the higher ups, that think Saab is the one of the “crown jewels,” is sending the CFO, that thinks that Saab should be shaved off, as a way to convince him otherwise??

  7. It’s a good sign that Fritz Henderson is speaking. If they were going to kill Saab, the upper management would avoid making personal appearances at venues where the hard-core fans are located.

    I have to say, I feel better and better about GM’s commitment to Saab these days. Finally the mother ship seems to be paying attention.

  8. Hopefully, someone at GM has understood the importance of strong ‘community’ for a special brand like Saab.

    May the quirkiness be with you.

  9. Scott – thanks for the info. Man, I was really hoping for the CenterPoint this Fall. I am so tired of waiting…and waiting for this..and then this….it is SO frustrating!

    If anyone can sell me a 2.0, with rear spoiler, XWD, integrated bluetooth, locking gas cap and a kick-butt sound system – my money is yours!

    …or if you know a comparable car that has this, let me know – I’m waiting to buy.

  10. Did anyone notice that the press release said a “full-size replica” of the Aero-X? I didn’t know there was more than one…and I wonder how (non)functional the replica is?

    And, if anyone goes to this convention who is reading this, could they ask about the availability of a diesel for the US market?

  11. wait … Full size replica of the Aero-X? I must have missed something, as I thought that there was only one of these animals. Is this an actual running model, anyone know (or is it a re-skin of something else? Are there any differences between the original and the replica? is there more than one replica? I assume this is owned by Saab/GM?

  12. Scott —

    How did you get a MY 2008 SAAB 9-3 brochure? I’m salivating over the thought of ordering my new ride, and having the brochure would make the wait easier.

    Can you share your secret on getting the brochure with the rest of us, or is your source too confidential?

    …and thanks for the heads up on the Bose Centerpoint. Maybe that feature will be introduced when the Turbo X editions are. Finally, does the brochure say anything about Bluetooth integration?

  13. gryphon-
    I got mine from Saab of Fishers in Fishers, Indiana. I just talked to the sales guy and said to mail me one the second they came in b/c I’d be buying one from them. They just got them in last Thursday and I had it in my hand on Saturday. Zip code 46032 will get you their phone number on the Saab USA website.

  14. Maybe the replica doesn’t have a canopy opening top…. or maybe only a manually opened canopy top…. Less chance of a malfunction or mishap for bad press?

  15. For other SAAB guys (and gals) in DC. The local dealerships have the MY 2008 brochures on hand now. I got in touch with my sales guy, and I have one on the way. So, I can now start choosing options, etc. in advance of a test drive in mid-September!

  16. My dealer sent me a brochure – live in CT, but said they wouldn’t have any floor models until nov/dec – and they would be Aeros only.

    Other people are being told mid september?

  17. The sales guy at my dealership is saying mid-September on the non-XWD models. XWD models will be December, according to him.

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