Vauxhall small car marketer to take the reins at Saab GB

Saab GB has appointed Vauxhall marketer David Pugh as marketing director to replace Parveen Batish, who is joining Saab Australia as managing director.

Pugh, the brand manager for small compact cars at fellow General Motors-owned marque Vauxhall, starts at Saab tomorrow (Thursday).

While Saab is struggling globally, the company’s GB division has been performing well, reporting a 35% sales increase last year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. Saab GB sold 9,377 cars to the end of April this year – an increase of 6% on the same period last year, taking its market share to 1%.

Loss-making Saab has proved a headache for GM globally, and earlier this year Kirk Kerkorian, GM’s third largest shareholder, called for the division to be sold. But in March he withdrew his demand after Saab was integrated into GM’s global product development and manufacturing system, which involves a new small Cadillac being built at its Trollhattan base in Sweden.

Saab is aggressively expanding its model line-up, with a small car being considered and a car-SUV crossover already approved. The crossover, due in late 2008, will share an underlying platform with a new Cadillac, according to GM insiders, although the Cadillac has not yet been approved for production.

Last month, Saab unveiled the world’s first fossil-free hybrid at the Stockholm Motor Show.

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