NEW PRESIDENT AND CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER OF SAAB CARS USA, INC.
NORCROSS, GA - Debra Kelly-Ennis has been appointed President and Chief Operating Officer for Saab Cars USA, effective October 1, 2002. She will report to Mikael Eliasson, Vice President Sales and Marketing of Saab Automobile and Chairman of Saab Cars USA, Inc. Debra will be based in Norcross, GA.
"We expect the largest share of Saab's global growth to continue to come from our single largest market - the U.S.," said Saab Automobile AB's President and CEO, Peter Augustsson. "We have a clearly defined product strategy in place beginning with the launch of the all-new 9-3 Sport Sedan that spearheads the arrival of an entirely new family of vehicles. We are delighted to have Debra Kelly-Ennis join the Saab family. With her experience in marketing, sales and driving strong business results, she is highly qualified for the job," he said.
Kelly-Ennis succeeds Dan Chasins, who has been appointed Executive Director, Future Product Planning reporting to Peter Augustsson.
"With his product knowledge and long term Saab experiences in the U.S. and Sweden, Dan has the competence we need to strengthen Saab's advanced product planning," said Augustsson.
Kelly-Ennis joined GM in 1999 as the brand manager for Chevrolet S-10 trucks, where she led the effort to revitalize one of the company's top three volume brands, contributing to GM's current truck leadership position. The responsibility included development of strategic product plans and launch direction for the all-new 2004 Chevrolet Colorado.
She was promoted to the position of Oldsmobile general manager in 2000. Over the past year, Kelly-Ennis has led the challenging phase-out of Oldsmobile, including the successful redeployment of personnel, effectively managing dealer relations and marketing Oldsmobile products.
Darwin Clark, GM vice president industry-dealer affairs will assume the added responsibility of completing the Oldsmobile phase-out. Clark has played an integral role in the dealer transition plan and phase out since it was announced in December 1999.
Prior to joining General Motors, Kelly-Ennis held senior marketing, sales and general manager positions with leading companies such as RJR/Nabisco and Grand Metropolitan, PLC.
"Saab has always stood for cars with great personality derived from their unique design, powertrains, and vehicle dynamics," said Bob Lutz, GM Vice Chairman of Product Development. "We see a bright and promising future for Saab. It will continue to more effectively leverage GM's global product development resources and will be supported by a substantial new model plan with the first evidence being our current launch of the all-new 9-3 Sport Sedan. Debra's specific knowledge of the U.S. market, and great business sense gives her solid credentials to lead the team in the execution of Saab's five-year growth plan."
Kelly-Ennis earned a bachelor of science degree in education from the University of Texas in 1979 and a master of business administration in marketing from the University of Houston in 1981. She also completed the executive leadership program at Harvard Business School. She is a member of the Pulte Corporation Board of Directors - one of the nation's largest publicly traded home building companies - where she serves as chairman of the nominating committee and as a member of the audit committee.
Saab Cars USA, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Saab Automobile AB, is the importer and distributor of Saab 9-3 and 9-5 automobiles and is headquartered in Norcross, GA, near Atlanta. ĘSaab Automobile AB, owned by General Motors, is active in more than 50 countries worldwide.