MAGNUS HANSSON

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Be yourself, work hard and always maintain your integrity. Give people a reason to believe in your leadership.

Q: What was your first automotive job and why were you interested in the industry?

A: I always liked cars and always had an affinity for Swedish vehicles. When I was quite young, I liked Saab despite the fact that I grew up in Gothenburg, home of Volvo. Saab was recruiting at the university in Gothenburg and for me it was a great chance because I saw a lot of passion in the industry and I liked Saab as a brand. I started out as a financial analyst. I knew it was not what I wanted but it was a great way to learn the business. I've been fortunate to have great support all along.

Q: GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?

A: I hope it is still ahead of me. But I take a lot of pride in the years where I was the head of Saab Canada. I had a good relationship with the dealer body. We moved the brand forward. I take a lot of pride in being responsible for the home market now in Sweden. It is a challenging time and we are making good progress.

Q: BIGGEST FAILURE AND WHAT IT TAUGHT YOU?

A: There have been some good people that I tried to take under my wing, but I haven't been able to keep them. It would have been good to retain them. These were people I believed in.

Q: WHAT ABOUT THE AUTO INDUSTRY SURPRISED YOU?

A: The enormous complexity. It is so complex that you are never tired of it. It is always changing and as a younger guy coming into the business I always imagined it was possible to make an impact quicker. But it is so structurally complex it is difficult to make an impact quickly. But that's what makes it so fascinating.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT CHALLENGE AT WORK?

A: Developing Saab in its home market. We are in a situation where the company is under a lot of corporate pressure. In that environment, we have to build a positive opinion of the brand with all stakeholders.

Q: WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED?

A: Be yourself, work hard and always maintain your integrity. Give people a reason to believe in your leadership.

Q: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A PERSON CONSIDERING A CAREER IN THE AUTO INDUSTRY?

A: Go for it. This business has it all. If you are ready to work hard and like challenges that are multifaceted and global, there is not a better place to work.

Q: IF YOU WERE CEO OF A COMPANY WHAT WOULD YOU DO FIRST?

A: Try to meet as many people as possible inside and outside the company. Try to get a quick overview after talking to key people. What is the company good and bad at?

Q: WHAT JOB DO YOU REALLY WANT TO HAVE IN THE FUTURE?

A: To restore Saab to what it can be. I would also like to work abroad again. With international assignments you get to learn about different parts of the world.

Q: WHAT DO YOU DO TO RELAX?

A: I like to play sports such as tennis and golf, listen to music and take long walks to clear my mind.

Q: FIRST CAR?

A: 2000 Saab 9-3 3-door Arrow.

Q: CURRENT CAR?

A: 2011 9-5 Arrow.

PROFILE
NAME: Magnus Hansson
TITLE: Managing director, Sweden; regional director, Nordic
COMPANY: Saab
LOCATION: Trollhattan, Sweden
AGE: 36
FAMILY: Wife; 1 daughter
BORN: Tokyo, Japan
NATIONALITY: Swedish
LANGUAGES: English, Swedish, Japanese, French
EDUCATION: Master's degree in international business with specialization in Japan, Gothenburg University, Sweden

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS
2010 to present: Managing director, Saab Sweden; regional director, Nordic, Saab
2007-2010: Manager, global product, Saab
2005-2007: Country manager, Canada, GM Canada
2004-2005: Product management; aftersales manager, Saab
2002-2004: Business development manager, US/Canada aftersales, Saab
2000-2002: Pricing analyst, commercial finance, Saab


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