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Saab hires former Subaru exec Colbeck as North American COO.

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DETROIT (Bloomberg) — Saab Automobile AB, the carmaker that formed a partnership with China’s Hawtai Motor Group last week after a cash crunch forced it to halt production, today named Timothy Colbeck chief operating officer for North America.

Colbeck, 47, had worked at Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.’s Subaru of America unit for 25 years, most recently as senior vice president for sales, Stockholm-based Saab said in a statement. He will report to Matthias Seidl, Saab’s global sales chief, and the company’s North America board.

Saab, sold by General Motors Co. last year, is getting a 120 million-euro ($172 million) investment from Beijing-based Hawtai under a plan that calls for joint production in China. Hawtai will receive as much as 29.9 percent of Saab’s owner, Spyker Cars NV, and will loan Spyker 30 million euros, according to the May 3 accord.

The Swedish automaker was forced to stop building cars March 29 and after a brief restart last month again halted vehicle output. The company said on May 2 that it planned to begin production within a week, after getting a 30 million-euro loan from Gemini Investment Fund Ltd. and saying it would draw down 29.1 million euros from the EIB, the European Union’s lending arm.

Saab also is trying to bring in Russian banker Vladimir Antonov as an investor. GM on April 28 said it tentatively agreed to allow an Antonov investment.

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