Peter Augustsson was named president and CEO of Saab Automobile this month. He has been running Saab's day-to-day operations since former Saab President Robert Hendry became chairman of Opel in autumn 1998. Hendry reamined chief executive of both companies until this month.
President and CEO, Saab Automobile AG.
Swedish, English, German.
Married, two sons, ages 19 and 17.
First job in the car business?
With Volvo as a project manager in safety, climate and interior.
What was your first car?
What is parked in your garage?
A Saab 9-3, a 9-3 convertible and a 9-5 Aero.
What cars have you most admired?
All kinds of sports cars, but especially models from Ferrari and Porsche.
What is your passion?
What is your greatest achievement?
Leading the Volvo 850 series project.
Why did you leave Volvo?
To broaden my experience. I moved to SKF to see things from the supply side.
What attracted you to Saab?
The brand and what it stands for - dynamism, sportiness and individualism. There are more qualities built into the Saab brand than the Volvo brand.
What takes up most of your time?
Leadership issues. I work very hard on selecting good teams with the right people.
How do you relax?
Sailing. I have a 12-meter cruiser and we go out all year round as we live beside the sea.
What do you do on planes?
I work for a few hours and then maybe catch a movie. But I also find it's a good place to reflect on things.
Do you work weekends?
I normally work a few hours at the weekend on one day and try to have the other day off.
Do you have a favorite movie?
Anything with John Cleese. I really enjoy Fawlty Towers - it's my kind of humor. Everything starts out so calmly and ends up in chaos.
What books do you read?
Usually ones that combine my interests, such as sailing or travel, with a story. At the moment I'm reading a book about the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race.
What companies do you admire outside the auto business?
General Electric for the products they've developed and the way they cut costs. Also Sony. I'm interested in companies in the information technology and electronics sectors.
How would you describe yourself to others?
Not very patient but good at driving through the things I believe in.
What has helped you most in your career?
Having good mentors.
What was your worst crisis in business?
No one crisis sticks out in my mind. Crises are part of being a senior manager. The road is not all roses. You have to emerge stronger for having gone through it.
What would you like to be better at?
Making presentations. I can get the substance across, but I admire people who have a natural ability in this area.
What are you really good at?
Developing and building things. I'm also quite good at balancing strategic and short-term thinking.
What are your ambitions at Saab?
To make the company into a substantially bigger company than it is today and to exploit the potential of the Saab brand.
What is the next big thing in the auto business?
More consolidation among manufacturers. There will only be five big groups within a few years. I expect to see more alliances, similar to those GM has in Asia.