Joel Manby, Saab's vice president of worldwide sales and marketing, has moved on to the world of dot-coms.
Manby, 40, is the new president of Greenlight.com, an online automotive buying service in San Mateo, California.
Manby said his two main goals in his new job were to build 'a passionate dealer network' for Green-light.com and to gain the support of the major automakers.
Throughout his career, Manby has worked on the dealership experience. After joining General Motors in 1981, he helped launch Saturn's no-hassle selling as a Saturn regional manager. He later left GM to manage several Saturn dealerships for dealer Al Serra in Grand Blanc, Michigan.
'Frankly, I'm more passionate about what customers go through in buying cars than the cars themselves,' he said.
Saturn is GM's small-car subsidiary in the USA.
In 1996, Manby became CEO of Saab Cars USA, the Atlanta sales arm of Sweden's Saab Automobile AB.
Saab is also a subsidiary of GM. Last year, Saab promoted him to vice president of worldwide sales, marketing and retail network development.
Manby said his departure from Saab and GM was amicable. 'I just felt like I had done what I was asked to do' at Saab, he said. His achievements include stabilizing Saab's dealer network and boosting US sales from 28,450 in 1997 to 39,541 in 1999.
'GM has been so good to me, I have nothing bad to say there,' he said.
Greenlight.com launched its buying service in several markets earlier this year and expects to roll out throughout the USA this spring. Greenlight.com allows customers to buy vehicles online from local dealerships and arrange delivery.
Investors in Greenlight.com include dealer group Asbury Automotive Group, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and online bookseller Amazon.com.