ⓘ Saab Automobile



Datasaab, a former computer company, started as spin off from Saab AB Saab Group, a Swedish aerospace and defence company, formerly known as SAAB, and later as Saab AB Saab Automobile, a former Swedish automobile manufacturer, formerly a division of Saab AB SAABO, a caravan camper/travel trailer produced by Saab Automobile from 1964 to 1968 Saab-Scania, the former corporate group formed by Saab AB and Scania-Vabis


Saab AB

Saab AB is a Swedish aerospace and defence company, founded in 1937. From 1947 to 1990 it was the parent company of automobile manufacturer Saab Automobile. Between 1968 and 1995 the company was in a merger with commercial vehicle manufacturer Scania-Vabis, known as Saab-Scania. The two were de-merged in 1995 by the new owners, Investor AB. Despite the demerger, both Saab and Scania share the right to use the griffin logo, which originates from the coat of arms of the Swedish region of Scania.


Saab 2000

The Saab 2000 is a twin-engined high-speed turboprop airliner built by Saab. It is designed to carry 50–58 passengers and cruise at a speed of 665 km/h. Production took place in Linkoping in southern Sweden. The Saab 2000 first flew in March 1992 and was certified in 1994. The last aircraft was delivered in April 1999, a total of 63 aircraft being built. By July 2018, 24 Saab 2000s were in airline service.


Saab 340

The Saab 340 is a Swedish twin-engine turboprop aircraft designed and initially produced by Saab AB and Fairchild Aircraft. It is designed to seat 30-36 passengers and, as of July 2018, there were 240 operational aircraft used by 34 different operators. Under the production arrangement in which production was split 65:35 between Saab and Fairchild, Saab constructed the all-aluminium fuselage and vertical stabilizer along with final assembly of the aircraft in Linkoping, Sweden, while Fairchild was responsible for the wings, empennage, and wing-mounted nacelles for the two turboprop engines ...


Saab 900

The Saab 900 is a mid-sized automobile which was produced by Saab from 1978 until 1998 in two generations. The first generation from 1978 to 1994 is known as the "classic" and the generation from 1994 to 1998 is known as the "new generation". The "classic" Saab 900 was based on the Saab 99 chassis, though with a longer front end to meet U.S. frontal crash regulations. The 900 was produced in 2- and 4-door sedan, and 3- and 5-door hatchback configurations and, from 1986, as a cabriolet convertible model. There were single- and twin-Zenith carburettor, fuel injected, and turbocharged engines ...


Saab Sonett

The Saab Sonett is an automobile manufactured between 1955 and 1957 and again between 1966 and 1974 by Saab of Sweden. Sonetts shared engines and other components with Saab 96s and 95s of the same era. It was mainly intended for the lucrative American export market and was only offered intermittently in the Swedish domestic market. The first prototype, now known as the Sonett I, was a two-seat, open-top, lightweight roadster racer which, ten years later, evolved into the commercially distributed Sonett models II, V4, and III.

Saab Automobile

ⓘ Saab Automobile

Saab Automobile AB was a manufacturer that was founded in Sweden in 1945 when its parent company, SAAB AB, began a project to design a small automobile. The first production model, the Saab 92, was launched in 1949. In 1968 the parent company merged with Scania-Vabis, and ten years later the Saab 900 was launched, in time becoming Saabs best-selling model. In the mid-1980s the new Saab 9000 model also appeared.

In 1989, the automobile division of Saab-Scania was restructured into an independent company, Saab Automobile AB. The American manufacturer General Motors GM took 50 percent ownership with an investment of US$600 million. Two well-known models to come out of this period were the Saab 9-3 and the Saab 9-5. Then in 2000, GM exercised its option to acquire the remaining 50 percent for a further US$125 million; so turning Saab Automobile into a wholly owned GM subsidiary. In 2010 GM sold Saab Automobile AB to the Dutch automobile manufacturer Spyker Cars N.V.

After many years establishing a sound engineering reputation and ultimately a luxury price tag, Saab failed to build its customer base beyond its niche following. After struggling to avoid insolvency throughout 2011, the company petitioned for bankruptcy following the failure of a Chinese consortium to complete a purchase of the company; the purchase had been blocked by the former owner GM, which opposed the transfer of technology and production rights to a Chinese company. On 13 June 2012, it was announced that a newly formed company called National Electric Vehicle Sweden NEVS had bought Saab Automobiles bankrupt estate. According to "Saab United", the first NEVS Saab 9-3 drove off its pre-production line on 19 September 2013. Full production restarted on 2 December 2013, initially the same gasoline-powered 9-3 Aero sedans that were built before Saab went bankrupt, and intended to get the automaker’s supply chain reestablished as it attempted development of a new line of NEVS-Saab products. NEVS lost its license to manufacture automobiles under the Saab name which the namesake aerospace company still owns in the summer of 2014 and now produces electric cars based on the Saab 9-3 but under its own new car designation "NEVS".


1.1. History Svenska Aeroplan AB 1948–1969

Saab AB, S venska A eroplan A ktie b olaget" Swedish for "Swedish aeroplane corporation", a Swedish aerospace and defence company, was created in 1937 in Linkoping. The company had been established in 1937 for the express purpose of building aircraft for the Swedish Air Force to protect the countrys neutrality as Europe moved closer to World War II. As the war drew to a close and the market for fighter planes seemed to weaken, the company began looking for new markets in which to diversify.

An automobile design project was started in 1945 with the internal name "X9248". The design project became formally known as "Project 92"; the 92 being next in production sequence after the Saab 91, a single engine trainer aircraft. In 1948, a company site in Trollhattan was converted to allow automobile assembly and the project moved there, along with the car manufacturing headquarters, which has remained there since. The company made four prototypes named "Ursaab" or "original Saab", numbered 92001 through to 92004, before designing the production model, the Saab 92, in 1949.

The Saab 92 went into production in December 1949, selling 20.000 cars through the mid-1950s. The 92 was thoroughly redesigned and re-engineered in 1955, and was renamed the "Saab 93". The cars engine gained a cylinder, going from two to three and its front fascia became the first to sport the first incarnation of Saabs trademark trapezoidal radiator grill. A wagon variant, the Saab 95, was added in 1959. The decade also saw Saabs first performance car, the Saab 94, the first of the Saab Sonetts.

1960 saw the third major revision to the 92s platform in the Saab 96. The 96 was an important model for Saab: it was the first Saab to be widely exported out of Sweden. The unusual vehicle proved very popular, selling nearly 550.000 examples. Unlike American cars of the day, the 93, 95 and 96 all featured the 3-cylinder 2-cycle engine, which required adding oil to the gasoline tank, front-wheel drive, and freewheeling, which allowed the driver to downshift the on-the-column manual shifter without using the clutch. Front seat shoulder belts were also an early feature.

Even more important to the companys fortunes was 1968s Saab 99. The 99 was the first all-new Saab in 19 years and a clean break from the 92. The 99 had many innovations and features that would come to define Saabs for decades: wraparound windscreen, self-repairing bumpers, headlamp washers and side-impact door beams. The design by Sixten Sason was no less revolutionary than the underlying technology, and elements like the Saab hockey stick profile graphic continue to influence Saab design.


1.2. History Saab-Scania 1969–1989

In 1969, Saab AB merged with the Swedish commercial vehicle manufacturer Scania-Vabis AB to form Saab-Scania AB, under the Wallenberg family umbrella.

The 99 range was expanded in 1973 with the addition of a combi coupe model, a body style which became synonymous with Saab. The millionth Saab was produced in 1976.

Saab entered into an agreement with Fiat in 1978 to sell a rebadged Lancia Delta as the Saab 600 and jointly develop a new platform. The agreement yielded 1985s Saab 9000, sister to the Alfa Romeo 164, Fiat Croma and Lancia Thema; all rode atop a common Type Four chassis. The 9000 was Saabs first proper luxury car but failed to achieve the planned sales volume.

1978 also was the first year for the 99s replacement: the Saab 900. Nearly one million 900s would be produced, making it Saabs best-selling and most iconic model. A popular convertible version followed in 1986, all of which were made at the Saab-Valmet factory in Finland, making up nearly 20% of 900 sales. Even today, the "classic 900" retains a cult following.


1.3. History General Motors and Investor AB 1989–2000

In 1989, the Saab car division of Saab-Scania was restructured into an independent company, Saab Automobile AB, headquartered in Sweden; General Motors and Investor AB controlled 50% each. GMs investment of US$600 million gave it the option to acquire the remaining shares within a decade. General Motors involvement spurred the launch of a new 900 in 1994. The new car shared a platform with the Opel Vectra. Due in large part to its success, Saab earned a profit in 1995 for the first time in seven years. However, the model never achieved the cult following of the "classic 900" and did not achieve the same reputation for quality.

1997 marked Saabs 50th anniversary as an automaker. The company used its jubilee owners convention to launch a replacement for the aging 9000: the Saab 9-5. The 900 received a facelift and renaming complementary to its new larger sibling: it would now be called the Saab 9-3. The 9-5 was the first Saab without a combi coupe body style option in 20 years. Filling that space was a wagon variant, introduced in 1999.


1.4. History General Motors 2000–2010

GM exercised its option to acquire the remaining Saab shares in 2000, spending US$125 million to turn the company into a wholly owned subsidiary.

The new close relationship yielded its first product in 2003s all-new 9-3. The new model, marketed as a sport sedan, dropped Saabs iconic hatchback in favour of a more conventional four-door approach. The model shared a co-developed platform GMs "global Epsilon 1 platform" and some other components with the Opel Vectra again, but the relationship was much more of a joint engineering effort than before.

Under GMs direction, the badge-engineered Saab 9-2X based on the Subaru Impreza and Saab 9-7X based on the Chevrolet Trailblazer were introduced in the American market in 2005 with the hope of increasing sales. Both models were a critical and commercial failure and were cancelled a few years after production began. GM also delayed the 9-3 wagon by three years, shelved a hatchback derivative of the 9-3 sedan, stalled plans for all-wheel-drive capabilities in Saab models until 2008, cancelled a 9–5 replacement in 2005, and announced a planned shift of production away from Saabs historic home in Trollhattan to Opels factory in Russelsheim.

Owing to fading fortunes across its entire business, GM announced that the Saab brand was "under review" in December 2008, a process which included the possibility of selling or shuttering the car maker. Reportedly, 27 potential buyers emerged, including BMW, Fiat, Geely, Hyundai, Magna, Renault and Tata Motors; serious talks progressed with three bidders: the Swedish supercar maker Koenigsegg, Merbanco and Renco Group.

As the talks progressed, GMs support receded, and Saab went into administration, the Swedish equivalent of Americas Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Saabs managing director Jan-Åke Jonsson said that this was "the best way to create a truly independent entity that is ready for investment". For its part, the Swedish government was reluctant to become involved, with Maud Olofsson, industry minister, stating: "The Swedish state and taxpayers in Sweden will not own car factories. Sometimes you get the impression that this is a small, small company but it is the worlds biggest automaker so we have a right to make demands."

On 16 June 2009, Koenigsegg announced its intention to purchase the brand from GM. The bid was backed by a group of Norwegian investors and the Chinese car maker Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co Ltd BAIC. The following month, both parties announced that GM had consented to the deal. There were outstanding financial details, but a loan from the European Investment Bank was expected to cover them. The loan was approved in October, but on November 24, 2009, Koenigsegg announced that it had "come to the painful and difficult conclusion that it could no longer carry out the acquisition" much because of the constant delays and the difficulties coordinating the involved parties: GM, the European Investment Bank, the Swedish National Debt Office and BAIC.

It was announced on 14 December 2009, that the Chinese automaker would acquire the intellectual property rights and production equipment for the previous generation Saab 9-3 and Saab 9-5 in a deal worth about US$197 million, which was enough for the company to run for three months. BAIC expressed its intention to create a new brand around the purchased technology and admitted to the purchase of "three overall vehicle platforms, two engine technologies and two transmission systems."

Following the collapse of talks with Koenigsegg, GM announced that the brand would be eliminated in 2010 if it failed to secure a buyer before the close of 2009. As talks with several firms failed, including the Netherlands-based boutique supercar maker Spyker, GM formally announced its intention to wind down the Saab brand.

Undeterred, a new offer round materialized. Earlier bidders Spyker and Merbanco revised their offers and were joined by a submission from Luxembourg-based Genii Capital, which boasted the support of F1 chief Bernie Ecclestone. GM continued accepting bids until a self-imposed deadline of January 7, 2010. Acknowledging that the chances of reaching a deal with any party were very slim, they pledged to evaluate each offer with due diligence.


1.5. History 2010 – purchase of Saab

On 26 January, General Motors GM confirmed it had agreed to sell Saab to Spyker N.V. subject to regulatory and government approval; the sale was completed on February 23, 2010. General Motors would continue to supply Saab with engines and transmissions, and also completed vehicles in the shape of the new Saab 9-4x from GMs Mexican factory. The deal included a loan from the European Investment Bank, guaranteed by the Swedish government. It comprised US$74m in cash up front, payable to GM by July 2010, and shares in Spyker to the tune of US$320m.


1.6. History 2011 – bankruptcy

On February 25, Spyker Cars N.V. announced that it had agreed to sell the sports car arm to focus on Saab. Spyker intended to change its name, in May, to include the Saab name.

In early 2011, Saab began to run out of money, and Spyker were not able to cover the losses. Both companies stopped paying bills, and on March 30 several suppliers refused further deliveries to Saabs factory in Trollhattan. Initially Spyker CEO Victor Muller blamed the media for the problems, and claimed that Saab had no problems with funding. On April 5 all production was halted at Saabs plant in Trollhattan.

Spyker CEO Victor Muller tried to obtain funding from several different sources. On March 30 his former sponsor, Russian banker Vladimir Antonov applied to Swedish authorities, EIB and General Motors for permission to become a shareholder in Saab. His request was denied by the EIB, citing concerns about his business practices.

On May 3, a joint venture between Saab and Chinese carmaker Hawtai was announced. This deal quickly unraveled and on May 12 Hawtai walked away from Saab.

Plans for a new joint venture with Chinese carmaker Youngman and Chinese automotive retailer Pang Da followed shortly. After months of negotiations the companies agreed to a joint US$140 million takeover of Saab Automobile and its UK dealer network unit from Swedish Automobile, with Youngman and Pang Da taking 60 and 40 percent stakes respectively.

On 6 December, GM announced that it would not continue its licenses to GM patents and technology to Saab if the company was sold to Pang Da and Zhejiang Youngman, stating that the new owners use of the technology is not in the best interest of GM investors. Because of this, Saab started working on a new proposal which would not change the original ownership structure and would not include a Chinese partner as an owner of the company, but instead as a 50% owner of a new daughter company.

On 19 December 2011, with no alternatives left after GM continued to block any form of involvement with a Chinese partner, Saab officially filed for bankruptcy after a three-year fight for survival. Under Swedens bankruptcy laws, a party that files for bankruptcy can be bought out of bankruptcy.

On 16 April 2012, a meeting on Saab’s bankruptcy was held at the District Court of Vanersborg. The official receivers in charge of the Saab liquidation valued the assets at us$500m and the debt at US$2.000m. After subtracting the value of the assets, Saab leaves a debt of US$1.500m.


1.7. History 2012 – US$3 billion damages claim

On 6 August 2012, Spyker, represented by the law firm Patton Boggs, filed a lawsuit against General Motors in the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan claiming US$3 billion in damages for the actions GM took in the fall of 2011 to stop the various proposed deals between Spyker and Youngman concerning Saab Automobile where Youngman claimed to be ready to invest several billion dollars in Saab Automobile to guarantee its future. More precisely, under the Automotive Technology License Agreement ATLA between GM Global Technology Operations Inc GTO and Saab, GM refused licensing of the platforms and technology in Saab cars if any Chinese party were to be involved in Saabs ownership structure.

To solve this issue, Spyker and Youngman came up with a deal where Youngman would provide Saab with a loan of €200 million which would be converted into an equity interest in Saab only after Saab ceased using GM technology in its vehicles. Despite this, GM maintained that it would still refuse licensing of platforms and technology needed for production of Saab cars in Trollhattan and also threatened to cease 9-4X production at GMs plant in Mexico, should the deal go through.

Consequently, the deal finally collapsed and Saab was forced to file for bankruptcy. According to Spyker, the actions taken by GM were not legal. Since Saab had been in receivership since the bankruptcy, and would be until the deal with Nevs was closed, Spyker and the receivers of Saab Automobile had entered into an agreement where Spyker would bear the costs of the litigation in exchange for 90% of the claim if the case is successful.


1.8. History 2013 – claim dismissed

In June 2013, the district court dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that General Motors was within its rights to block the sale. In October 2014, the district court of appeals upheld the dismissal.


1.9. History National Electric Vehicle Sweden 2012–2014

On 13 June 2012, a press conference was held announcing that the main assets of Saab Automobile AB and its subsidiaries Saab Automobile Powertrain AB and Saab Automobile Tools AB as well as the Saab factory had been acquired by a Chinese consortium called National Electric Vehicle Sweden NEVS. Saab Automobile Parts AB was not included in the deal and the Swedish National Debt Office would continue as an owner of that company. NEVS plan was to build only purely electric vehicles with an electric version of the current 9-3 model available in 2013/2014, as well as to continue development of the replacement to the 9-3, the Phoenix. GM continued to refuse licensing of the technology in the Saab 9-5 and 9-4X, so these models would not be produced. The rights to use the Saab trademark had not yet been granted by Saab AB and Scania AB and negotiations on that matter continued.

On 26 August 2012, Scania AB let the Swedish press know that the griffin logo used in both Scanias and Saab Automobiles trademark would not be allowed for use on future Saab cars with NEVS as the owner of Saab Automobile. Scania believed the logo is of high value in China and feared that it would end up in the wrong hands through the Chinese interests behind NEVS.

On 3 September 2012, NEVS announced that it had finalized the acquisition of Saab Automobiles assets. NEVS would be able to use the name Saab on future cars but not the griffin logo. Production of the 9-3 would initially focus on a turbo-charged petrol variant, but an electric version - initially aimed at the Chinese market - would start production in 2014.

On 8 January 2013, NEVS announced a deal with Qingdao Qingbo Investment Co. Ltd, for a 22% stake in the company. In return, NEVS/Saab would receive SEK 2bn, along with a production facility for models sold in China. Cars sold in North America and most of Europe would continue to be made in Trollhattan, Sweden. The possibility of using Fiat/Chrysler sourced drive train components for non- electric models was also being examined.

On 12 August 2013, the Saab plant at Trollhattan reopened its doors to welcome back employees for preparations and restructuring of the production line. Production of the existing 9-3 would commence shortly with a new electric motor, while Saab finished the preparations for the new 9-3 Phoenix.

On 19 September 2013, the first Saab-branded vehicle produced by NEVS rolled off of the assembly line. The first pre-production model was mostly aesthetically identical to the previous Saab 9-3 and mainly used to test new components and assembly line equipment. NEVS announced a facelift of the exterior to be shown on a finalised production model. On 29 November 2013 NEVS announced that full-scale production would commence on 2 December 2013, having replaced the 20 percent of parts originally sourced from former Saab owner General Motors.

Production of the gasoline version of the Saab 9-3 resumed in December 2013, and on 10 December 2013 NEVS started selling their Saab 9-3 Aero to Swedish customers directly from their homepage, but on 20 May 2014 NEVS announced that production had been stopped, 100 consultants had to be laid off and 53 blue-collar and 19 white-collar workers had been given notice that their contracts would not be prolonged after the summer. According to NEVS, this was due to Qingdao Qingbo Investment Co Ltd not fulfilling their commitment to finance NEVS operations which had forced NEVS main owner Kai Johan Jiang to fund operations for several months through private funds as well as through assets in NEVS parent company National Modern Energy Holdings Ltd.

On 27 May 2014, NEVS communication officer Mikael Ostlund confirmed through a video interview that NEVS was in talks with two large automobile companies regarding funding of operations and co-development of the Phoenix platform.

On 9 June 2014, Swedish media reported that a number of companies had filed debts from NEVS at the National Enforcement Agency in Sweden for a total sum of 10.4 million SEK.

On 28 August 2014, NEVS itself filed for bankruptcy protection.

On 29 August 2014, Saab AB announced it was cancelling the licensing agreement that allows NEVS to use the Saab name. NEVS financial problems were cited as the reason. A spokesman for NEVS said that the company expects to renegotiate the agreement after a solution to the companys financial problems is reached.

By June 2015, NEVS had acquired two new Chinese partners, an IT company and a development authority for the city of Tianjin. Both are state-owned. In late June, NEVS began construction of a factory in Tianjin, with the goal of manufacturing electric cars for the Chinese market. As of this point, NEVS has not re-acquired the rights to the Saab name, and it is developing a new brand for the Chinese market. There was no indication that restarting production at the plant in Trollhattan, Sweden was planned.

On June 21, 2016, NEVS announced they will no longer use the Saab trademark, instead using their company name on its car, which will still be based on the Saab 9-3 platform. The first NEVS car went into production in 2017.


2. Production

Saabs total world production in 2008 was 90.281 vehicles produced in three countries. Production declined sharply in 2009, as new owners struggled to deal with the companys mounting financial problems. Production was suspended until late 2013, when the new ownership launched a limited run of 2014 model year 9-3 sedans.

Saab manufactured various models at the Valmet Automotive plant in Uusikaupunki, Finland, between 1969 and 2003, in a joint venture established in 1968 together with Valmet. After 2003 Saab did not manufacture any cars in Finland, as the production of the 9-3 convertible then moved to Graz, Austria. In 2010 production of the 9-3 convertible was moved again to Trollhattan. This marked the first time that Trollhattan manufactured the 9-3 convertible.


3. Models

A common feature of Saab car types was the use of the number 9 in the model numbers. The final models were the 9-3 and 9-5, both of which were manufactured in Trollhattan, Sweden. Until 2008, the 9-7X was manufactured by GM along with the Chevrolet Trailblazer and its platform-mates. The exception to this naming rule is the Saab-Lancia 600, which was a re-badged Lancia Delta.

In December 2013, Nevs announced that the Saab 9-3 sedan was back in regular production, with convertible, station wagon, and electric models to follow in the next year. Production stopped in 2014.


3.1. Models Cancelled models

  • Saab 9-3 convertible
  • Unnamed Saab 9-3 replacement, production had been planned for October 2012
  • Saab 9-3 electric model
  • Saab 9-3 station wagon
  • Saab 98, combi-coupe version of the Saab 96
  • all-terrain vehicle based on the Saab Sonett II chassis
  • Saab 9-2, inspired by the classic Saab 92. Production had been planned for 2014.
  • Saab 9-3 third generation, based on the PhoeniX platform

3.2. Models Historical models

  • Saab 92 and descendants
  • Saab 93 1955–60
  • Saab 92 1949–56
  • Saab GT750 1958–60
  • Saab 95 V4 1967–80
  • Saab 95 3 cylinder two-stroke 1960–67
  • Saab 94 Sonett I 1956
  • Saab 95 estate 1959–78
  • Saab Sport 3 cylinder two-stroke 1962–1966
  • Saab 96 V4 1967–1980
  • Saab 96 3 cylinder two-stroke 1960–68
  • Saab Monte Carlo 850 3 cylinder two-stroke 1966–1967
  • Saab 96 1960–80
  • Saab Monte Carlo V4 1967–1968
  • Sonett III 1970–1974
  • Sonett II 1966–1970
  • Saab 97
  • Saab 90 1984–1987
  • Saab 99 and descendents
  • Saab 900 "Classic" 1979–1994
  • Saab Formula Junior single seat racing car 1960
  • SaabO caravan/camper/travel trailer 1964–1968
  • Saab 99 1968–1984
  • Saab 9000 1985–1998
  • Saab 9-3 SportSedan 2003–2011 second generation
  • Saab 9-3 compact executive car second generation 2002–2011, 2013–2014
  • Saab 9-3 first generation 1998–2002
  • Saab 9-5 2010–2011 second generation
  • Saab 9-3 Convertible 2004–2011, 2012 by ANA second generation
  • Saab 600 1985–1988
  • Saab 9-3X 2009–2011
  • Saab 9-4X June 2011 – December 2011
  • Saab 9-5 first generation 1997–2009
  • Saab 9-7X 2005–2009
  • Saab 900 "New Generation" 1994–1998
  • Saab 9-2X 2005–2006
  • Saab 9-3 SportCombi 2006–2011 second generation


3.3. Models Concepts and prototypes

  • Saab Catherina 1964
  • Saab Quantum 1962
  • Saab 92 line
  • Saab Monster 1959
  • Saab MFI13 1965
  • Saab 92001 or Ursaab: The prototype for the first Saab production car 1946
  • Saab 60 1962
  • Saab 98 1974
  • Saab Toad 1966
  • Saab Viking 1982
  • Saab EV-1 1985
  • Saab 900 line
  • Saab 9000 Cabriolet
  • Saab 9000 line
  • Saab Prometheus: A 9000 fitted with a joystick instead of a steering wheel 1993
  • Saab 9-3 ePower sport wagon 2010
  • Saab 9-5 Aero BioPower 2006
  • Saab 9-4X BioPower 2008
  • Saab 9-X line
  • Saab 9-X 2001
  • Saab 9-3 Sport Hatch 2003
  • Saab 9-X Air 2008
  • Saab 9XX Concept 1991
  • Saab 9-X Biohybrid 2008
  • Saab 9-3X 2002
  • Saab Aero-X 2006
  • Saab PhoeniX 2011

4. Innovations

  • 1982: Saab introduces asbestos-free brake pads.
  • 1997: Saab introduces ComSense; an alert delay feature that reduces the risk of distraction by briefly postponing lower priority alerts when the brakes or indicators are activated
  • 1970: Saab introduces a world-first – headlamp wipers and washers.
  • 1996: Saab introduces active head restraints SAHR, which help minimize the risk of whiplash.
  • 1994: Saab introduces the Trionic T5.5 engine management system, its processor is a Motorola 68332.
  • 1980: Saab introduces Automatic Performance Control APC, and an anti-knock sensor that allowed higher fuel economy and the use of lower grade fuel without engine damage.
  • 1991: Saab is the first manufacturer to offer CFC-free air-conditioning.
  • 2008: Saab introduces Cross-wheel drive, an advanced all-wheel drive system with eLSD. Saab brands this systems as "XWD"
  • 1991: Saab develops its Trionic engine management system, equipped with a 32-bit micro-processor.
  • 1969: Saab creates an ignition system near the gearstick – instead of behind the steering wheel like most cars – in an attempt to reduce the very common serious and permanent knee injuries during collisions, caused by the knee impacting the key.
  • 2003: Saab introduces CargoSET; automatic storage well retraction for the convertible, a two-step tonneau action for quicker soft-top deployment
  • 1971: Heated front seats are introduced, the first time in the world they are fitted as standard.
  • 1963: Saab becomes the first volume maker to offer diagonally split dual brake circuits.
  • 1971: Saab develops the impact-absorbing, self-repairing bumper.
  • 2002: Saab developed an independent, multi-link, rear suspension system on the new Saab 9-3 known as "ReAxs", a system which provides crisp steering feedback and contributes to enhanced driving stability in curves
  • 1993: Saab develops the Safeseat rear passenger protection system.
  • 1978: Saab introduces another world-first, the passenger compartment air filter pollen filter.
  • 1997: Saab fits ventilated front seats to their new 9-5.
  • 2000: Saab introduces SVC; a Variable Compression, an engine in which the compression ratio is varied by tilting the cylinder head in relation to the pistons.
  • 1983: Saab introduces the 16-valve turbocharged engine
  • 2002: Saab unveils the second-generation Saab Active Head-Restraint system, known as SAHR2, in the new Saab 9-3 sedan
  • 1995: Saab presents an asymmetrically turbocharged V6 at the Motor Show in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
  • 1958: The GT 750 is the first Saab car fitted with seatbelts as standard.
  • 1985: Saab pioneers direct ignition, eliminating the distributor and spark plug wires.
  • 1993: Saab introduces the Sensonic clutch and the Black Panel, later to be called the Night Panel.
  • 1997: Saab introduces Electronic Brake-force Distribution
  • 1981: Saab introduces the split-field side mirror. This reduces the drivers blind spot.
  • 1976: Saab was the first manufacturer to produce a turbo engine with wastegate to control boost.
  • 1991: Saab introduces a light-pressure turbo.

5. Safety

Safety has a high priority in the design of Saab cars. The cars are subjected to the Algtest elk test as elk are a common cause of accidents in Sweden. Saab have compiled a database containing over 6.100 real-life accidents with Saabs. The first recorded event was in 1948 where Julian Shermis had an accident.

All modern Saabs except the 9000 and 9-2X have a floor-mounted ignition. This is for many reasons, some of which follow: Saab believes this is a safer position in case of an accident. The drivers knee often jerks upward in a collision; the compact and dense ignition module on the steering column of many other cars has shattered many kneecaps. Saabs have bolstered dashboards for both front seat occupants. Also, the floor-mounted position yields more space, allowing modern Saabs to have a metal bar that rotates over and up into the ignition when the key is turned to the "Lock" position. This makes Saabs very challenging to hot-wire. Ergonomically, the ignitions location next to the parking brake lever, gearshift, and seatbelt, saves time. Last of all, the ignition is located on the floor because, in the aircraft that inspired Saab automobiles, the throttle controls were all located on the floor. Originally Saabs also had the key located on the right side of the steering column, but when they changed from a column shift to a floor shift, the ignition key followed, except in the Sonett III and 9000.


6. Endurance records

In October 1986, the Saab Long Run took place. Three standard Saab 9000 Turbos set two world records and 21 international records at the Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama, USA. 100.000 km 62.000 mi were covered with an average speed of 213.299 km/h 132.537 mph and 50.000 miles 80.000 km with an average speed of 213.686 km/h 132.778 mph.

Ten years later, in 1996, three standard Saab 900 NG Turbos driven by factory test drivers and two standard naturally aspirated Saab 900s driven by journalists set new world records on the same speedway.

In early December 2006, a Wisconsin traveling salesman donated his 1989 Saab 900 SPG Special Performance Group to the Wisconsin Automotive Museum after amassing 1.001.385 miles 1.611.573 km on the original factory engine. This mileage was verified by Saab.


7. Marketing and ownership

Dating back to 1937, Svenska Aeroplan AB Saab created airplanes, introducing its first car, the Saab 92001, in 1947. Currently, Saab AB is separate from Saab Automobile and is best known for its old Saab 37 Viggen fighter aircraft the Viggen badge would be shared by a 9-3 and its successor, the current export success low cost JAS 39 Gripen swing-role fighter. This has led to an ad campaign, "Born From Jets", evoking the days when Saab produced both aircraft and automobiles. Saab is imported into many countries; each has a president of the subsidiary or importer. In the US, the first president was Mr. R. Millet.

In 1987, Saab created a TV advertisement called "Saab suite" subtitled Ballet in 3 acts for 8 Saab 9000 Turbos. In the film, stunt drivers show incredible driving with stock cars, such as one-wheeled burnouts, bumper-to-bumper driving through a slalom, cars slaloming from opposite directions on the same course, two-wheel driving, sliding in full speed, and jumping over passing cars - all on a closed airport runway with classical music playing in the background.

To commemorate its 40th anniversary, Saab formed a Performance Team in 1987, which laid on exhibitions of automobile acrobatics and formation driving. Initially this was done with Saab 9000s, as above, then later models, such as the Saab 900 NG were used. All of the teams members have previously competed in rallies, but whats unusual is that all five Performance Team members held regular jobs at Saab: there are two engineers, a quality controller, a technician and the head of Saabs photo studio. The picture shows these vehicles on display at the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Saab Aircraft Company, at Linkoping, in 1997.

A Hewlett-Packard CPU-support chip features a Saab 900 Turbo 16 Cabriolet etched into its structure.


7.1. Marketing and ownership Ownership and brand loyalty

As the brand has an unusual image in most markets, Saab owners tend to be correspondingly offbeat: intellectuals and enthusiasts. In his studies of brand communities, Albert Muniz, professor of marketing at DePaul University in Chicago, found significant characteristics of Saab owners which he called Snaabery. These included ownership of an original, pre-GM Saab; camaraderie with other Saab drivers and contempt for other brands such as BMW. Writer John Crace characterised the typical Snaab as a creative advertising executive with large spectacles and an asymmetric hairstyle. Rudiger Hossiep, a psychologist at Ruhr University Bochum, found that Saab drivers have the highest level of psychological involvement with their cars, being over 10 times more passionate than the average Volkswagen driver. Saabs main three markets were Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.


7.2. Marketing and ownership Slogans

  • Go Swift – Go Safe – Go Saab advertisement page – 1970s FIA Year Book
  • The Command Performance Car.
  • Beyond the conventional 1990s United Kingdom.
  • We don’t make compromises. We make Saabs.
  • Find your own road. 1990s
  • The most intelligent cars ever built. 1980s
  • A Saab will surrender its own life to save yours. 1990s
  • People Who Test Drive a Saab, Usually Buy One
  • Born From Jets. 2003–09; United States, Canada
  • Saab. Its what a car should be.
  • Move Your Mind. final global slogan
  • The Well-Built Swede
  • Its A Pity Other Cars Arent Built This Way
  • The Swedish Car with Aircraft Quality first English slogan
  • Welcome to the State of Independence early 2000s decade; United States

8. Literature and the arts

The Saab 900 Turbo was James Bonds vehicle of choice in many of the John Gardner Bond novels of the 1980s, beginning with Licence Renewed. In the second novel, For Special Services, the 900 was dubbed the "Silver Beast". The car is Bonds private vehicle that he had outfitted with various gadgets by the real-life company Communication Control Systems Ltd CCS. In conjunction with the release of Licence Renewed, Saab had a real "Silver Beast" created that was virtually identical to the specifications in the book. The car is currently in the Saab Museum in Trollhattan, Sweden.

In the series Seinfeld, Jerry Seinfeld usually drove a Saab 900S Cabrio with no Turbo. The Saab plays a prominent role in several episodes, in one, getting stolen by Jerrys mechanic, "for the cars best interests".

In an essay originally published In These Times in November 2004 entitled Have I Got A Car For You, writer Kurt Vonnegut recounts his experiences as owner and operator of a Saab dealership in West Barnstable, Massachusetts and humorously claims that his criticism of Swedish engineering is the reason he was never awarded a Nobel Prize in Literature. The essay also appeared in the 2005 anthology A Man Without A Country.

The song "Diane Young" by Vampire Weekend from their 2013 album Modern Vampires of the City opens with the line, "You torched a Saab like a pile of leaves." The music video for the single features a burning Saab 900. The Lil’ Kim song "Gettin’ Money Get Money Remix" contains the lyrics "Convertible Saab/I’m married to the mob". The music video for "Song Cry" with Jay-Z features a Saab 900 Turbo convertible. The video for Peter Hughes "My God Is An Angry God Juan Manuel Fangio Castiga Los Pecados Del Mundo" prominently features a Saab 900 Aero. A black Saab 900 Turbo was a plot point in the movie Moving 1988 film featuring Richard Pryor.

The protagonist of Fredrik Backman novel A Man Called Ove is deeply fond of Saabs automobiles and his passion for the brand plays a role throughout the story.

In August 2014 a Swedish book, Saabs sista strid was published, chronicling Saabs last year and spiral into bankruptcy. The author is Swedish financial journalist Jens B. Nordstrom.


9. In motorsport

Saab competed in the Trans Am Series in 1966, entering a 96 and a 850. Saab also entered its 9-3 in the Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship.

Saab had a factory rally team with successful drivers, Erik "On-the-Roof" Carlsson, Tom Trana, Simo Lampinen, Stig Blomqvist and Per Eklund. The team stopped competing in 1980. In 2012 a new Saab rally team took part in the classic historic Midnattssolsrallyt Rally to the Midnight Sun. The S2AB Historic Rally team entered four Saab 99 Turbos, driven by ex-champions Ola Stromberg, Erik Uppsall, Travis Decker and Jorgen Trued. S2AB Swedish Advanced Automotive Business is the company led by Magnus Roland, former chassis manager at Saab.

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