SAAB lives and rules but not… by building cars

SAAB lives and rules but not… by building cars

The Swedish company SAAB has been a famous manufacturer and developer of protection and safety systems for 80 years, but it was best known for its cars. In fact, many people even today still associate its name with motoring, despite the fact that it has been several years since the last time its model and badges rolled off the production line, and despite the fact that it did not start as a car. manufacturer.

In fact, SAAB began life in 1937 in Trollhättan, Sweden, as an aircraft manufacturer, to supply aircraft to the Swedish Air Force. The full name of the company was Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget, giving the world the abbreviation SAAB. The headquarters recently moved to the Swedish university town of Linköping, where this large company has its largest operations today. It was there in 1945, with various other projects to be implemented, where the project to develop and manufacture cars began.

From airplanes to cars
SAAB’s first four-wheeled development was called Project 92, as the 92 was the next number in the production line after the SAAB 91 ‘Safir’, a single-engine trainer aircraft. SAAB cars had space… art in their DNA! The company’s aeronautical engineers thought they could use their knowledge of aerodynamics from aircraft manufacturing to improve the body characteristics of their cars, compared to the angular bodies of German cars on the Swedish market and elsewhere, at the time. In fact, there are times when they took ideas from fighter jets and transferred them to cars. One of them was the “Night panel”, which turned off all the interior lights of the cabin and left only the speedometer visible and working (so that the driver’s attention is not distracted by the interior lights when driving at night). The first car was delivered in Linköping in June 1947, although it was not until 1949 that production, built in Trollhättan, began in earnest. In the following years, SAAB cars became synonymous with technology, aerodynamics and safety.

The end of the season
Unlike its defense and security businesses, which were rapidly evolving into a global player, SAAB’s passenger car history was… bleak. After the company’s 20-year merger with Scania-Vabis ended in 1989, American giant General Motors took over 50% of the new Saab Automobile business before making the company a wholly-owned subsidiary in 2000. SAAB Cars was no longer … SAAB. This was also the beginning of the end for the Swedish brand. When the fortunes of the American parent company began to collapse in 2008, so did its Swedish subsidiary. Dutch Spyker was unable to stop the Swedish brand’s decline and the SAAB car business was shut down when Saab Automobile AB and the Trollhatan production line ceased operations in April 2011.

But the SAAB series did not end there. The next episode had… Chinese subtitles. In 2012, the Swedish-Chinese businessman Kai Johan Jiang bought the main assets of the company with the intention of reviving it under a new purpose. That of National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS). NEVS is the automotive subsidiary of Evergrande (the second largest real estate developer in China) and in 2012 had acquired the rights to the Saab name.

At this point, no one can confidently say “what will happen next” for the Swedish brand. However, some rumors want it to come back as an electric car manufacturing company! Until then, SAAB continues to evolve and even today is at the cutting edge of production of protection and safety systems and here you can see the official website of the Swedish company.