Saabs seem to be built around the driver, almost as if they were more the cockpit of a plane than the cabin of a car. People who make this claim are more right than they could possibly know. Because the fact is, before Saab made cars, Saab made airplanes.
And the very first Saab car was designed and hand built by 17 aeronautical engineers. Only one of which had a driver’s license. Amusing as it sounds, this anecdote sums up all that makes Saab different: Clean, aerodynamic lines, efficiency and functionality, and innovations beyond what people would expect from a car.
Over the years, our (Saab) designers’ contributions to the automotive industry have been as monumental as turbocharged technology and side-impact protection, and as sublime as disappearing cup holders.
1937 – Saab was founded as Svenska Aeroplane Aktiebolaget (SAAB) in Trollhattan, Sweden to produce high-performance aircrafts before WWII and demonstrate a neutral position. After WWII, Saab began transitioned from aerospace technology to vehicles.
1949 – Saab produced its first car – the Saab 92. More than 20,000 Saab 92s were built between 1949 and 1956.
1958 – Saab introduced sporty Saab 93 750 Gran Turismo.
1978 – Saab became the first manufacturer to offer cabin air filters, a relief for those with allergies. In 1978, Saab joined forces with Fiat to develop a series of products like the Saab 600 also known as the Lancia Delta.
1990 – GM purchased a 50 percent stake in Saab’s car division, Saab Automobile AB, which was restructured into an independent company.
1997 – Saab introduced its first premium four-door sedan, the Saab 9-5. This car was also the world’s first car with Saab Active Head Restraints and ventilated seats.
2009 – GM announced that the brand would be eliminated in 2010 if it failed to secure a buyer before the close of year.
2010 – Spyker to purchase Saab.
Symbol of prestige
The logo of this world famous car
manufacturer has gone through many versions. The most recognized version was created by Carl Fredik Reutersward depicting a mythical beast, the Gripen, or Griffin. This beast also appeared on official coat of arms of the Count von Skane and was used as the symbol for the Swedish province Skane, where the SAAB company was formed.
The first emblem to appear on a Saab automobile was that on the bonnet of the prototype Saab was called the Ursaab. The symbol itself was nothing more than a fictitious heraldic symbol which did not appear in any Saab since.
Next came, the simple SAAB logo mounted on wings, to signify its aircraft origins. It was used on the bonnets of Saab Sonett Super Sport models between 1949 and 1962. It was either on a blue background, or a single silver-coloured casting. Appearing on Saab cars from 1963 the new Saab emblem was a sylised Saab aeroplane symbol with the letters S A A B in capitals across the top. Eventually the plane was phased out and just “SAAB” was used to identify the product line.
In 1984 the Griffin logo was reintroduced. Over the years Saab Automobile AB introduced new minor adjustments to corporate symbol with the red Gripen head and gold crown with the name “SAAB” in silver beneath it all contained within a blue roundel. This historical logo was kept in practice even when General Motors got involved.
Around 2008 logo went back to the futurist version of “SAAB” lettering.