Saab, a Swedish car company, has always been linked to people on the outskirts of the norm. Mainly marketed toward drivers who were creative thinkers, urban workers, and other similar types of people, these cars present to a niche and unique audience. Keep reading to learn about the company’s history, some of their best vehicles, and a little bit more about them.
How the Company Got Started
Created in 1937, Saab AB is a defense company that focuses on aerospace. After some years of solely focusing on airplane parts and other defense machinery, they decided to branch out and create automobiles. The Saab car company was founded in Sweden in 1945. By 1949, they had launched their first vehicle, the Saab 92. It was known for being the first vehicle to feature an unsynchronized transmission. A fun fact about Saab’s early models is that they were all painted a bright green to resemble British racing cars.
In 1969, the company emerged with another Swedish auto manufacturer called Scania-Vabis AB to produce more vehicles. Some of the most popular models in Saab’s history were created during this time, including the 99 range. The company has also partnered with Fiat to create models.
Between 1990 and 2000, the company worked with General Motors (GM) to produce cars. However, due to economic trouble, GM took over the company at the start of the new millenia. This ownership did not last long, as the Saab branch of the company filed for bankruptcy in 2011. By 2016, the Saab name was no longer being used to produce vehicles.
As you can tell by the chart, the Saab logo has undergone significant changes since its origin. Known for being a company that focuses on modest values and practicality, the logo has reflected that throughout its history. Saab has traditionally kept a color scheme of navy blue, red, silver, and sometimes black. The logo that most people are familiar with was used between 2000-2012, which is a blue circle that features a red Griffin with a gold crown and the name “SAAB” in silver, bold letters.
In its early history, Saab had a decent presence in the United States. According to CarSalesBase, their most popular years were 1986 (48,426 units) and 2003 (47,914 units).
European sales were significantly higher than those in the American market. On average, the company sold at least 50,000 units per year throughout most of the 1990s, increasing to anywhere from 70k-90k by the early 2000s. Despite these seemingly successful sales rates, they dropped drastically during the global economic crisis of 2008-2009. In their last year of reported sales (2014), according to CarSalesBase, they only sold 10 units.
However, by 2011, the company’s sales had declined across all their markets. Paling in comparison to other companies like Volvo, they eventually filed for bankruptcy. In their last year of operation, the company sold only 5,610 vehicles in the U.S.
Most Popular Models
The Saab 900 was the most popular Saab model of all time. Released in 1978, this car was made to be an economical, yet unusual vehicle. All the power came from the front of the car because of its B-engine. It also featured:
- Front-wheel drive
- Inline 4-cylinder engine
- Double wishbone front suspension
- Beam-axle rear suspension
It was available in a 2-door convertible, 2-door sedan, 4-door sedan, 3-door hatchback, and a 5-door hatchback. It could also be purchased in a turbo model. The Saab 900 was produced until the late 1990s.
Other popular Saab models were the:
Although the company is based out of Sweden, Saab models were sold all over the world. And despite their niche marketing strategies, they were popular with a wide variety of populations. Even though you cannot get a brand new Saab today, they can still be purchased for reasonable prices in used markets.
The Saab company is still in business today, although it has ventured out of the automotive world. On point with the culture and rising concerns about global sustainability, they have always been a company that focused on being as environmentally-friendly as possible. Their website boasts their sustainability commitment: “A commitment to society has been at the core of Saab’s business since its founding; supporting nations to keep people and society safe. Sustainability is an integrated part of Saab’s strategy to drive value for customers, partners, employees, owners and society as a whole. Contributing to safe and resilient societies in light of increased instability in the world, Saab is committed to strengthening the positive impact on sustainability from its operations whilst ensuring that research, innovation and technology help enable sustainable development.”
Saab vehicles are known as some of the safest vehicles of all time. Time and time again, you can read about how Saab cars have saved drivers and passengers in tragic motor vehicle accidents. With their advanced safety features that were ahead of their time, they have earned a place in automotive history as extremely reliable, durable, and safe vehicles.
Looking to Sell a Saab for Cash?
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