One of Scandinavia’s most well-known car manufacturers, Saab, created some of the most recognisable and respected cars throughout their years of operation. Their strong presence in the UK, USA and their Swedish homeland from their 1949 inception to their 2011 closure saw them produce a number of high performance and technically advanced cars that were equally admired and questioned. The brand’s strength and alertness to an ever-evolving car industry was reflected in their logo; the red griffin head with its gold crown, an image adapted from the coat of arms of the province of Skane, where Saab was founded.
Despite a chequered history of questionable reliability, Saab’s general reputation was one of intelligent engineering and innovative designs. The 1959 Saab 95 seven-seater was just one example of the marque being ahead of its time in terms of functionality and what consumers look for in today’s market. Saab’s innovative stance saw them being the first car manufacturer to place the fuel tank in front of the rear axle. This enhanced weight distribution and protection during impact. As a brand, Saab are renowned for placing heavy emphasis on safety, putting each of their cars through rigorous and extreme impact safety tests before being released to market. Two such cars - the 9-3 and the 9-5 - can be found via the Creditplus website car search.
Saab’s initial market placement as a reliable manufacturer came from their defence and aerospace beginnings. Saab AB (Swedish for ‘Swedish Aeroplace Corporation’) was first established in 1937. Their sole purpose at the time was to build aircraft for the Swedish Air Force in order to safeguard Sweden’s neutrality as the rest of Europe moved closer to World War II. When the war ended in 1945, Saab needed to move into other engineering projects and saw automobile manufacturing as the natural progression. It was during the late 1960s that Saab AB merged with Scania-Vabis AB - Sweden’s commercial vehicle manufacturer - before the car division was restructured into an independent company in the late 1980s. At this point, General Motors and Investor AB each controlled 50%. In 2000, General Motors moved to acquire Saab AB as an entire entity, a relationship which lasted until 2010. The next twelve months would see Dutch-based automobile company Spyker N.V. take control of Saab, a positive move for the already flagging marque that by the end of 2011 would see them filing for bankruptcy.
While Saabs are instantly recognisable, the one model that stands above the rest is the Saab 900. It is one of the marque’s most popular selling cars to date and even has the endorsement of American rapper Jay-Z, who got behind the wheel of one in his ‘Song Cry’ music video.