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Saab history: Adieu Saab, the time was so beautiful

Klaus Weissbauer
Saab history
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U originally developed and built Saab, in 1937 as Svenska Aeroplan share Bolaget (SAAB), aircraft for the Swedish Air Force. In 1947 the Swedes presented their first automobile, which fundamentally changed the company. After the end of the Second World War, Saab increasingly switched to building civilian machines. Saab, based in Trollhättan, entered the automotive sector at the end of the 1940s. Already presented in 1947, the Saab 92, the first series model, came onto the market in 1949. Today the aircraft and car businesses are completely separate and no longer form a single unit.

Saab Automobile AB has been operating under the umbrella of GM since 2000

In the 50s and 60s, Saab established itself as a car manufacturer. At the end of the 1960s, the Swedes switched from two-stroke to four-cylinder four-stroke engines. At the same time, in 1968, Saab merged with the Swedish commercial vehicle manufacturer Scania-Vabis AB. In 1990, the entire passenger car sector was separated from the Saab Scania Group and Saab Automobile AB was created.

First bankruptcy and turbulent years

The truck department was also spun off as an independent AG under the name Scania. At that time General Motors acquired 50 percent of the shares. The other 50 percent was held by the Swedish holding company Investor AB until the company was completely taken over by GM in 2000. Since 2004, Saab has been controlled by GM's European headquarters in Switzerland. In 2009, the automotive history at Saab could come to an end after 62 years, which the automaker filed for bankruptcy on February 20th.

In June 2009 it was announced that the Swedish manufacturer Koenigsegg wanted to take over the traditional brand. The purchase was agreed on June 16 and should be completed by the end of the year. However, there were delays due to funding difficulties. The financing was only lifted when the Chinese BAIC group acquired a stake in the company. But in the end Koenigsegg let the planned takeover fail in November 2009.

GM announced in December 2009 that the negotiations had failed and the Saab company should now be wound up. But as the last rescuer in an emergency, the Dutch company Spyker came up with an offer. Further offers were received by GM, but on February 12, 2010 the sale of SaabAutomobile AB contracted. Since the takeover, however, there have been rumors about the company's payment difficulties.

The final demise of Saab

In 2011, the rumors intensified: Apparently Saab was able to manage the suppliers and also the wages of the employees don't pay anymore. After only 30,000 cars were produced in 2010, a total of 13,000 cars rolled off the production line in Trollhättan this year before it was all over in April. The application for bankruptcy protection was the last step to enable Saab Automobile AB to continue to exist. Since the end of November, Saab has finally been unable to pay the wages and salaries due to its 3,500 employees at the Trollhättan main plant. All attempts to work with financially stronger partners in Russia and China have since failed. Muller himself had no capital worth mentioning with his company, which has now been renamed Swan (Swedish Automobile N.V.). Now Saab itself has filed for bankruptcy in court.

The first Saab came on the market with a two-cylinder two-stroke

The original Saab, the Saab 92 as the first production model of the Swedes, came on the market in 1949. The design of the four-seater sedan was based heavily on that of the aircraft. The shape of the four-seater vehicle when viewed from the side was reminiscent of an airplane wing. A 25 hp two-cylinder two-stroke engine installed transversely at the front passed its power to the front wheels and enabled a top speed of 105 km /h.

In the model history, for example, the 93 model followed in 1955 and the Saab 96 in 1960, which was produced until 1980. As early as 1976 Saab presented its first turbo engine in the Saab 99, a technology that is still defining the Swedish brand today.

From 1978, the Saab 900 was launched in the mid-range. Six years later, the Saab 9000 followed in the upper middle class. The first Saab Cabriolet was created in 1986 on the basis of the 900. The Saab 9-5 was launched in 1997 as the successor to the 9000 series. The 900 series replaced the Saab 9-3 in 1998. The Saab 9-3 Cabrio was presented for the first time in 1999.

The Saab 9-2X was introduced in 2004 based on the Subaru Impreza, especially for the US market. The Chevrolet Trailblazer served from 2005 as the basis for the Saab 9-7X, which was also manufactured exclusively for the USA and was built until 2008.

Currently the Saab model range is limited to the second generation of the 9-5 (since 2010) and the 9-3 (since 2003).

In September 2011 actually the market launch of the Saab 9-4X will be celebrated in Europe, but how it will go on with this SUV based on the Cadillac SRX is unclear.

Further information about Saab and the current development also keep the Saab -Friends from 1. German Saab Club e.V. on theirWebsite ready.


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