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After many years establishing a sound engineering reputation and ultimately a luxury price tag, Saab failed to build its customer base beyond its niche following. After struggling to avoid insolvency throughout 2011, the company petitioned for bankruptcy following the failure of a Chinese consortium to complete a purchase of the company; the purchase had been blocked by the former owner GM, which opposed the transfer of technology and production rights to a Chinese company. On 13 June 2012, it was announced that a newly formed company called National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) had bought Saab Automobile's bankrupt estate. According to "Saab United", the first NEVS Saab 9-3 drove off its pre-production line on 19 September 2013. Full production restarted on 2 December 2013, initially the same petrol-powered 9-3 Aero sedans that were built before Saab went bankrupt, and intended to get the car manufacturer's supply chain re-established as it attempted development of a new line of NEVS-Saab products. NEVS lost its license to manufacture automobiles under the Saab name (which the namesake aerospace company still owns) in the summer of 2014 and now produces electric cars based on the Saab 9-3 but under its own new car designation "NEVS".
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An automobile design project was started in 1945 with the internal name "X9248". The design project became formally known as "Project 92"; the 92 being next in production sequence after the Saab 91, a single engine trainer aircraft. In 1948, a company site in Trollhättan was converted to allow automobile assembly and the project moved there, along with the car manufacturing headquarters, which has remained there since. The company made four prototypes named "Ursaab" or "original Saab", numbered 92001 through to 92004, before designing the production model, the Saab 92, in 1949.
The Saab 92 went into production in December 1949. 20,000 cars were sold through the mid-1950s. The 92 was thoroughly redesigned and re-engineered in 1955, and was renamed as the "Saab 93". The car's engine gained a cylinder, going from two to three and its front fascia became the first to sport the first incarnation of Saab's trademark trapezoidal radiator grill. A wagon variant, the Saab 95, was added in 1959. The decade also saw Saab's first performance car, the Saab 94, the first of the Saab Sonetts.
1960 saw the third major revision to the 92's platform as the Saab 96. The 96 was an important model for Saab: it was the first Saab to be widely exported out of Sweden. The unusual vehicle proved very popular, selling nearly 550,000 examples. Unlike American cars of the day, the 93, 95 and 96 all featured the 3-cylinder 2-cycle engine, which required adding oil to the petrol tank, front-wheel drive, and freewheeling, which allowed the driver to downshift the on-the-column manual shifter without using the clutch. Front seat shoulder belts were also an early feature.
On 6 August 2012, Spyker, represented by the law firm Patton Boggs, filed a lawsuit against General Motors in the United States District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan claiming US$3 billion in damages for the actions GM took in the fall of 2011 to stop the various proposed deals between Spyker and Youngman concerning Saab Automobile where Youngman claimed to be ready to invest several billion dollars in Saab Automobile to guarantee its future. More precisely, under the Automotive Technology License Agreement (ATLA) between GM Global Technology Operations Inc (GTO) and Saab, GM refused licensing of the platforms and technology in Saab cars if any Chinese party were to be involved in Saab's ownership structure.
On 26 August 2012, Scania AB let the Swedish press know that the griffin logo used in both Scania's and Saab Automobile's trademark would not be allowed for use on future Saab cars with NEVS as the owner of Saab Automobile. Scania believed the logo is of high value in China and feared that it would end up in the wrong hands through the Chinese interests behind NEVS.
By June 2015, NEVS had acquired two new Chinese partners, an IT company and a development authority for the city of Tianjin. Both state-owned. In late June, NEVS began construction of a factory in Tianjin, with the goal of manufacturing electric cars for the Chinese market. As of this point, NEVS has not re-acquired the rights to the Saab name, and it is developing a new brand for the Chinese market. There was no indication that restarting production at the plant in Trollhättan, Sweden was planned.
Saab manufactured various models at the Valmet Automotive plant in Uusikaupunki, Finland, between 1969 and 2003, in a joint venture established in 1968 together with Valmet. After 2003 Saab did not manufacture any cars in Finland, as the production of the 9-3 convertible then moved to Graz, Austria. In 2010 production of the 9-3 convertible was moved again to Trollhättan. This marked the first time that Trollhättan manufactured the 9-3 convertible.
Safety has a high priority in the design of Saab cars. The cars are subjected to the Älgtest (elk test) as elk are a common cause of accidents in Sweden. Saab have compiled a database containing over 6,100 real-life accidents with Saabs. The first recorded event was in 1948 where Julian Shermis had an accident.
As the brand has an unusual image in most markets, Saab owners tend to be correspondingly offbeat: intellectuals and enthusiasts. In his studies of brand communities, Albert Muniz, professor of marketing at DePaul University in Chicago, found significant characteristics of Saab owners which he called Snaabery. These included ownership of an original, pre-GM Saab; camaraderie with other Saab drivers and contempt for other brands such as BMW. Writer John Crace characterised the typical "Snaab" as a creative advertising executive with large spectacles and an asymmetric hairstyle. Rüdiger Hossiep, a psychologist at Ruhr University Bochum, found that Saab drivers have the highest level of psychological involvement with their cars, being over 10 times more passionate than the average Volkswagen driver. Saab's main three markets were Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.
At CARFAX, we collect events from the lives of millions of used cars from 20 European countries, as well as the USA and Canada. We can then create a vehicle history for every car in our database and make it available to you.The information helps you to check sales data, avoid expensive follow-up costs and negotiate a fair purchase price.
The brand has been behind some of the best-looking cars on the road, hitting its peak in the late 90s. While you can still get them today, just make sure you know what to do if you run into some issues.
The Swedes established Saab, also known as Svenska Aeroplan AB in 1937. Originally, the Stockholm-based corporation, which is a Swedish aerospace and defense company, had nothing to do with posh vehicles. In fact, the Swedes created the company because of the lack of quality military aircraft available to the local government. After manufacturing aircraft during World War II, the company required additional revenue streams after the war, so it breached out and diversified. Accordingly, in 1947, the Swedish company began producing automobiles under the Saab Automobile subsidiary in Trollhättan. The first production car was the Saab 92, which was based on the prototype of the Ursaab and stood out thanks to its aerodynamics. The Saab 92 had a drag coefficient of 0.30.
The company operated for decades until the late 80s when some restructuring led General Motors to control 50% of the company, with the option to buy out the remaining shares at a later date. In 2000, General Motors acquired Saab. Unfortunately, the Saab brand did not see much traction in the United States, and after more tumultuous business decisions and failed acquisitions, bankruptcy was declared in 2011. At that point, Saab was acquired by National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), who acquired rights to produce cars under the Saab name. This arrangement fell apart not long after NEVS itself declared bankruptcy. Since that time, there have been some talks to acquire the Saab licensing once again by various companies, but nothing has come of it as of this writing.
At Advance Auto, we carry a great selection of new and used Saab components where you can buy manufacture-built OEM or aftermarket part. Advance Auto sells Saab auto parts online and in local stores all over the country. We carry close to 8,443 Saab parts and accessories for the last 62 years and 23 different models of Saab cars - so you're sure to find what you need.
It is wise, especially on non-intercooled cars, to let the engine tick over before shutting down. Hydraulic tappets, on 16v models, may chatter on start-up from cold, but should soon quieten. Eight-valve tappets are shimmed, and fiddly to set up. If the engine rocks when revved, budget to replace the hydraulic engine mountings quickly before the gear selectors are damaged.
A particularly educated drummer, he says. "I have one customer who helped design the Redstone rocket," says Fisk, co-owner of SwedeCentral in Winter Park, Fla., a repair shop where 90 percent of his customers are Saab owners. "Another one helped design the lunar module. Saab owners tend to be very educated, very particular about their cars. And often, very devoted to the brand."
Unfortunately for Saab, there haven't been enough devoted customers to make the brand profitable. Owner General Motors has had the Swedish brand on the block for months, and several sources suggest that if a buyer isn't found by the end of the month, it's curtains for the company that was founded in 1937 as an aircraft builder, and began making cars a decade later.
Never a high-volume manufacturer, Saab cars ? typically called, and rightfully so, "quirky" ? were known for plucky performance, innovative engineering and safety. In 1958, the company was the first to offer standard seat belts. Though Swedish colleague Volvo may be better known for safety, Saab has been right there. 041b061a72