How many car manufacturers began as airplane manufacturers? Quite a few, actually, and so it was for Saab AB, the Swedish car manufacturer that began as an aerospace company in 1937. With war in Europe imminent, Sweden needed airplanes for the Swedish Air Force to help protect their neutrality.
As the war ended, the Svenska Aeroplan AB needed a new product, so it turned its attention to cars. A new car design was made in 1945, with an original name of X9248. It became known as Project 92, and in 1949 the Saab 92 was first produced. 20,000 of these cars were produced and sold through the mid-50’s, and then it was completely re-designed. As a result, the Saab 94, Saab 94, and Saab 95 were produced in the late 50’s.
A breakthrough for the company came in 1960 with the production of the Saab 96, which sold 550,000 units, and then followed that with the Saab 99, which had innovations like wraparound windscreens, self-repairing bumpers, headlamp washers and side-impact door beams. By 1976 Saab had sold one million vehicles and was still going strong.
Saab eventually went into partnership with Fiat in 1978 and in 1978 the Saab 900 was produced; one million of those subsequently sold. By 1989 General Motors owned 50% of Saab, and a new Saab 900 was produced in 1997, marking the 50th anniversary of the company. Under GM direction, a new Saab 9-2X was produced, based on the Subaru Impreza, and the Saab 9-7X, which was based on the Chevrolet Trailblazer, was introduced in 2005.
By 2008 General Motors announced that Saab was under review, and eventually the legal wrangling led to bankruptcy in Swedish courts in 2011. In 2012 a Chinese consortium bought out Saab, with the intention of making a small, all electric vehicle. As of the writing of this article, the bankruptcy paperwork was still being reviewed.
If you are the owner of a Saab, you are the owner of a fine piece of machinery and craftsmanship. Should you need replacement parts, they are pretty easy to find at any reputable salvage yard. Whatever your needs, be it a transmission, brakes, or radiator, you can count on the brand name Saab to deliver time and time again, and you can count on salvage yards like All Import Auto Parts to sell you quality recycled auto parts at a fraction of the cost you would pay at a dealership or auto parts store.