The first Saab was born of a need for speed very different from the racetrack aspirations of Ferdinand Porsche or Enzo Ferrari. As their slogan, Born From Jets suggests, the first Saab was created by aircraft engineers. Of the 16 engineers who worked to create the original Saab automobile in 1947, only one had a driver’s license. The company had been producing high performance aircraft since 1937, but a burgeoning auto industry led to a luxury car brand that drew on the technological innovation of aviation to produce some of most reliable rides on the road.
In 1990 GM took an interest in the automobile division of the company and purchased a 50% share. The brand had been struggling with overproduction since the 80’s, and hoped the sale would offer some financial stability to the marque. 10 years later GM purchased the remaining shares, assuming full ownership. Of course, GM has had struggles of its own in the past decade, and Saab hasn’t remained unaffected. The brand still fights to keep traction in an aggressive luxury market. The newly designed 9-3 has been reasonably successful, but it remains to be seen just how much longevity GM can get out of its Swedish line.
Sites worth visiting
We’re typically skeptical when it comes to official GM web pages. They’re typically more fluff than fact with a harsh focus on retail. The Saab site still carries the advertising flair, but at least they offer a little bit of history with the sales pitch. Their pictorial timeline is a little weak, but it’s certainly better than nothing.
Saab on Wikipedia
The Saab page on Wikipedia offers a quick and dirty look at the history of the brand and its technological innovations. As with most auto pages on Wikipedia there’s a model list and lucky for us, a historical picture gallery. Don’t miss the nomenclature section. It’s the perfect way to show up fellow Saab enthusiasts with a little extra knowledge.
Around the Blogosphere
Saab at Autoblog
This is a great time for auto news, as the major American manufacturers fight tooth and nail to compete with the explosive import houses. In our very own Montague vs. Capulet war of Toyota vs. GM, you can bet Autoblog will keep you on the frontlines of Saab development. The brand is looking to branch into the little premium market, with a concept built to fight the Mini Cooper. Make sure you keep up.
This guy LOVES Saab. Can we make this any clearer? Posting under the name ‘Swade,’ he gives us frequent updates, and not just from a journalistic perspective. If you’re interested in the personal side of your Swedish made wheels, this is the spot for you. He offers personal insight as well as thoughts and commentary from the rest of the Saab community.
Saab at Motor Trend
Motor Trend’s Saab blog is updated less than regularly, but sometimes there’s just no big news to report. If you want to keep up with the major stories of the day, this is a good spot to look for something different than your Autoblog fare. Be warned, most MT attention goes to bigger names with bigger sales numbers, so you might be caught waiting a while for new posts.
Saab Club of North America
As the site claims, this is a pretty good spot for the beginners among us. The club has a pretty short events list that we hope they’ll expand as the year moves on. They keep up on all the official news from Saab so you don’t have to. The best part of the site is definitely the list of local Saab clubs. Find the club closest to you and get connected.
It’s nice to see smaller manufacturers who have struggled in the past maintain a great fan base. This site is dedicated to anything Saab related, and they have plenty of members to fill out the content. With over 30,000 folks in their forums, we bet you’ll find the news and technical help you’d expect from a great forum. The page also hosts classifieds and their own news features to keep their members happy.
This forum is dedicated to the technical aspects of owning and maintaining a Saab of any age. The community is more than 10,000 strong, with plenty of real tech-heads to give the best insight on Saab upkeep. The threads are closely moderated, so they’re nicely organized and avoid the spam that plagues some auto forums.
Saab Introduces The 9-4x
Saab has finally made the 9-4x official with a photo release. The concept model, which debuts in Detroit, is E85 capable and pulls 300 horses. The vehicle hits that small SUV/Crossover market, a market that largely appeals to younger consumers.
Saab Sales Hit a Decade Low
Saab sales are the lowest they’ve been since 2000, according to the latest reports from Sweden. CEO Jan Jonsson doesn’t sound concerned, citing the high sales figures of 2006 as an unexpected success and looking forward to 2008. Still, slumping sales in your largest markets is never good news.
Saab 9-1 Goes After The Little Guy
Saab’s going after the little guy, and no we don’t mean the mom and pop shop down the street. The up and coming Saab 9-1 is meant to chase the luxury compact market alongside the new Volvo C40. The big question remains, will people pay for it? Luxury buyers usually like to have something to show for that pile of money they just dropped.