Tag Archives: chief designer

Porsche Not Interested In Acquiring Saab Nor Scania

Posted on 06. Jan, 2009 by .

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I have given this some considerable thought and after talking with a colleague of mine and reviewing a number of e-mails from Saab Enthusiasts and other automotive journalists, I am in a position to think Porsche would be a great owner for Saab with their products fitting in perfectly in the Porsche lineup as indicated here, especially with Porsche recently buying VW today which owns Audi & SCANIA.

Update: Here is Porsche’s official response as they are stating that this is a rumor and that they are also not strategically interested in SCANIA as well.

Hello Ryan,

we are not aware of this rumor and I would like to highlight to you as well that we have no strategic interest in Saab nor Scania.

I hope that clears the situation.

Best/Herzliche Grüße,

Frank Gaube
Head of Investor Relations and Financial Press
Porsche Automobil Holding SE
Porscheplatz 1
D – 70435 Stuttgart

This is what a possible product lineup would look like with Porsche if they were to buy Saab Automobile in order from trim levels (VW, Saab, Audi, Porsche).

If Porsche is truly in negotiations with Saab Automobile, then the three companies Jan-Ã…ke Jonsson mentioned back on December 3rd, were either intential smoke-screens, or just said so long ago that Saab Automobile had already moved onto establishing dialog with other companies since that time.

In the meantime, I have provided three bullet points as to how and why Saab may be a good fit with Porsche in addition to where they fall in their model lineup.

* Porsche still has Saab’s former chief designer, Michael Mauer that worked in Sweden from 2000, responsible for the 9-X, 9-3X and 9-3 Sport Hatch Concept cars that inspired the 9-3 SportCombi production model as well as the 2004-2007 9-3 Convertible and 9-2x.

* Porsche could possibly be the owner SCANIA per Sweden’s law, maybe reconnecting Saab with Scania after 20 years of separation since 1989. This could happen regardless of SCANIA’s statement that they are not interested in financially supporting Saab made back on December 1st, 2008.

* Porsche Boxters & Saab 9-3, 9-3 Viggen & 9-3 convertibles were manufactured at the Valmet plant in Uusikaupunki, Finland together, and therefore may have the possibility to be on the same manufacturing line again.

I have sent in a few e-mails to Porsche at this point to inquire about this possibility because perhaps after them announcing their acquisition of VW today, they may not be done buying automobile companies.

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Saab Automobile Forced To End “Griffin” Logo In 2010?

Posted on 01. Dec, 2008 by .

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A frequenter to Saab History, who is a “normally reliable source”, has just let me in on a little inside knowledge, that we should all know about the Saab Emblem future.

The Saab Emblem, that first arrived on the hoods, rear decks and steering wheels on 1985 Saab 900 hatchbacks and notchbacks, will be ending in 2009/2010 as General Motors only had permission to use the “griffin” logo for 20 years.

Technically speaking, GM acquired Saab in December of 1989, so this would mean that the emblem will no longer be able to be used in any way after December of 2009.

This news aligns with Saab Automobile’s chief designer in Sweden, Simon Padian’s statement about using the “SAAB” wordmark back in August.

This means that the Saab “wordmark” will obviously be replacing the griffin and will be on the Saab 9-4x, next generation Saab 9-5 and next generation Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan. You can already see that the production version of the 9-4x does not have the Saab Griffin logo at all as depicted on the hood.

You know, I thought Saab Automobile was changing from the griffin logo to the SAAB wordmark for design reasons as both Simon Padian and Andrew Dyson indicated, not by default because they are forced to.

Here is a quote from this source about this 20-year use clause in the acquisition agreement.

Scania were unco-operative with Saab during the forced “marriage”. Internally they were unhappy with Saab use of the grifin ( http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/1/1e/Scania.svg/240px-Scania.svg.png).

As part of the GM acquisition, Saab cars had the right to use the grifin logo for 20 years, which would mean Saab must soon change their logo.

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The Saab 97 (Sonett III) 1970-1974

Posted on 26. Nov, 2008 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab Automobile USA

The Saab 97 (Sonett III) began production as a product of a Swedish and italian design collaboration and was unveiled in the spring of 1970 at the New York Motor Show.

The chief designer Sergio Coggiola as well as Gunnar A Sjögren were put to task to create this new version of the Sonett, following the previous model, the Sonett II, still with the designation of Saab 97.

This model range was produced until 1974, again at the former ASJ factory in Arlöv, Sweden. Most of the Sonett III’s were exported to the United States.

The final production model in (Mellow Yellow) is located at the Saab Car Museum in Trollhättan, Sweden.

This model for SAAB came equipped with the following specifications:
[…]

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The Saab 94 (Sonett I) : 1956

Posted on 26. Nov, 2008 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab History

The Saab 94 (Saab Sonett I Super Sport) was created in 1956 of which only 6 were ever built even though it was originally planned to go into full-scale production as the first sports car for SAAB.

This SAAB Sonett I Super Sport project was lead in October of 1954 by SAAB chief engineer, Rolf Melde while incorporating designs from chief designer Sixten Sason where they were built in total secrecy from the public outside of the Trollhättan area within a barn in a small town called Åsaka. The SAAB Sonett I Super Sport or “So Neat” as translated was an open-top two seater sports car that was officially unveiled at the Stockholm Motor Show in February of 1956. These prototype sports cars got a lot of great press internationally, however the Sonett Super Sport project never got into production due to new regulations in motorsport two years later in 1958 that led to the opportunity to use standard vehicles with Sonett engines thus making the Sonett body, frame, etc. obsolete and unnecessary. As a result of this decision, the six Sonett I models became instant collectors items.

This production vehicle for SAAB came equipped with the following specifications:
[…]

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The Saab Automobile Product Cancellations of 2002

Posted on 02. Oct, 2008 by .

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I have decided to put together a more detailed follow-up to the piece I wrote about the utilization of Saab factory in Trollhättan, Sweden.

The present day utilization of approximately 50% should be of no surprise to us when we realize exactly why. As many of us know, there were a number of product cancellations that took place with Saab Automobile in 2002, which would have meant full or near full capacity to the factory had the projects gone through as originally planned.

These projects included the Saab 9-3 Coupe based off of the sport sedan, as well as the Saab 9-3x based off of the SportCombi model.

The third project, and I think the most interesting, was the part about the generation 9-5. Evidently, the next generation Saab 9-5 was to have three variants, you heard me right, three, which were actually going to be developed in Göteborg with Fiat/Alfa, but that project was scrapped and ultimately delayed in favor of developing a multi-use platform which will now be produced in Russelheim, Germany. I find that idea of partnering once again with Fiat/Alfa after the legendary Saab 9000, also developed with Fiat/Alfa, a logical choice. I wonder what that the next generation Saab 9-5 would have looked like, and I wonder if this platform designed next generation 9-5 will also have three variants as was originally the case with the Fiat/Alfa project?

Having all of these projects scrapped was a strong indicator where things were going, at that time, and it’s no surprise that Saab chief designer Michael Mauer left for Porsche two years later in 2004, and no surprise that the President he reported directly to, Peter Augustsson, left as well.

Here is a very interesting article that discusses factory utilization from a Spanish newspaper, from 2002. a short time after the launch of the 9-3 Sport Sedan was lauched. It was at this time where Saab announced the big invesments done for this car and to update the Trollhattan factory for the future models and plan, to accomodate the increased production utilization.

This article not only speaks about utilization, but it also indicates the intention of Saab to use more aluminium in its models, such as the Saab 9-3 Sport Sedan that uses it in the hood, boot and some chassis elements.

Lars Danielsson vice president of Saab explains to the magazine that Saab is looking for the possibility of its new models will be manufactured in aluminium. At this time, the new 9-3 has the hood in aluminium and its stamped in the Saab factory as a way of taking experience in this matters. The new stamping line its capable of working with aluminium and steel, this new stamping costed 85 million euros. This strategy of applying more aluminium parts in the manufacturing process will stretch the reliationship of the brand with its roots in the aeronautical industry and also add a more exclusive brand image.
[…]

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The Saab 9-3 Sport Hatch Concept – 2003

Posted on 16. Sep, 2008 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab Automobile

In 2003, the Saab 9-3 Sport Hatch concept was unveilved to the public in Frankfurt, Germany a whole year after the Saab 9-3x Concept car debuted.

Although no videos were produced, there was a microsite as well as photographs.

This concept car was created so that, according to Saab chief designer at the time, Michael Mauer:

“Just as the 9-3X occupies a position where coupé meets off-roader, this car represents a cross-over point between hatchback and wagon,” says Mauer. “It is the sort of product that should come from Saab and our customers will be able to buy a car very much like this.”

It was anticipated that this model would lead to an all-wheel drive vehicle for Saab immediately following this launch, however an out-of-sequence production run of the Saab 9-3 SportCombi arrived in 2005.

For more information on the Saab 9-3 Sport Hatch concept, please visit the archive I have designated to it.

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Production Concept