Tag Archives: Rolf Melde

Saab History Year In Review – 2009

Posted on 31. Dec, 2009 by .

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Updated:

Saab History marks it’s third full year since its launch in the fall of 2006. This year was quite unlike any that Saab has had over its lifetime including the past twenty years under GM ownership.

I have decided that unlike previous years writing a review about the happenings about Saab History specifically, it seemed more appropriate and timely to cover Saab’s own history over the course of the year.

Below is a month-by-month summary I have provided which will be updated based on the events over the course of the next three days.

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January

At the first of the year we understood that GM was was strategically reviewing the Saab brand and gave Saab 3-months to find a buyer. If no buyer was found and a deal secured, GM would keep Saab running until December 31st, 2009, then wind the company down.

Following this news, speculation grew rapidly on what company could be the new buyer for Saab Automobile ranging from Fiat, TATA, BMW to Porsche, all stating that they are not interested in buying the company.

As dialogue rapidly continued about the sale of Saab, we heard from Saab and representatives from the Swedish Government attending the 2009 North American International Auto Show about the status of Saab. Saab Automobile’s own, Jan-Ake Jonsson stated “that in order for his company to be successful, it needed to become separated from GM. It was here where we learned about the “official talks” beginning with GM’s interest in selling Saab. This included everything from the company’s business plan to potential loans needed from the European Investment Bank in order for to become independent of GM.

In parallel, the 2010 Saab 9-3x and 9-4x official spy photos were released combined with those of the all new Saab 9-5 sedan. On the others side of the spectrum, GM was forced to sell the Pikes Peak heritage collection car.

At the end of this month, we learned that there was a significant date coming up of February 17th, which was the date that GM submitted their viability plan to the US Government.

February

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At the first of the month, Saab Automobile began to update their global marketing strategy as they continued to work hard to develop their sustainable business plan.
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Original SAAB Engineer, Rolf Melde Passes Away At 86

Posted on 22. Mar, 2009 by .

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Photo Credit: Saab Automobile AB

Rolf Melde, one of the original fifteen aircraft engineers at Svenska Aeroplan AktieBolaget or SAAB beginning in 1947, has recently passed, Saab Car Museum curator Peter Backström indicates.

Here is Peter Backstrom’s recent e-mail to us about this news:

I am sad to tell you that one of the biggest Saabpioneers, Rolf Mellde, has passed away after a short illness at the age of 86 years. Not only a superb engineer, with initiatives like the Saab Sonett and the incredible V4-project, he was also a very skilled competition driver.

Melde, was last seen at the 60th Anniversary Saab Festival where he was on stage at the dinner where he spoke about his exciting career transitioning from SAAB’s focus on Aircraft to Automobiles in 1947.

There will be much more about his passing in a press release coming early this week from Saab Automobile AB.

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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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Production Concept