SAAB, Venerable Swedish Brand, Dies at GM's Hand

Don't you hate mornings where you wake up to learn from the New York Times that yet another intrinsic part of your youth has died?

with a narrow, though loyal, customer base focused on Sweden, Britain and the American Northeast, Saab has proved too small to lure the world’s big automakers, many of which are seeking tie-ups to increase economies of scale.

For me, learning that SAAB would be closed by the feckless GM demons who became their master left a big hole in my heart. Why? Because a 1972 SAAB Model 96 was the first car I ever bought with my own money. It was my first automobile-based personal brand statement. I was a budding iconoclast, and could think of no better way to show that to the world than to drive around in this funny looking foreign car.

The ignition on floor. The handle under the dashboard that you could pull out so the car would freewheel at highway speeds, settling the car into an eerie quiet as the motor shut down to idle, and the little upside-down bathtub that was the 96 coasted down M-20.

Next came the 99. Then a series of 900s. All of them had names: Sven, Greta, Black Bart... Who the hell ever names their Lexus?

Nobody. That's what made SAAB so different, and so important to the loyal few.


  1. The original was a Sports car and it had Utility (hatchback) will be back under a different brand, but those of us who had'em, had losts of e'm


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