During that era, Sweden needed to protect itself due to World War 2, so it was building a defense force. When the threats reduced, the need to build aircraft also reduced, but the company had factories and many employees, so it decided to venture into other fields.
Saab Automobile was a sub-company of the Swedish aerospace and defense company that made military hardware for the country’s air force. Four Ursaab prototypes were built by the company till 1948. In 1949, the prototypes were turned into the company’s first-ever production car, named the 92.
Around 20,004 units of the 91 were sold and the two-cylinder 91 became a three-cylinder 93, in 1959 it turned into 95. The company’s first sports car was 94 that was also known as the first Saab Sonnett.
The company was already enjoying success at that time, but then it decided to take part in Swedish motorsport and there it gained global fame. It got victories in world rally events and came second in class finish at the 1959 Le Mans 24 Hours. The success in motorsport gave the company a good reputation.
Its success roared when 96 was launched; it was the company’s first vehicle to be widely exported and also the first to be exported to the UK. It had a production run of 20 years in which around 550,002 units were sold.
In 1968, Saab finally decided to cut off the aging 92; it was a year before the merger with Scania. The company also launched the key vehicle, 99, that had features like headlamp washers, bumpers that could retain their shapes after low-speed effect. In 1978, the most successful vehicle of the company as launched, the Saab 900. Over millions of copies were sold of this iconic car between 1978 and 1998.
In the late 1980s, GM bought a 49% stake of Saab, leaving Fiat behind. The company needed investment to carry on the processes, so selling the shares was necessary.