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Saab


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(established 1937)

Supported by private capital and the Swedish government, Saab (Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget) was founded in 1937 as a military aircraft manufacturer. After the Second World War the company moved into automobile production, developing a ‘small car’ project from 1945 with the aid of Sixten Sason, a first‐generation Swedish industrial designer. Working closely with company engineer Gunnar Ljungström this evolved into the Saab 92 automobile that went into production in 1949. Many critics have commented on the analogy between the Saab 92's sleek, aerodynamic form and aeronautical design, a styling characteristic that was retained until the launch of the more angular Saab 99 in 1968. In 1969 the company merged with the truck manufacturer Scania and Björn Envall, Sason's assistant, became design director. The company was again taken over by General Motors in 1989, the year in which the Giorgetto Giugaro‐styled Model 9000 car (commissioned in 1984) was launched. In the early 1990s the company reverted to a more fluid, Sason‐like, immediately recognizable Saab shape with the Model 900.

Subjects: Industrial and Commercial Art.


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