(originally an acronym for "Svenska Aeroplan AB") was founded as a Swedish aircraft
industry in 1937
in the city of Linköping
. After World War II
, the company sought ways in which to diversify its business and started to manufacture automobiles
in the early 1950s
(in the city of Trollhättan[?]
) and computers (Datasaab
) in the late 1950s. Later Saab also acquired the truck maker Scania
and for some time the company was called Saab-Scania.
Some of the early cars were quite successful in rally sport. In order to increase production volume, Saab helped Valmet to start a car factory in Finland.
A common feature of Saab car types is the use of the figure 9 in the model numbers. Current models are the 9-3 and 9-5.
Saab Automobile was sold to General Motors in the 1990s.
Currently, the main focus of the aircraft production is fighter aircraft, with the recent Gripen as the flagship model. Predecessors were among others the Lansen, the Draken and the Viggen.
The final civilian models were the Saab 340 and Saab 2000 both mid-range,turboprop powered, passenger planes.
The Datasaab company was a result partly of the need of heavy computational power for the aircraft development, partly of the science-fictional idea to make a computer that would be small enough to mount in an airplane as navigational equipment. During the 1960s several successful and advanced systems was developed and sold to several European countries (used in e.g. banking). The aircraft computer (CK37) was achieved in 1971 in the Viggen. The now less successful company was sold off in 1975 to Sperry Univac, while flight computer development was kept in Saab.
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