A new book about all Saab’s cars from well known Saab writer Lance Cole – formerly a regular features contributor to Saabs United / Trollhattan Saab, and the author of the book ‘Saab 99 & 900 – The Complete Story’ and numerous newspaper, magazine, and on-line articles about Saab, who has a new Saab book commissioned.
I thought it might be interesting to go over the last 40 years and take a look, using 5 year segments, at what’s happened at Saab.
It’s basically the Saab-Scania era vs the GM era, and I want to take a look at the innovations, models and sales that happened during those periods.
The sales figures have been sourced from Ryan’s graph at Saab History. The iinnovations are from the innovations page here at SU, and the model stuff is out of my head.
Models: The Saab 96 and 95 were still on offer, continuing on from their heyday in the 1960s. The big mover in Saab terms was the Saab 99. Only two years old by 1970, the 99 range would be expanded with the addition of the 99EMS and maybe one of the most important developments in Saab design – the Combi-Coupe.
- 1970: Headlights wash and wipe
- 1971: Energy Absorbing Bumpers
- 1971: Electrically Heated Seats
- 1972: Side Impact Protection
1970 – 61,711
1971 – 73,982
1972 – 72,960
1973 – 83,997
1974 – 89,467
Total sales – 382,117
Average sales – 76,423
1975 – 1979
Models: The 99 range expanded with a 5-door GLE version but the big news was the Saab 99 Turbo. Even more than the Combi Coupe, this car was a total gamechanger and gave Saab a fantastic reputation for innovation and technology. In 1979, Saab took the game even higher with the introduction of their best selling car – the 900. It was a huge leap in terms of luxury, ride and equipment and set Saab up for the golden years of the 1980’s.