The Swedes at Saab were building planes long before they were building cars so you know their standards ran pretty because in the aeronautical industry there's no room for mistake if you want to get back safely on the ground.
In 1937 the Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget or the Swedish Aeorplane Company starting its business but by the end of WWII the good people down there had trouble placing their products on the market. A new market was needed, but for a new market you need a new product. And since the need to get people fast and safe from one place to another was on the rise, what better market than that of automobiles. So, in 1944, Project 92, or the manufacture of the first Saab car began.
The Saab 92 had a very interesting feature but it was an understandable occurence when you consider the man who drew up the car used to design planes: it had a very low drag coefficient of 0.31, one which many modern cars still struggle to attain.
After the Saab 92 came the Saab in 1955 with an improved engine, upgraded to 3 cylinders and with the trapezoid grille that would become a trademark for the brand in later years. A wagon version of the car, the 95 came in 1959.
In the 60s, the general direction for Saab was bigger, as the 99 model proved. It also brought in more power, as the 99 was turbocharged, a feature common on later cars as well, a tradition for the Swedish automaker from then on. At the end of the decade, Saab reached the 1 million cars mark.
A new platform was needed by the end of the 70s for the aging Saabs, so the company signed a deal with Fiat which later spawned the Alfa Romeo 164, Fiat Croma, Lancia Therma and the Saab 9000. All these cars rode on the Type Four chassis, the result of the joint venture.
Ten years later, in 1987, Saab found itself in financial difficulties and was forced to shut down the plant at Arlov in order to cut costs. The fact that GM bought 50% of the stocks in 1990 helped alleviate the problems a little, but the company was still losing money and so the factory at Malmo in order to further reduce costs.
Recovery was going to come in the shape of the Saab 900, developed with the help of GM in 1993, a car which would give the company its first profitable year since the 80s. GM later acquired the rest of Saab's shares as was the initial agreement and from then on Saab became subsidiary to the American giant.
Current models, the 9-3 and the 9-5, are based on Opel chassis and are manufactured in Sweden and Germany. The SUV model 9-7x is being built in america, in the state of Ohio. Now, the company has announced that it would be releasing a new crossover SUV, the 9-4X, after the demise of the 9-2X, basically a rebadged Subaru Impreza.