Saab, or to use its full name, "Svenska Aeroplan AB" first moved into motor manufacture in 1945 as an additional arm to its aircraft business. The Swedish company offered its first model the 92 in 1949. This car was replaced in 1960 by the 96, a model which would sell well outside of Sweden despite its quirky specification.
The first Saab cars used a transverse mounted twin cyl. two-stroke motor based upon the pre-war DKW F Series FWD car engine. The engine was positioned ahead of the front wheels and slightly to one side in the engine bay. The better known three cylinder engine came later. Early Saab models used a mixture of two-stroke engines and light aerodynamic bodywork.
These early cars were strong and dependable and proved effective in many rallying events around the world. By 1969 Saab had merged with the Scania truck company and two companies were themselves purchased by General Motors in 1989.
Today the company continues to build its high quality sports-saloon models (plus estate and convertible variants) which rival other manufacturers such as BMW and Alfa-Romeo. Most Saab models now share components with Opel and Vauxhall although their characters differ greatly.