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Saab Museum Emptied – But Brand May Yet Survive

The Ursaab goes on the auction block.

by on Jan.20, 2012

The original 1947 Saab concept, known as the Ursaab, drives off into the sunset.

The process of dismantling bankrupt Saab is well underway and the remains of the Swedish maker’s museum will be sold off, starting today, with 100 vehicles from Saab’s collection – including the original concept known as the Ursaab – going on the auction block.

Yet, even as the symbols of the maker’s 60-year history begin to disappear there still remains a chance that Saab could again rise like a phoenix – the name the maker chose for one of its museum pieces, the Phoenix concept vehicle it rolled out during the 2011 auto show season.

Two active bidders are still hoping to buy up the Swedish company’s assets and put it back into business, including China’s Zhejiang Youngman Lotus and Turkish Brightwell Holdings.

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“A bid for Saab is in the pipeline”, said Brightwell board member Zamier Ahmed, on Thursday.  The firm, which specializes in energy, transportation and technology, would like to not only buy up the failed maker’s assets but keep Saab based in Sweden, its Trollhattan assembly plant considered one of Europe’s most modern.


First Look: Saab Phoenix Concept

Rising from the dead, the Swedish brand shows it has plenty of life left.

by on Mar.01, 2011

Risen from the dead, Saab brings out the appropriately named Phoenix concept.

It’s been just over a year since Saab rose from the dead, Lazarus-like, after an 11th hour deal saved the former General Motors division from being shut down.  It’s been a serious challenge for the Swedish automaker to get that message out to potential buyers, but it will be difficult to ignore once they get a glimpse of the appropriately named Saab Phoenix Concept.

Making its debut at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show, the Phoenix flowed from the pen of Jason Castriota, the multi-talented designer responsible for a variety of exotic  products, such as the Maserati Birdcage concept and the Ferrari 599 GTB.   Castriota is now styling chief of Saab and searching for the formula that will help turn the upcoming 9-3 replacement into more than just a market afterthought.

The Phoenix goes off in a decidedly different direction from Saab’s last show car, the Aero-X — which strongly influenced both the new Saab 9-5 and 9-4X crossover.

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In an interview at the Geneva show, the young designer suggested the styling language of the Phoenix show car might best be described as “aero-motional,” a reference to Saab’s aerospace roots.  The front end of the prototype, he explained, has an almost nose cone-like shape, flowing into a fighter jet like body.  With its highly aerodynamic Kamm back, the Phoenix show car has a surprisingly sleek 0.25 coefficient of drag, on a par with some of the best race cars.