Where Did The Saab Griffin Logo Come From, And Where Did It Go?

The official flag of Scania bears a griffin, and Scania Trucks is ultimately responsible for the griffin’s association with Saab vehicles.

Image courtesy of SaabHistory.com

If you know about Saab vehicles, then you most likely associate them with the griffin logo. But where did the griffin come from, and why doesn’t National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) use it?

To be clear, the implementation of the griffin by Swedish companies comes from the official flag of Scania, not to be confused with the Cross flag of Scania. We’re not historians by any means, but our understanding is that the official flag of Scania represents the area as being independent of Sweden, whereas the Cross flag represents Scania as a providence of Sweden.

The first group to implement the Griffin was Scania Trucks, whose first emblem is shown above to the left. In 1911 Scania Trucks merged with Vabis, and became Scania-Vabis. Then, in 1969, Scania-Vabis became SAAB-SCANIA.

Image courtesy of SaabHistory.com

The first Saab automotive vehicles to flaunt griffin badges arrived in 1984. This was prior to SAAB-SCANIA selling fifty percent of the company to GM, at which time the cars division became Saab Automobile AB, so both “Saab” and “Scania” were embroidered above and below the griffin respectively, as shown in the image to the right.

When GM finally bought-out the other half of Saab Automobile AB in 2000, a new logo was introduced. It effectively removed “Scania,” and looked very similar to the final griffin logos, but without any computer-made enhancements. Then, in 2002, the logo was again updated, and it now had a sort of gradient effect that made it seem a bit more spherical. The badges on the cars did not reflect these changes, however, and they were really only evident in commercial usage of the logo (as shown in the image below).  This was the last time a Saab logo featured the Griffin, as the brand intended to switch over to “SAAB” lettering had it gone on to be sold to to the China-based Zhejiang Youngman Lotus Automobile Co.

Saab_2002 griffin logo_small_SaabHistory
Image courtesy of SaabHistory.com

Eventually Saab was sold to NEVS, but while the sale included “intellectual property rights for the Saab 9-3, intellectual property rights for the Phoenix platform, tools, the manufacturing plant, and test and laboratory facilities,” it did not include the historic griffin logo.

If you’re a bit confused about the merging, selling, and dividing of the Swedish conglomerates, fret not. We’ve already started to untangle exactly what happened between General Motors and Saab Automobile AB, and we’ll flesh out the evolution of Saab and its affiliates in addition to concluding our research on whether or not GM could have found another solution to dissolving Saab. And if you’re thinking, “hey, what about the airplane logos!” don’t worry, we’re going to cover those, too. We figured we’d discuss those in a separate piece so as to minimize confusion.

Thank you for reading! If you have any tips, suggestions, or questions, we encourage you to reach out in the comment section below.

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