New Autos

New A huge frustration. SAAB 600: Fake Swedish… … Real Italian

We remain in the late 1970 s. The Swedish maker SAAB is taking advantage of a bad image, of a maker that offers strong sedans. SAAB 96, produced for 20 years, requires to be changed. A really severe financial investment for a little Swedish producer.

And Nicolas Laperruque
6: 00 in the afternoon

The Wallenberg household, owners of SAAB, will get near to the Agnelli household, owners of FIAT. Together, they will conclude a contract to control the European market. Absolutely nothing will go as prepared.

Eighteen years is a very long time. Particularly when speaking about design work. And even at SAAB, the Swedish producer understood for constructing ageless cars, it’s a lot.

At the start of 1978, the medium-sized Saab 96 had actually currently been on sale for 18 years. At SAAB, we are aware of the seriousness to alter this design, however the funds are doing not have.

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Developing a totally brand-new design includes a really, extremely heavy financial investment for SAAB. The concept is to use an entirely brand-new design, which would fill the space in between the SAAB 99 and900

A household story

The absence of funds to establish a brand-new design led the Wallenberg household, owners of the Swedish vehicle maker, to try to find a technical and financial partner.

In southern Europe, in Italy, another excellent household, Agnelli, has actually been the head of the excellent FIAT for a number of generations.

Between the 2 households, consistency is natural. Belonging to the wealthiest household in Europe, you understand each other.

For the Agnellis and Wallenbergs, Europe is simply a little play ground. The moms and dads invest the winter season in Gstaad, the summer season in Milan, while the kids research study in London and celebration in Paris.

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For this Delta, SAAB had high expectations.

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SAAB-FIAT agreement

In 1978, the 2 households rapidly reached an arrangement and signed a procedure. SAAB will disperse the Autobianchi A112 in its network.

It suffices to increase the production of the little Italian, while enabling the SAAB network in Northern Europe to have a little city automobile.

This win-win exchange continues with the 2nd part, “The Fourth Kind”. An arrangement in between SAAB, FIAT, Lancia and Alfa-Romeo that will bring to life a common platform for the future SAAB 9000, FIAT Croma, Lancia Thema and Alfa Romeo. And for the SAAB 96 replacement? FIAT and SAAB have an option!

Swedish Lancia

In order to rapidly take control of the field, without financial investment in research study and advancement, SAAB will utilize this gorgeous old method of reconditioned vehicle.

We take the Lancia Delta, integrated in Italy, in the Chivasso factory, we put the SAAB logo design on it and we offer it in the Nordic nations, specifically Sweden and Norway, to dealerships of the Swedish brand name.

To puzzle possible clients, the vehicle was offered the name “SAAB Lancia 600”.

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Swedes and Norwegians will not be lured by the SAAB Lancia 600.

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Genuine short article

The only cosmetic distinction from the SAAB-Lancia 600 is discovered at the back of the vehicle. The aluminum strip vanishes from the tailgate, changed by black or body color.

We change the Lancia logo design with the text SAAB-Lancia and you are done. According to regional laws, the SAAB-Lancia 600 is geared up with headlight wipers.

For the Agnelli and Wallenberg households, this collaboration is simply the start to a far more enthusiastic task: the takeover of SAAB by the FIAT group within a couple of years.

At the very same time, we release the sale of this SAAB-Lancia which is neither SAAB nor Lancia.

Bad start

From the start, SAAB needed to be diplomatic with a network of dealerships hesitant to offer brought back Italian cars.

No one is tricked by representatives, dealerships and consumers who comprehended that these Deltas were not SAABs. In the very first year, need is much lower than anticipated.

We minimize the variety, get rid of the high-end variation that is extremely impacted by regional taxes, however absolutely nothing assists.


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With the Autobianchi A112 and Lancia Delta, SAAB can enhance its variety.

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Only a couple of rear distinctions differentiate the SAAB variation. Image SAAB.jpg

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Degradable automobile

After one year of marketing, another evil will originate from within. The SAAB 600 will show to be no match for the Scandinavian roadway network.

Italy’s anti-rust defense can produce impressions in southern Europe. It is totally various in Northern Europe where the roadways are sprayed with salt in abundance for a great part of the year. As an outcome, the very first SAAB-Lancias offered a couple of months previously were currently worryingly rusting.

The damage is done, no one desires this cars and truck any longer. Under a contract in between the 2 producers, SAAB continued to provide the Lancia 600 till1986 The last of the 6,419 systems produced was produced in early 1987.

Unexpected outcomes

This defeat will moisten the interest of the Italians. In 1989, when the Wallemberg household wished to offer 50% of SAAB’s capital, it relied on its Italian partner.

But in Turin the water has actually streamed under the bridges. FIAT has actually just taken control of Alfa Romeo and Maserati and can no longer manage another brand name.

The cultural distinctions in between Italians and Swedes are equivalent in discussion. It is General Motors who will get the Swedish brand name. For the outcomes we understand.

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