Saab was originally a division of Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget (English: Swedish Airplane Limited). The company had been established in 1937 for the express purpose of building aircraft for the Swedish Air Force to protect the country's neutrality as Europe moved closer to war. As the war drew towards a close and the market for fighter planes evaporated, the company began looking for new markets in which to diversify.
The first Saab to be launched was the Saab 92 in 1949, this went on to sell more than 20,000 cars in the 1950's.
In 1969, Saab merged with the Swedish commercial vehicle manufacturer Scania-Vabis AB to form Saab-Scania AB.
In 1989, the Saab car division of Saab-Scania was restructured into an independent company, Saab Automobile AB, headquartered in Sweden; General Motors and Investor AB controlled 50% each.
GM exercised their option to acquire the remaining Saab shares in 2000, spending US $125 million to the turn the company into a wholly owned subsidiary.
Following large financial losses at GM in 2008, they announced their decision to either find a buyer for Saab or close it completely.
On 26 January 2010, General Motors confirmed that Spyker and General Motors had come to an agreement allowing Spyker to purchase Saab. However over a year later production still hadn't recommenced at the Saab factory in Trollhattan, it is hoped production will start again in June 2011 after Spyker announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China's Pang Da Automobile Trade Co., Ltd.