Former Saab and current Spyker, CEO, Victor Muller, says he wanted to end the association with the Swedish automaker and its Griffin logo long before current owner, National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) was forced to drop the iconic symbol.
NEVS has been allowed to continue using the Saab name, but truckmaker, Scania, which also uses the Griffin logo, objected to the the automaker featuring the symbol because of fears around potential Chinese piracy.
“I wanted to abolish the Griffin logo – I wanted to go back to the aeroplane logo,” Muller told just-auto. It [Griffin] was a logo of Scania and Saab AB – it did not say anything.
“It [aircraft symbol] was beautiful – it was going to replace the Griffin everywhere.”
Saab used to trade heavily on its aerospace association before Saab AB assumed responsibility for manufacturing fighter aircraft, often featuring aviation imagery in its television advertising.
Muller said he wished NEVS “all the luck in the world” although added cryptically: “I don’t understand their business model but who am I?”
The Spyker CEO said Chinese manufacturer, Youngman, with whom Saab attempted to form a partnership before bankruptcy, had come on board with the Dutch automaker on the basis of its licence of the Phoenix platform “where Saab left off.”
“The fact they [Youngman] chose to work with us again shows they had no hard feeling about losing the money they put into Saab,” said Muller. “They knew we did everything.”
NEVS is playing down the impact of not being able to use the Griffin logo, preferring to concentrate on its continued permission to feature the Saab name for its electric vehicle programme.
“The important thing for us is to have the Saab name,” a NEVS spokesman recently told just-auto from Sweden. “The Griffin logo is not that important…because we want to build our own identity. “We won’t use the Griffin logo at all – the logo has to be something we develop.”
Scania scuppered hopes NEVS could use the Griffin symbol by raising concerns about the the prevalence of copies in China – the Saab buyer has a Chinese connection – although it stressed there was no link between the two.