Who owns the Saab Griffin? Is it the exclusive property of Scania, does it even belong to the Saab DNA, or is it freely available as a historic emblem? The press in Sweden is still struggling with the summer hole and has rediscovered the royal griffin. One thing is certain, generations of Scania drivers have stuck the griffin onto their truck or tattooed their bodies with it. Saab fans sometimes have oversized grips on bonnets, windowpanes or proudly wearing textiles with this symbol.
Svenska Dagbladet asked specialists who should know, and lo and behold: NEVS could use the griffin - if you change the color of the griffin or the background, for example.
Because the griffin does not belong exclusively to Scania, only the current color combination and arrangement is protected. Indeed, the proud heraldic animal that looks out from our hoods into the world is a historical symbol that can be attributed to the Swedish province of Skåne. The griffin has also been the heraldic animal of Malmö, the capital of the southern Swedish province, since the 15th century.
To prohibit the use would be impossible if the Saab-Griffin in front of a, say white background, instead of a blue would be the brand logo of NEVS. So far the theory. Because a griffin alone does not make a Saab. There's more to it.
Saab has changed the appearance of the brand several times in the past. Originally, apart from Sixten Sazon's cryptic exercises on Ursaab, there was only the Saab logo in variations. In 1964, the stylized Saab B18 bomber from 1944 was added as a plane signet. Only through the marriage with Scania came the mystical heraldic animal to Saab. Sometimes in conjunction with Saab and Scania, after the end of the relationship only as a red griffin on a blue background with Saab lettering. As a true symbol of the Trollhättan brand, he first launched 1987 with the worldwide launch of his career.
Trademarks are subject to permanent change, nothing lasts. That would have been the case with Saab too. The proud bird was only on the hood of the new Saab 9-5, the Saab lettering was on the rise. Also on the Saab 9-3 Griffin, the griffin on the rear was replaced by the lettering, the Saab lettering became larger and more concise.
For model year 2012, the historic B18 bomber would have celebrated its digital revival as Saab symbol. In the HUD and in the roundtacho the aircraft symbol would have pleased the fans. Back to the roots, back to tradition. We would have enjoyed it, unfortunately it did not happen anymore.
Pictures of the vintage 2012, which never went into production, are few. We have some on the blog months ago veröffentlicht. There would have been a small revolution in 2014, if you believe what friends from Sweden tell us. Traditionalists now take a deep breath and exhale calmly! With the debut of the Saab 9-3 successor, the mystical heraldic animal, the griffin, would also have disappeared. The Saab lettering would have remained the dominant symbol, including the digital airplane.
Saab wanted, we were told, to be cooler and more modern, because the four white letters have charisma. Simon Padian should be asked why exactly this decision was made. He defined Saab product design until 2020 and he is one of the fathers behind the change. Today Padian works a few kilometers further, in Gothenburg, at Hareide Design. The former Saab design chief Einar Hareide has meanwhile gathered the concentrated Saab design competence around himself. He works for Scania, for Volvo and for some time there has been more contacts to India. It couldn't be a coincidence.
Grief or not. I like the griffin, I think Scania's decision is correct. But if it continued in Trollhättan, not with NEVS, but with a new owner who would be a heavyweight with an industrial background? Who else would care about the gripe?