Who is eve Did she design the Saab 9-5?

Do we maybe have to rewrite Saab history? Was a woman in charge of designing the Saab 9-5? And who is Eve? Many questions! Let's start with something basic. For ages, the car industry was considered a male domain and car designers are still predominantly men, with women mostly taking a back seat.

Was that also the case with Saab? To do this, I pulled an amazing film from the archives.

Who significantly influenced the design of the Saab 9-5?
Who significantly influenced the design of the Saab 9-5?

It's more than 30 years old and leaves more questions than answers. The magazine "Mona Lisa" on ZDF should still be known to some of the readers. It started in 1988, moderated by Maria von Welser, and increasingly dealt with women's rights. During the show things could get political and the lack of gender equality was repeatedly pointed out.

At that time there were only two genders, which is classified somewhat differently in the official reading today.

Women shape the design at Saab

In 1997, Mona Lisa dealt with Saab. Women in the auto industry were considered a rarity, and when they were, they were usually met on the assembly line. But less so in the design department. What was it like at Saab Automobile AB back then? The Swedes had just introduced the new 97-9 in 5, an opportunity to shed some light on the subject from a female point of view.

Saab's design department was very manageable at this point. With chief designer Einar Hareide and Tony Catignani there were 10 permanent employees. That was more than in the days of a Saab 900 or 9000, but very little compared to the competition.

The film from the archive deals with the design of the new Saab. A design attributed to Tony Catignani that led to the 9-5 is shown - and is surprisingly presented as a heavily influenced work by a certain Eva.

Catignani and Hareide stand by, the design is progressive and above all bolder than the end product. That was considered very brave at Saab.

Who is Eve?

Later Eva has her say, followed by Ingrid. She is responsible for the choice of colors and materials in the interior. Two women who significantly shaped the Saab 9-5. In 1997, that was worth a spot on TV. It is clear who is behind the name Ingrid. Ingrid Karlsson from Uddevalla was responsible for colors and materials in the design department from 1990-98. Today she is a freelance designer and works for the Polygon Design Group, among others.

But Eva remains mysterious. A request to Ingrid Karlsson, who might remember, remains unanswered to this day. Eva's name does not appear in the specialist literature. After all, a picture of her can be found on page 12 of the book about the Saab 9-5, there are no other clues.

Do you have to rewrite Saab history? Isn't Tony Catignani responsible for the baseline of the Saab 9-5? But a then young designer who might have worked freelance at Saab and whose name we do not know? The question of who Eva is currently remains unanswered. Perhaps one of the readers can bring light into the darkness?

Update: A few days after the article went online, Ingrid Karlsson actually provided the answer to the riddle. At that time Eva bore the name Eva Hanner. Today her name is Eva Hanner Larson and she was or is a manager in the design department at Volvo Cars.

It has left its mark on the XC60, some concept cars and the current XC90. The Orrefors glass gear knob found in the 90's models could be due to their inspiration.

6 thoughts on "Who is eve Did she design the Saab 9-5?"

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    I thought I once heard that the interior design of the 9000 had already been designed by a woman. That got awards almost until the end of production. Is that correct?

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    @all We found Eva, solution follows!

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    Maybe she was involved in the design, but not in charge. I think the development, also in design; is accompanied by many people.

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    Very interesting - I'll look in my private archive to see if I can find anything about it!?

    To be fair, one thing has to be said - in pure production / assembly at Saab, a comparatively high proportion of women were employed.
    These jobs were very popular with women because they were physically good and paid very well in comparison.

    Personally, I can remember well women on the line at the 900II assembly in the 90s. It was also completely new territory for me at the time...

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    Has much changed since then? I'm afraid not. Car design is still a man's business.

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    Sure: Eva is Adam's wife... Or did I misunderstand something? ;–)


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