Detroit, Mich. b Saab was founded by 16 aircraft engineers and their spirit lives on. Saab Automobile USA took this as the source of inspiration for its comprehensive "Born From Jets" marketing campaign, which started last fall with an impactful series of television ads such as "Delta Formation" featuring the 9-3, "Transformer" with the 9-7X SUV and recently "Head to Head" in which a new 9-5 races a Saab Gripen jet fighter.
As the next logical step, Saab Automobile USA is taking its Born From Jets tag line on the road, establishing a strong presence at a number of air shows in targeted markets around the Unites States. This weekend on Saturday and Sunday, May 13-14, the Saab Born From Jets Tour will be at the Naval Air Station in Forth Worth, Texas.
"Saab's main challenge here in the United States is that we are not very well known," said Jay Spenchian, Saab USA general manager. "Once people get exposed to our expanded line of products and our unique aircraft heritage, they typically get excited pretty quickly. Our participation in air shows gives us a terrific opportunity to get exposure to millions of consumers, in a way that only Saab can do."
For the Born From Jets Tour, Saab purposely created an eye-catching trailer that resembles an aircraft hangar, including an attached control tower. When set up at an air show, this mobile hangar features technical displays and plasma screens that show Saab commercials and other product messages. Product specialists provide information on a wide selection of Saab vehicles on display in front of the trailer.
In addition, the renowned Saab Performance Team from Sweden has been scheduled to perform at select air shows that are on the Born From Jets Tour list for this year. Nicknamed the "Jets On Four Wheels" and featuring a foursome of 9-3 Aero
Turbo V6 Sport Sedans, the Saab Performance Team delivers an impressive demonstration of Saab's technical capabilities on the ground - drawing crowds wherever it goes.
The Saab Born From Jets Tour schedule for the remainder of this year includes the air shows at Andrews Air Force Base in Washington DC (May 20-21), Jones Beach Waterfront in New York, NY (May 27-28), Denver, CO (June 24-25), Downtown Waterfront in Chicago, IL (August 19-20) and Fleet Week in San Francisco, CA (October 6-8).
The Forth Worth Air Show this weekend will take place at the Naval Air Station and Joint Reserve Base at Carswell Field. There will be a variety of attractions including a performance by the Blue Angels at around 3:00 pm. The gates are open to the general public between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm. This show is expecting 120,000 people per day. The Saab Born From Jets Tour will be on display at this event near the main entrance of the show.
Saab: From Aircraft to Automobiles
Saab's aviation roots go back almost 70 years to 1937, when Svenska Aeroplan Aktiebolaget (Swedish Aircraft Company Limited) was founded in the town of TrollhC$ttan, 45 miles/70 km north of Gothenburg, where Saab cars are still built today on the site of the original aircraft factory.
The company supplied military aircraft to the Swedish Air Force and began diversifying into civil aviation in 1944 and the automotive business in 1947, when its first car, the Saab 92, was unveiled (Saab 91 was a light aircraft used for pilot training). The 92's streamlined, teardrop-shaped bodywork was clearly the work of aircraft engineers and radical for a small production car of the time, as was the use of wind tunnel testing during its design.
The adoption of front-wheel drive for sure-footed handling, excellent roadholding and efficient space utilization was also unconventional for the time - more than a decade before the layout was to become popular in the rest of the auto industry.
Another innovative design from Saab's newly-created car division was the Sonett 1, a lightweight sports car for competition use, unveiled exactly 50 years ago this year. Its 'monocoque' chassis was made from aviation-specification aluminum panels, instead of the usual arrangement of steel beams and tubes. Although common in aircraft construction, Saab was using this design six years before it was introduced to Grand Prix racing.
Today, more than 4 million cars and 4,000 aircraft later, Saab is one name and two companies. The car business, Saab Automobile AB, is now wholly owned by General Motors, the world's largest auto maker, and the Saab Group is a global leader in the application of advanced technologies, specializing in aerospace and defense systems.
Over the years, Saab cars have continued to incorporate aircraft-inspired design features, from wrap-around windshields and cockpit-like ergonomics to green instrument illumination and need-to-know information displays.
And the innovative spirit of those early aircraft engineers, including their pioneering attention to safety, continues to be reflected in Saab's unconventional approach to car design.
Saab is a division of General Motors Corp. Saab Automobile USA is the importer and distributor of Saab 9-2X, 9-3, 9-5 cars and the 9-7X SUV for Saab Automobile AB, Sweden.