The production facilities were redesigned to be able to produce cars instead of airplanes. On the 10th of June 1947 journalists was invited to "bilprototyp 2" in Saab's lunchroom in Linkoping. Outside prototype Nr:1 stood available for test drive. When the production started in 1949 an airplane inspired emblem was fitted on the hood. With the letter SAAB written in a square with to wings to its side.
The automobile division was based in Trollhättan. The first car was the Saab 92001 on June 10, 1947. The company soon developed a reputation for safe and reliable automobiles, with a notable competition history. In the late 1950s Saab ventured into the computer market with DataSAAB. In 1969 SAAB merged with the truck maker Scania-Vabis, and between 1969 and 1995 the company was called Saab-Scania AB.
General Motors bought 51 percent of the automobile division Saab Automobile in 1990, and acquired the rest a decade later. Since 1998 the British aerospace company BAE Systems has been the largest shareholder in Saab following its acquisition of a 35% stake from Investor AB by its predecessor, British Aerospace. In January 2005 BAE reduced its shareholding to 20%, which it views as a long term interest. Investor AB also maintains a 20% share.