Saab: Griffin Up! Down. Trademark Denied With Racist Remark

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
saab griffin strike up strike down trademark denied with racist remark

In what just-auto calls “ a hammer-blow to the proposed takeover,” Scania told Saab-buyer NEVS that it won’t allow the use of Saab’s heraldic animal, the griffin. Scania (owned by Volkswagen) says no because the buyers are Chinese.

Said a Scania spokesman to just-auto [sub]:

“There is a Chinese buyer and in China you see copies of several brands – we don’t want to see trucks with our symbol. There are a lot of brand pirates in China – I don’t say NEVS has that intention…so to be sure there is no risk we say ‘no thank you.’”

Not a Chinese Kai Johan Jiang (second from right) explains power to other non-Chinese

NEVS immediately denied that is Chinese, telling just-auto that the deal is “not a Chinese investment” and claiming that the majority owner in NEVS is National Modern Energy Holdings, managed from Hong Kong and registered in the British Virgin Islands. Of course they are.

Non-Chinese groundbreaking by non-Chinese dignitaries

Caption of a press release issued to the [s]Chinese[/s] British Virgin Press:

“On the morning of April 8, the project of National Bio Energy Shangcai Co., Ltd. Grand Inaugural Ceremony commenced with a deafening eruption of festive commotion as a flurry of gun salutes honored the momentous occasion. Kai Johan Jiang- the Group Chairman, Qi Jianmin- the Director of the Social Improvement Office of the Central Disciplinary Committee, Hua Youxun- Party Secretary of Zhumadian City, the Municipal Committee Deputy Secretary, Mayor Liu Guoqing, Li Haizhou- the Party Secretary of Shangcai County, Magistrate Kong Hua and other main city and county leaders, and representatives of the Shandong Power Construction Company all attended the ceremony. Chairman Jiang, the Deputy Secretary of the Zhumadian City Municipal Committee, Mayor Liu Guoqing, Hou Zuoxin- General Manager of Shandong Power Construction Company, and Li Haizhou- Party Secretary of Shangcai County, all delivered their respective speeches.”

The writing was on the wall, so to speak, when Scania published a lavishly illustrated press release (see top picture) titled “Scania watches over is trademark” shortly after the sale of Saab assets to NEVS was announced. In June already, Scania said that “for Scania, it is important that the purchaser does not have plans for use of this trademark which will conflict with the operations conducted by the company.”

If losing the griffin is a hammer-blow, then there is a sledge-hammer-blow in the waiting. The Saab name is owned by the defense company Saab AB (which famously builds – are we confused yet – the Griffin fighter.) Saab AB licensed the Saab trademark to Saab, the car company, that license is void, and NEVS has to beg for mercy. Saab, the defense contractor, already was miffed that they were confused with Saab, the troubled carmaker. It is unlikely that they want to prolong the pain.

The griffin is a “a legendary creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle,” as the all-knowing Wikipedia tells us. The crowd-sourced enclyclopedia adds that “Griffins are known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions.” In recent years, Saab had replaced the winged eagle with a simple “SAAB”, denying the animal the ability to ward off a bankruptcy.

Join the conversation
2 of 26 comments
  • Tassos Chinese owned Vollvo-Geely must have the best PR department of all automakers. A TINY maker with only 0.5-0.8% market share in the US, it is in the news every day.I have lost count how many different models Volvo has, and it is shocking how FEW of each miserable one it sells in the US market.Approximately, it sells as many units (TOTAL) as is the total number of loser models it offers.
  • ToolGuy Seems pretty reasonable to me. (Sorry)
  • Luke42 When I moved from Virginia to Illinois, the lack of vehicle safety inspections was a big deal to me. I thought it would be a big change.However, nobody drives around in an unsafe car when they have the money to get their car fixed and driving safely.Also, Virginia's inspection regimine only meant that a car was safe to drive one day a year.Having lived with and without automotive safety inspections, my confusion is that they don't really matter that much.What does matter is preventing poverty in your state, and Illinois' generally pro-union political climate does more for automotive safety (by ensuring fair wages for tradespeople) than ticketing poor people for not having enough money to maintain their cars.
  • ToolGuy When you are pulled over for speeding, whether you are given a ticket or not should depend on how attractive you are.Source: My sister 😉
  • Kcflyer What Toyota needs is a true full size body on frame suv to compete with the Expedition and Suburban and their badge engineered brethren. The new sequoia and LX are too compromised in capacity by their off road capabilities that most buyers will never use.