Peter Anderson | Aug 24, 2012

Scania has blocked the use of the familar trademark griffin logo on any vehicles produced by Saab's puchaser, the Chinese-backed joint-venture National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS).

The last-produced batch of Saab cars had gone without the griffin badge, and it now appears Scania senior vice-president Erik Ljungberg isn't keen on NEVS using the logo either.

"From our perspective, we will not allow them [NEVS] to use the Gripen," said Ljungberg in an interview on Swedish radio station P4 Vast. "We see little opportunity for us to change and we deem it non-negotiable."

Despite Ljungberg's declaration, there may be confusion about Scania's influence in the negotiations.

Enthusiast website SaabsUnited and Swedish website SvD claimed this week that NEVS can seek clearance to use the badge from Saab AB and that, legally, Scania has no say on the matter.

Further to these reports, SvD spoke to a copyright expert who believed NEVS could simply get away with changing the colours - surely doubtful advice. It also reports that a Swedish government official said that no company has rights to the 'griffin' image.

Above: Gilbern Invader MkIII... and a griffin badge.
Above: Gilbern Invader MkIII... and a griffin badge.

It's the badge that's at issue. As far back as the '60s, Welsh carmaker Gilbern was using a griffin in its logo, and Malmo Aviation and Taxi Skane, both of whom are unconnected with Saab or Scania, also use a griffin image.

Saab's recent history makes a pub brawl look calm and organised. Even in death, it seems that little is predictable for Saab and that any story can go any direction.

So, watch this space. It might be an entirely different tale tomorrow.

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