A development in the Swedish automobile industry illustrates the risks for a company that acquires the tangible assets of another but can’t get control of the trademarks.
Often, much of a purchased company’s value lies in the public recognition of its trademarks. Consider the Saab, an automobile that amassed a loyal following of stereotypically intellectual enthusiasts often accused of “Snaabery.”
A statement this month from the new owners of Saab’s car factories said all new products would from now on be sold as “Nevs,” the acronym of the majority Chinese-owned holding company National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB that acquired Saab Automobile in 2012, after its Dutch owner declared bankruptcy.
But while Nevs got the assets, there were reports that Saab AB won’t extend them the trademark license. So whatever Nevs calls it news cars, it can’t call them Saabs.
General Motors, which acquired Saab Automobile as a subsidiary in 1990, used the “Saab” name and recognizable crowned griffin logo for 20 years, apparently under licensing agreements.
The division was sold to Dutch company Spyker N.V., which declared bankruptcy in 2011. That’s when its assets were acquired by Nevs.
Saab Automobile AB was created in 1945 as a spinoff of Swedish aircraft manufacturer Svenska Aeroplan AB. In 1969, it merged with a truck and bus manufacturer, AB Scania-Vabis, with the new company combining the Saab name and the Scania logo. The automobile division split from Scania before being acquired by GM.
Cut to 2012, when Scania AB said Saab’s new owners would not be able to continue using the griffin logo. Now, without either the name or the logo, the Saab car brand the world has come to know—and in some circles love—will be no more.
That leaves Nevs to figure out if it can earn customers loyalty without the name that’s carried their goodwill for 70 years.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)