STOCKHOLM - Saab's new owners will not get the iconic logo that adorns the Swedish autos after truck maker Scania said Thursday it would not cede the rights.
Scania shares the image of the red griffon wearing a golden crown on a blue background with Saab Automobile and the defence company Saab, which were part of the same group until 1990.
Saab Automobile, which went bankrupt last year, received a new lease on life in June when Chinese and Japanese investors were selected by the administrator to take over the automaker for an undisclosed sum.
Hong Kong-based alternative energy specialist National Modern Energy Holdings and Japanese investment firm Sun Investment LLC have said they plan to adapt Saab's 9-3 model to an electric vehicle and target the Chinese market.
But Scania said Thursday it wasn't going to let the griffon adorn the non-Swedish vehicles.
"Scania doesn't want to allow the buyer to use the griffon symbol which is intimately tied to Scania," spokesman Hans Aake Danielsson told AFP.
"Scania has used this logo since 1911 ... and we don't want our symbol in a manner that could damage our brand," he added.
Moreover the cars produced from the resurrected Saab automaker "won't be Swedish any longer."
Saab had difficulties for years before the company filed for bankruptcy. US automaker General Motors gave up trying to turn around Saab and sold it in 2010 to the tiny sports car maker Spyker.
The Dutch company soon ran into cash problems but its efforts to bring in Chinese investors was thrwarted by GM failing to give up intellectual property rights to key technologies.