Sweden Automotive Industry is mainly known for passenger car manufacturers, Volvo Cars and Saab Automobile, Swedish Car Brands includes Koenigsegg, Volvo Group/AB Volvo, Polestar, NEVS, Saab Automobile AB, Uniti, Esther, Caresto, Scania AB, AMG, Scania-Vabis, Josse Car, Alvello, Svenska Automobilfabriken.
The Swedish car industry is a small but important segment of the global automotive market.
Sweden exports about 140,000 cars annually with Volvo, being the most prominent brand. Other notable Swedish car manufacturers include Saab Automobile, which merged with General Motors Company in 1990 before ceasing production in 2011; Scania AB, an international truck manufacturer who also makes buses and heavy equipment; etc.
Swedish cars are known for having advanced safety systems, good environmental scores, and generally have long life spans. In this complete guide, we will have a look at some of the prominent as well as up-and-coming Swedish car brands.
We have listed a total of 14 Sweden-based car brands. This list includes all types of vehicles also including Electric, Hybrid, and Alternative fuel vehicles.
List of Popular Swedish Car Brands that are active Now:
- Volvo Group/AB Volvo
- Saab Automobile AB
- Scania AB
- Josse Car
- Svenska Automobilfabriken
Popular car brands in Sweden:
This list contains the most popular Sweden based car brands.
Let’s explore the Swedish car brands more precisely.
Koenigsegg is a famous Swedish car company. They make cars that are high-performance sports cars called hyper-cars. The founder is Christian von Koenigsegg, who was also an entrepreneur from Sweden. Koenigsegg had its headquarters and factory in Angelholm, Sweden (located in the southwestern part of the country) in the year 1994.
The company name ‘Koenigsegg’ is a contraction of Koenig’s seg, which means “crown” in German. Koenigsegg has stated that no royal or noble monogram was used in naming their company.
One of Koenigsegg’s most popular models is called ‘Agera.’ The Agera R model is the fastest accelerating production car in the world. It can go 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 2.8 seconds. Koenigsegg makes use of its proprietary Direct Drive system. It is an alternate way to have a gearbox. This car has a twin-turbocharged V8 engine and three electric motors. It also has the Koenigsegg Direct Drive transmission. Koenigsegg has also introduced the Koenigsegg CCR, CCXR and CCGT models.
The company had been working on his car projects under “von Koenigsegg Innovations” for almost 10 years. Ater it establishes Koenigsegg Automotive AB. Before 1993, he and his team were also working on prototypes of cars that would become Koenigsegg’s first production models: the CC and the CCR. It has approximately 80 employees. Koenigsegg currently produces one car model called ‘Agera.’
Koenigsegg once produced two other models: the CCX and the CCR. CC was Koenigsegg’s first production sports car. The CCR was introduced after the CC’s production rights were bought. Koenigsegg had planned to produce up to 175 Koenigsegg CC models, but only fifteen CC cars were produced. Koenigsegg’s other model, the CCR, was introduced in 2004 and had a production of only 13 units.
On September 23, 2019, the Koenigsegg Regera set a new 0-400-0 km/h world record when it completed the run in 31.49 seconds. This was 1.8 seconds faster than the Agera RS’s previous unbeaten performance, which was set in 2017 by the Koenigsegg Regera.
Koenigsegg is also known for its use of biofuel on some of its newer car models, including the Agera R, which can run on 100% biogas. This enables Koenigsegg cars to go from 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) 2.8 seconds without producing any carbon emissions. Koenigsegg also has a car that uses electric power. The car can produce zero-emission and has a range of over 500 km.
The Agera became BBCs Top Gear Hypercar of the Year, awarded by Top Gear in 2010. It also got an award for excellent Design by Red Dot. The company also got the National Swedish Design Prize for its incredible product, which combines art and technology. Koenigsegg is now focusing on producing super-premium cars.
I hope you got a glimpse of the popular Swedish car company – Koenigsegg. Now, let’s move to the next one – Volvo Group/AB Volvo.
Volvo Group/AB Volvo
Volvo Group is a Swedish multinational manufacturing company that is in the middle of both Volvo Cars and Volvo Trucks. Assar Gabrielsson and Gustaf Larson founded this famous Swedish brand in 1927.
The Volvo Group itself has produced the Volvo line of vehicles since 1927. It also produced its first trucks in 1944. It also offers other commercial vehicles like buses, construction equipment, and gas engines.
Volvo Group/AB Volvo Foundation wants to work for a world that is sustainable and cares about the environment. This includes looking at how we can take care of people and give them good jobs. The firm is also contributing to the Ocean Race’s boats with the latest technology in the maritime industry.
Volvo Cars AB is another subsidiary of Volvo Group that has manufactured luxury cars under the Volvo brand name since 1927. Volvo was focusing on safety above all else. They are now trying to build more stylish models within their production line for wider public appeal.
Their slogan is “Mobility Reimagined,” which means they are aiming to make driverless cars, and Volvo says they will be ready to sell them by 2020.
The Volvo Group picked up the pace to start selling their first trucks back in 1944 under the name Volvo LV series. It represents Louis Poulsen, who became a part-owner within Volvo at that time and contributed with both money and experience. Volvo Produces current top sellers from the firm, including the V40, XC 90, S60, XC60, and XC90.
Now, Volvo Group is planning is to move forward to a new strategy with a focus on “mobility solutions” and the creation of new businesses. These plans have been created in order to make it through the current transformation that the automotive industry is experiencing.
This will bring a huge change for the Volvo Group. That’s a small history about Volvo and its future planning. Now, let’s move to the next Sweden based car brand – Polestar.
The Polestar Car Company was a Swedish automotive manufacturer established in 1994. It produces high-end performance cars. The company is owned by Volvo Cars and is based in Gothenburg, Sweden. Polestar was created to provide a different angle on the automotive industry. They want to make hybrid-electric and electric vehicles. It is focused on being around for generations.
Their first product in 2003 was the Polestar 1 in 2003, which sold out before they released it. In 2017 a 2nd iteration was released. It is named Polestar 2.
Flash Engineering was formed in 1996 as a Swedish racing team competing in the Swedish Touring Car Championship (STCC). The company was sold and rebranded to Polestar Racing in the late 2000s, where it began building its racing Volvos. In 2009, Polestar became the official Volvo partner to change existing models. It was under the brand Polestar Performance. In July 2015, Volvo acquired the company brand. It allows Polestar models to be sold by Volvo dealers.
The Polestar 1 is an “Electric Performance Hybrid GT.” It accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in less than 4 seconds and has a top speed of 250 km/h. It can go from 5 to 95% charge in half an hour, which is faster than Tesla’s supercharger. The Polestar 1 will be built in limited numbers to ensure exclusivity.
The Polestar 1 has a double electric rear axle. It helps with stability and turn-in during high-speed driving. It also uses carbon-fiber body parts that are glued, not welded to the car. It allows much better integration of electrical components into the chassis itself. There are no visible exhaust outlets on this car as it does not use them to increase efficiency. This reduces power loss due to resistive heating elements.
Since 1996, Polestar has collaborated with Volvo in a variety of areas. It includes the design and builds of race cars for Cyan Racing. Polestar was involved in the creation of a V8-powered Volvo S60. It was raced by Garry Rogers Motorsport in the Australian V8 Supercars series in 2014.
The goal of Polestar is to be around for generations. It has the desire to design and build future models. They feel that they are a brand that can offer more than just an old car upgraded to hybrid-electric powertrains. They want people to buy their cars because of what they can do, not how good it looks compared to others. The next brand in our list of Car brands based in Sweden is NEVS.
NEVS is another very well-known car brand in Swedish. They have expanded their company by acquiring many other brands. One such brand that NEVS has acquired is Saab. The company has an electric-powered vehicle focus and was founded in 2012. NEVS is headquartered in Sweden, and it acquired the assets of Saab from a bankrupt estate in 2012. NEVS has brought Saab back into the market with electric-powered vehicles. National Electric Vehicle Sweden is the full form for NEVS.
NEVS was founded in 2012 by a Chinese company, and it has its headquarters in Sweden. The company’s mission is to design and build environment-friendly automobiles. It has interests in various fields ranging from car design to electric propulsion.
In December 2015, Panda New Energy entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with the firm. It is a firm that specializes in lowering pollution emissions by using alternative energy. Until the end of 2020, NEVS will provide Panda with its sedans. In January 2019, NEVS acquired a 20% stake in Koenigsegg for roughly €150 million. Since then, Koenigsegg has returned the investment to NEVS.
Nowadays, NEVS is selling its models only in China. Some of the famous products that this company develops are the 9-3 sedan. It is a compact electric sedan. The Sango is also a self-driving six-seater city prototype offered by this firm.
Since 2013, NEVS has been active in the Chinese market with its plug-in hybrid model 9-3 EV. It is currently available with a 20kW battery placed under the floor of the trunk that takes 5 hours for a full recharge.
That’s all for NEVS! Now that we have a good understanding of some of the most well-known Swedish car brands let’s take a look at some other Swedish car companies. The next brand in our list of Swedish car manufacturing companies is Saab Automobile AB.
Saab Automobile AB
Saab Automobile AB is a Swedish automobile company based in Trollhättan, founded in 1945 when the Saab Group was assigned to create a vehicle. Saab Automobile AB has been making cars for 65 years, and it focuses on clean vehicles that use little or no fossil fuels.
Saab Automobile AB was divided into two separate entities. The first one is Saab Automobile AB which later became Saab Automobiles. It is a new corporate identity independent of Saab Aircraft. The second one is Saab-Scania as a truck manufacturer. In 1990, General Motors bought a 50% stake in Saab Automobile AB.
Saab stayed independent until 2000, when it was bought by General Motors. They gave Saab funds to make new plans for the cars. The company filed for bankruptcy in 2012. But now, National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) has bought it. There is a high chance that the firm will make electric and compact cars.
General Motors provided Saab with the funds it needed to develop new plans for Saab cars which included Saab’s first model, the Saab 92. The most popular model is the Saab 900, which features a new “Black Panel” technology based on the aeronautics division of the Saab Group.
In 1966, a 9-3 and a 96 were entered in the Trans Am Series. Also, a 9-3 was raced in the Castrol Canadian Touring Car Championship by Saab. It had a factory rally crew with world-class drivers. In 2012, a new Saab rally team competed in the old historic Midnattssolsrallyt (Rally to the Midnight Sun).
Saab Automobile is planning to release a new electric car. It’s going to be a small city car with a range of 200 km. It will be based on the Saab 9-3. The company is also planning to release a new compact car. That’s all about Saab Automobiles. Now, let’s move to the next car brand based in Sweden: Uniti.
Uniti is a very well-known Swedish automobile startup that was formed in January 2016. This company was founded by Uniti Sweden. The goal of Uniti is to develop a high-power electric city car. This company is headquartered in Lund, Sweden.
Uniti began as an open innovation project at Lund University. It was evolved into an independent startup in January 2016. The company focuses on its goal, which is changing the automotive codes by redesigning the entire car. It focuses on developing a lightweight, modern-aged vehicle. They also produce a completely climate-neutral car.
In the beginning phase, the company started to develop two-seater and four-seater quadricycles. These cars were generally termed L7e.
The firm introduced a two-seater in February 2018 at the Auto Expo in Greater Noida, India. The company also partnered with the Delhi-based group to launch a five-seater car in the Indian market by 2020.
The famous German company Siemens has partnered with the Uniti company’s two-seater electric car. In 2017, the company announced that prototypes would be available later in the year. The partners were planning to design a factory in Malmö, Sweden. It aims to produce as many as 50,000 cars a year beginning in 2018 and in an automated system.
In 2019, the car’s basic characteristics were published, and sales were open for normal people on the internet. It requires a 50% deposit. It is now a 3-seater, unlike the prototype, which was designed to be a two-seater. It will be produced in Norwich. The model is available with a 12kWh or 24kWh battery. It is priced at £15,100 for a base model. It makes it the cheapest new electric car available to order in the UK as of November 2019. That’s all that we have for Uniti, now let’s move to the next famous Swedish Car model: Esther.
Esther is a car firm from Sweden that specializes in replicas of the Lotus 7. The company was established in 1987.
It has introduced several innovative and original elements like the Lotus 7 design. It even sells mk2 chassis. The design is used on many of the cars in the same Lotus 7 category. An Esther automobile is designed for a variety of engines. It includes Alfa Romeo, Volvo, Ford, and Opel, as well as 4 or 5-speed gearbox combinations.
Esther automobiles also develop coupes and roadsters. Esther components are designed to work with the cars on which they are installed. So owners cannot change them for alternative parts. This is one major drawback of this company.
Esther’s aluminum monocoque chassis is available in two types. One is mk2, which has been around since 1987, and the newer Esther Performance. The older car weighs approximately 636 pounds, while the new version weighs 597 pounds.
Esther provides free engineering support for clubs that run their cars on many tracks. But the firm does not provide any engineering services to customers who own its designs. Esther cars are designed for road use. They are not designed to be used as offroad vehicles. Esther components are not interchangeable with Lotus parts.
The future plan of this company includes international expansion. But it is not clear whether the firm will continue to use Lotus 7 design or switch to something else.
Currently, Esther manufactures about 500 cars each year. The company has ten assembly facilities in Europe and Asia, where they produce most of their components. These cars are sold through more than 400 dealers around the world. Esther is a well-established company with a good reputation. It has been in business for over 25 years, and during that time, it has developed a number of innovative products and designs. However, it does have some drawbacks, like its inability to provide engineering services to customers and its lack of interchangeability with Lotus parts. Nevertheless, Esther is a reputable company with a good reputation, and it can be expected to continue to develop innovative designs such as its aluminum monocoque chassis.
That’s all about Esther, let’s move to the next car model based in Sweden: Caresto.
Caresto is a Swedish automobile firm founded in 2004. It specializes in the production of high-end road sports vehicles. Caresto retails through Caresto Automobile AB in Halmstad, Sweden. Leif Tufvesson is the founder of the company who worked at the Volvo control center. He is also responsible for the foundation of the famous Swedish car brand Koenigsegg.
Caresto has produced many variations of classic hot rods and hardtop convertibles. The products were utilized at various Volvo automobile shows, such as SEMA.
C70 Volvo hardtop is a very famous brand of Caresto developed by the founder himself. It won awards like “Most Innovative Car” and “Hot Rod of the Year” in the United States.
The future plans of Caresto include the expansion of their product line to include electric sports cars. The first model is scheduled to hit the market in 2020. The company also plans to increase its export sales and continue to grow its market presence. Let’s move to the next Swedish automotive manufacturing brand: Scania AB.
Scania AB stands for Scania Aktiebolag. It is a well-known and major automobile company based in Sweden. Scania is globally known for its trucks and coaches, buses, engines, and other services. Marked by its burgundy red color, Scania’s logo consists of a griffin crowned with a five-pointed crown. The griffin leg partially visible beneath the livery is a reference to the company’s Swedish roots. The crown is inspired by the Swedish Coat of Arms, which features three crowns.
Scania AB has been in existence since 1911 as a subsidiary of the SAAB aircraft industry. This company began as Scania-Vabis, which began making vehicles in the early 20th century. Scania-Vabis merged with Saab Automobile AB in 1969, forming Scania-SAAB. The brand Scania is still related to SAAB.
After the merger, the firm relocated to Södertälje for the third time in its history in 1912. In 2000 Scania AB was acquired by Volkswagen Group, owing to which it is now part of the large Volkswagen group.
Scania develops, produces, and distributes trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 16 tonnes of class 8. It also produces construction haulage.
Scania will provide a large part of the work for Porsche Engineering Services. It handles all technical development of Porsche cars. Making equipment for VW assembly plants in Germany and Mexico is an example of Scania Automobiles. It also develops diesel engine manufacturing technology.
Scania’s bus and coach range has long been specialized in chassis. It may be used with everything from tourist coaches to city traffic. Scania-Vabis has been making buses since the 1950s. They make buses for Sweden and other countries in Scandinavia, as well as for parts of Europe.
The company’s most popular automobiles include the BF80, OmniCity, and DS14.
Scania manufactures and designs clothes especially for truckers, including Scania Truck Gear clothing. Scania is in the game Euro Truck Simulator 2 and SCS Software’s Scania Truck Driving Simulator.
The future plan of the company is to electrify its entire truck range by 2030. That’s all the information we have about the company for now. Let’s move to the next car brand based in Sweden:
AMG automobile produced AB Motorfabriken in Gothenburg from 1903 to 1905. In 1897, the firm began producing stationary engines. They started importing French Richard-Brasier automobiles in the early years of the new century. In the year 1899, it shifted its attention to automobile production.
The new design has two engines made by the German Fafnir company. They are air-cooled and make it distinctive. It was presented for the first time in 1903. The problem was that they overheated, and to prevent future damage, they were changed to a water-cooled design. The engines were the only imported automobile element. Everything else was developed in Sweden.
In 1903, the company produced Sweden’s first car. The company was unable to keep up with the high demand for their cars and went defunct in 1905.
The automobiles were rear-wheel drive, two-seater models with a wooden frame and metal body. They had a 2-liter engine that could produce 4 hp (3 kW).
In the year 1912, the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) company renamed itself AMG.
Before it went bankrupt in 1905, approximately 10 automobiles were produced. One was utilized every day until 1928. That’s all about AMG. Now, let’s move to the next Swedish car brand.
Scania-Vabis was a merger between two automobile manufacturers, Vabis and Scania. Scania’s product range at that time included trucks, buses, and trams.
They started producing bicycles in the beginning. In 1929, the firm decided to start making cars. It is because there was no other company that made cars in Sweden/Scandinavia at that time. They began producing trucks in the United States, Zimbabwe, the Netherlands, and Argentina.
Due to a lawsuit filed by Daimler-Benz, the brand’s logo changed. It is now changed to a simple Griffin’s head with “Vabis” removed from its name.
All the trucks and buses were produced in Stockholm. Their bicycle models were made by Monark and Gustav Ekstrom Kittel until they began manufacturing their own bicycles under the name Scania-Vabis.
In 1961, they merged with Saab to become Saab-Scania. However, this did not last long, and they broke up again in 1971. Scania continued truck production while Saab began producing cars. That’s all about Scania-Vabis.
The Swedish brand Josse car was founded in 1997 and is located in Arvika, Sweden. Known as a sports car manufacturer.
They are most recognized for designing the only two-seat open-air roadster Indigo 3000.
It has a rear-wheel-drive powertrain. The 3.0-liter six-cylinder Volvo engine produces 250 km/h. It was also marketed as an affordable car. The body of this car is made up of many panels that are connected to a frame. The frame also has springs on it that help the car move. It also has a Volvo multi-link suspension.
Yet, the firm closed in 1998 because of something unexpected. A year later, people wonder if any of the inventions are still functional.
The brake discs are on all four wheels. The wheelbase is 224 cm, the chassis height is 76 cm. It has a length of 388 cm. The width is 176 cm, and the wheel track is 153 cm. Weighing only 955 kg, this car can move really fast!
That’s all about Josse Car. Let’s move on to the next Swedish car on the list: Alvello.
Fritiof Karlström founded a firm named Allvelo as Allmänna Velocipedförsäljnings AB in its long form in Landskrona, Sweden. The company started by importing bicycles.
It soon decided to scale up by purchasing unassembled Waltham Orient buckboards from the United States. They put them together and sold them as All-Velos, under the brands Allvelo Orient and Allvelo Pansarmobil Sport.
Except for the steering, axles, and engines, almost everything was made of wood. The vehicles all had a rear-mounted single-cylinder air-cooled engine with friction transmission. The right rear wheel was only equipped with brakes. The cars had tiller steering.
The products of this firm are the French Orel, as Allvelo Orel, and the UK-made truck known as Allvelo Vulcan.
They developed their prototype vehicle in 1907, but it did not go into production. At most, they had around 150 workers. The company went bankrupt in 1910. The reason was the expensive model name, leading to high prices and lack of interest from buyers. A model with a more affordable name may have fared better. In addition, the cars were quite heavy, making them less efficient than the competition.
Svenska Automobilfabriken (SAF) was a Swedish automobile manufacturer based in Bollnäs, Sweden. It began production in December 1919.
It constructed US cars using Pullman Motor Co chassis purchased when Pullman went bankrupt in 1917. The firm brought them up and fitted them with coachworks, and modified them for Swedish conditions. The engine was a 32-horsepower Golden, Belknap & Swartz. It utilized a Stromberg carburetor and had a 50-liter gasoline tank.
Employees who had previously worked on Rengsjöbilen were among the staff. Before the company went bankrupt in 1921, the firm had bought 40 Pullman chassis and constructed 28 SAF cars.
The rest of the stock was sold out over a few years. That’s all about Svenska Automobilfabriken.
Sweden is a land of contrasts. Sweden car brands represent this perfectly. While Volvo is all about safety and conservative designs, Saab is quirky and innovative.
All the above-mentioned car brands based in Swedish contributed to bringing up the automotive history of Sweden. If you are a car enthusiast and passionate about cars, then it is necessary to educate yourself about different car brands. That’s why we have also added a small description of each of the Swedish car brands.
Swedish car brands are the best when it comes to their innovation and creativity; they follow innovative design theories and a high-quality production process in bringing up new cars for customers. I hope you got a clear understanding of Swedish car brands and their uniqueness. In case we have missed anything, or you want to add something, then please feel free to mention it in the comments below.
Thank you for reading!