Saab introduced the 99 in 1969 and it sold until 1984.  The 1978 turbo version kickstarted widespread use of that power adder in everyday cars.  As French, English and Italian cars left the American market, Saab moved into their space and the 99 became fairly popular.  Reflected shine from Volvo made the Swedish origin more credible and its European roots added snob appeal over common Japanese cars.