|Scania as a
marque was used from 1903 to 1911 and again from 1969. In
the intervening period the trucks were marketed as
The company's origin can bed traced back to 1891, when a Swedish agency, Svenska Aktiebolaget Humber & Co., was set up to assemble English designed Humber bicycles. The production of bicycles was discontinued from 1900, and a new company, Maskinfabriksaktiebolaget Scania, was founded.
Vagnsfabrik Aktiebolaget (VABIS) was founded in 1892, building railroad rolling stock and horse-drawn wagons. The company started production of passenger cars in 1907. After a difficult financial period the company merged with Scania to form A.B. Scania-Vabis in 1917.
The first common truck was based on a Chain-driven Scania design, but it 1913 a new range with payload capacity from 1½ to 6 ton were launched. By the end of WW I Scania-Vabis had developed a four wheel drive army truck, which also found customers in the civilian market.
Diesel powered engines was tried from 1927, which resulted in the Hesselman-Scania oil engine.
All pre WW II trucks made with right-hand drive, as Swedish traffic drove on the left. A change to driving on the right was carried out in 1967.
During WW II the lack of orders for civilian customers was compensated by the demand for military applications, and by 1943 the Scania-Vabis production was entirely geared for war production. From the end of 1944 civilian production was resumed.
During the 1960´s Scania-Vabis was trying to increase exports sales to remain profitable. Many new models were launched, and direct-injection diesel engines based on Leyland technology were introduced.
A production plant was established in Brazil in 1962. To gain a bigger share of the European market a plant was opened at Zwolle in the Netherlands in 1965.
In 1968 Scania-Vabis was merged with the well-known car and aircraft manufacturer SAAB into SAAB-Scania. The Vabis name was dropped and from 1969 the trucks were simply badged as Scania.
Since 1995 SAAB and Scania have operated separately, as SAAB became a subsidiary of General Motors.
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