|The logo of Scania
is the Griffin, the weapon of the Swedish region Scania,
where the company Scania was founded in Malmö.
In 1891 a group of industrialists started
Vagnfabriks Aktie Bolaget I Södertälje,
the waggon factory in Södertälje, for manufacturing of
railway waggons. Short after, the market was recessive,
and then the production of cars and trucks was
established. The vehicles were sold under the brand af
VABIS, the company was early aware, to have an easy
recognizable trade mark.
The entry to
Scania in Malmö
In Malmö in Scania was
Maskinfabriksaktiebolaget Scania which had a similar
production. In 1903 the first passenger cars leaved the
factory, in 1905 the first Scania motors were
constructed, and from now were produced both cars and
The Scania vehicles were easy to
sell, but an increasing of the capital was needed, to
build out the production facilities, and a partner was
seeked. In 1911 Scania in Malmö and Vabis in
Södertälje went together. The trucks were made in
Malmø, the passenger cars in Södertälje. In Malmö the
administration was housed, to 1913, when it was moved to
In the years before world war
one, Scania-Vabis had a good export to the other Nordic
countries, Russia and the Baltic states.During the war
the export was nearly stopped, but the domestic market
was good in the neutral Sweden. After the war there was
an overflow of vehicles from the war, and Scania-Vabis
went into a hard economic crisis. 1921 the company went
bankrupt. Scania-Vabis was short after reconstructed, and
was slowly but safely rebuilt to a strong and effective
operator in the industry.
The Danish Scania-Vabis period.
In a period there was a
production of Scania vehicles in Denmark too.
1911 the first Swedish Scania truck was delivered to the
Danish market, with a 26 hp, straight 4 cylinder at 8,8
litres .The carriyng capacity was 4 tons. The following
two years, 7 trucks and 1 passenger car were sold in
At the end of 1913 the company Dansk A/S Scania-Vabis was
established. In 1914 the first Danish Scania-Vabis was
produced, a 4 seater Phaeton passenger car, built at the
factory at Frederiksberg in Copenhagen. 1915 the first
Danish Scania-Vabis truck was leaving the factory on its
own wheels. The following years the Danish factory
constructed one of the first V8 motors in the world,
designed for passenger cars. It was made in a number of
about 25, and was used in ambulances, policecars, cabs
and luxury cars. Allready 1920 the Danish craftsman
tradition was overtaken by the mass-production. 1921 the
Danish Scania-Vabis production was closed down. The exact
number of vehicle made in Denmark is unknown, but there
were sold 175 trucks and about 75 passenger cars in the
Concentrated in Södertälje
1925 the serial production of
passenger cars ceased, and the plant in Malmø was closed
in 1927. During the thirties the production of buses was
increased, and the company became a well known and
respected producer of motors. 1932 the first diesel
engine was presented, developed in collaboration with
German Magirus. During 1936 their own 120hp diesel engine
were finished - and it was in more than one way
"finished". It was sold, with only minor
changes, during almost 15 years. It could be converted
for use of petrol, and during the Second World War it
also was used with wood-gas.
The modern truck, with the engine "beside or
under" the driver instead of under a separate hood
at the very front, was introduced in 1932. This
construction, often nicknamed "bulldog", made
it possible to increase the cargo area.
The trucks were of high quality. One probably exceptional
truck was delivered to a snowplow company in 1924. It was
used for snow plowing and transports until 1974, when it
had made 1.500.000 kilometers!
World War 2
During the war a large number of
military vehicles were produced, also light tanks.
The tanks were built under license as Stridsvagn m/41. In
1942-44 222 m/41s were delivered to the swedish army. The
second series of 122 tanks had thicker armour in the
front and a more powerful engine. They were in service
till the late fifties, when they were rebuilt to armoured
personnel vehicles (Pbv 301).
During the war all new trucks were fitted with wood gas
units, and elder trucks rebuilt with these units. Buses
often had the unit mounted on a separate wagon, so the
bodies did not have to be rebuilt.
After the war
In 1948 Scania-Vabis became the
general agency in Sweden for Volkswagen. This gave better
conditions for the service organisation in Sweden,
investments and research. Export marketing was also
This expansion kept on during the fifties and the
sixties, and i this period factories in Brazil and
Holland were opened too.
1951 was the year of the first Scania-Vabis turbo engine,
a turbo powered by the exhausts. From 1954 the turbo was
used in truck engines, the first ones were used in
1953 the serial production of L51 Drabant started. It had
a 4 cylinder 100 hp engine, and could load 6 tons. It was
made in four models with various length between the
axles. Over 9.000 L51s were made until production stopped
One year later came the 2-axle L71 and the 3-axle LS71,
both with the name Regent, with 150 hp engines. (The 'S'
stands for the third support axle, Stödaksel in
Swedish). The gearbox was fitted with PTO, for use with
extra cranes, tipping devices or other equipment on the
trucks. The trucks could be delivered with pneumatic
brakes, and from 1955 also with servo steering.
1958 came the first truck in an entirely new model serie,
L75, based on the new 6-cylinder 165 hp diesel engine. In
the serie were also LT75, with both rear axles connected
to the power line.
Still the traditional body design, with the engine under
a separate hood at the front, was very usual on trucks,
but the L75 truck was the first European truck with an
integrated body attached to the chassis with rubber
fitting. This gave better comfort for the driver.
The L75 series was the base for a serie of trucks that
were produced till august 1980 - 22 years. During the
years improvements were made, and the model number
changed (L76, L110 and at last L111).
In the summer of 1959 L55 and LS55 were presented, as the
replacement for L51 series.
1962 the L56 series replaced the L55. An important news
was the double separate pneumatic braking system,
increasing safety in traffic.
The L76 replaced the L75 from early 1963. The series
included some LB76 'Bulldog' models, the first built
since the thirties, aimed at the European markets where
restrictions were set prohibiting vehicles longer than 18
metres. A LB truck with trailer could carry about 7 cubic
metres more than a L model. (In Sweden the maximum length
was decided in 1966, to 24 metres.)
In 1968 the company was merged
with the SAAB AB, a company which was founded as Svenska
Swedish Aircraft Ltd. SAAB produced aeroplanes and cars.
Scania-Vabis and SAAB were now united in SAAB-Scania AB.
The name of the trucks changed
from Scania-Vabis to Scania. On some markets the long
name was seen as too long, and the shortening was
All models were renamed, and the cylinder volume was used
in the new names. The L36 had a 5 litre engine and was
renamed L50, and so on to L76 that became L110 (11
Among the news were also some new models, like the LB110
with a coach that had a large opening in the front for
easy access to the engine and that could be tipped
forward for larger maintenance work on the engine.
In 1969 a V8 350 hp, turbo engine was introduced. The
Scania 140. This engine was at that time the most
powefull truck engine in Europe, and its remarkable sound
was well known among enthusiasts, press the motor icon
During the seventies Scania had a
remarkable expansion. The production was doubled, and the
export rate grew to 300 percent to over 10 000 units
yearly. A factory in Argentina was built in the period.
Scania was now a global truck manufacturer with over 20
In the middle af the decade, the new generation was
presented, as 81- 111 and 141, as sucessors for the
former 80-, 110- og 140-series.
In the eigthies the series 2 was
introduced. Scania developed the modular concept in a
way, more significant than other truck producers ever
In the end of the decade, the 2 series had grown to the 3
series, and that model was named as European "Truck
of the Year" in 1989.
At the entry to the nineties Scania was represented in
over 100 markets all over the world. The annual
production rate reached 40 000 units. In 1995 the series
4 was presented, it was made on factories in Sweden,
Holland and Brazil, a real global truck model.
Today there are 11 Scania
factories in 5 countries. In the year 2000 truck number
one million left the assembling band, and same year was
an engine intruduced, V8 and 16 litres.
Scania is a well known brand all over the world, a brand
respected for its quality and reliability.
SAAB is now under the wings of General Motors, the
aircraft division is continuing as a seperate,
Scania is a 100 percent truck company.