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A Levante operated by National Express.

A Caetano Intercity CI 200 coach at the Busworld 2007 exhibition in Kortrijk, Belgium

A Caetano Nimbus operating in Southampton with Uni-link.

A Caetano Enigma coach in Guildford with Tellings Golden Miller.

Salvador Caetano is a coachbuilder and vehicle distributor based in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal. It was established in 1946 by Salvador Fernandes Caetano (then with the name "Martins, Caetano & Irmão, Lda."), and it was the first coachbuilding company of Portugal.

Salvador Caetano is also the importer of Toyota, since the Japanese car brand was introduced in Portugal in 1968.


The roots of Grupo Salvador Caetano was started to be traced, in 1946, by Salvador Fernandes Caetano (1926-) (then with the name "Martins, Caetano & Irmão, Lda.", in the sector of coachbuilding, becoming the first coachbuilder in Portugal (Salvador's brother (irmão), Alfredo Caetano, some years after founded another coachbuilding company, named after him, recently the company was renamed as Starbus, as well as Mr. Joaquim Martins who founded JD Martins).

In 1965 the workshops in Oliveira do Douro are inaugurated and in 1971 Salvador Caetanos's first industrial unit for vehicle assembly was built in Ovar.

In 1968, Salvador Caetano became the importer of Toyota, introducing the brand in Portugal.

In 1982, Baviera, the importer of BMW in Portugal, was acquired by Salvador Caetano.[1][2]

Grupo Salvador Caetano

Grupo Salvador Caetano (SGPS), SA is the parent company that controls the Group and is responsible for managing the holdings, as well as setting the strategy and coordinating all activities of business, which consists of three main business units, organized by three sub-holdings:

  • Toyota Caetano Portugal SA, which aggregates the business and industrial representation of Toyota and Lexus. It's economic activity is focused on managing imports of Toyota, in manufacturing and export to Europe the model Toyota Dyna and Hilux, as well as the production of mini-bus Caetano Optimo[3];
  • Salvador Caetano Auto (SGPS), SA, which aggregates the business of retail multi-brand car to the Iberian market. Represents the major investment that the Group has been engaged on multi-brand car retail in the Iberian Peninsula, through sustained growth based on a plan of acquisitions and joint ventures[4];
  • Salvador Caetano.Com (SGPS), SA, which is the business in the area of information technology.

As well as:

  • Caetano Bus, SA, for the production of buses: COBUS (airport) and CAETANO (urban, intercity and touring) to the world[5].
  • Caetano Components, SA, for the production of components for automobile industry.

Grupo Salvador Caetano is responsible for about 50 companies, in Portugal, UK, Spain, Germany, Cape Verde and Angola.[6]

Salvador Caetano (UK) Limited

Salvador Caetano (UK) Limited was established in 1984 as an associated United Kingdom company of Salvador Caetano. It specialises in both the marketing of new own brand vehicles and used vehicles of other coachbuilders, along with repairs.

The initial location was in rented premises on Weedon Road in Northampton, England. In 1986, the company was briefly associated with The Moseley Group, based in Loughborough, England, which bought a proportion of the UK business. This link was short lived, being cancelled a few months afterwards.

The company moved to a purpose built facility in Heather, Leicestershire, England in 1989, built on land acquired from (and located next to) Reliant Coaches Limited, which it then purchased in 1998.

Also in 1998, the company set up a new company S C Coachbuilders Ltd, which was based at a factory in Waterlooville, England, acquired from Universal Vehicles Group. This factory stopped production of new bodywork in 2007.



  • Compass (S C Coachbuilders)
  • Cobus 3000 (Airport)
  • Optimo (Minibus)
  • Nimbus (S C Coachbuilders)
  • CityGold (Urban: Standard and Articulated versions)
  • CI 200 (Inter-Urban/Inter-City)
  • Slimbus (S C Coachbuilders)
  • Cutlass
  • Enigma (Toruing coach introduced in late 90's to replace Gaia and Delta range)
  • Levante
  • Winner (coded as CT600)


Between 1983 and 1988, Caetano also built trolleybuses for two Portuguese cities, Coimbra and Porto.[7]

Other products made in past

  • Estoril (Touring coach from 1960s/1970s)
  • Alpha (Touring coach from 1970s/1980s. Produced over 5 generations, known as Alpha, Alpha 77, Alpha 79, Alpha 80 and Alpha 81. It was a best seller in Portugal)
  • Beta (Touring Coach from 1980s/1990s, available also in Super-High-Decker (SHD) version (known as Beta 3700) and Double-decker (known as Super Beta 4000). Comprised 2 generations, Beta I and Beta II)
  • Delta (Touring Coach introduced in early 1990s, produced over 3 generations, Delta I, II and III)
  • Ovar (Minibus)
  • Gaia (Introduced in late 1980s for Intercity/Entry-Touring range, also available with articulated version, produced over 3 generations, Gaia I, II, III)
  • Algarve (UK version of Delta II)
  • Codenamed Urban and Interurban buses (from 1970s ahead).


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