Scania-Vabis tractor unit reg RDA 106F at Donington 09 - IMG 6141small

A well presented restored Scania Vabis tractor unit at Donington Park CV show in 2009

Scania-Vabis was a Swedish truck manufacturer, formed by the merger in 1911 of Scania and Vabis to combine there truck building operations. The vabis name was dropped in 1968 and the truck building operation became Scania.


The firm of Scania-Vabis was a notable truck manufacturer in Swedish, formed by a merger in 1911. Its name came from the merger of Scania (Maskinfabriksaktiebolaget Scania), which started out by manufacturing bicycles, with Vabis (Vagnfabriks Aktiebolaget i Södertälje), in 1911. Until 1929 the company manufactured cars in Malmö, as well as trucks and buses. Over the succeeding years, the company, based in Södertälje, Sweden, developed an enviable reputation for the toughness, comfort and reliability of its commercial vehicles. The 1963 LB76 was the model that forged the Scania-Vabis reputation outside Sweden. This forward-control design was one of the first exhaustively crash-tested truck cabs.

For some time Daimler-Benz waged a 'logo war' with Scania-Vabis, claiming a possible confusion between the Scania-Vabis 'pedal crank' design featuring on Scania bicycles around 1900 and the Mercedes 'three-pointed star'. In 1968 Daimler-Benz won and the Scania-Vabis logo changed to a simple griffin's head on a white background, and 'Vabis' was dropped from the name. The name Scania almost certainly derived from the name of the region in Sweden where the company originated: Skåne.

Scania-SAAB merger

In 1969 Scania merged with SAAB, to form the Saab-Scania AB company, under the Wallenberg umbrella. This corporation was split up in 1995 and the company became simply Scania AB, which is still a manufacturer of advanced truck and bus designs. In 1999, the European Union blocked a proposed merger (takeover) with Volvo.

Scania-Vabis cars

For Scania-Vabis, there were many inexpensive, imported cars with which to compete so, in order to establish a profile of their own, they made high-class, luxury cars. Examples include the Scania-Vabis Limousine Type III, from 1920, that included a top hat holder in the roof. Prince Carl of Sweden had a 1913 Scania-Vabis 3S. The type 3S was fitted with an in-car phone or buttons so the passenger could communicate with the driver. They also made two-seat sports cars (or "sportautomobil").[1]

Scania-Vabis buses

See also: Scania buses

The company was involved in bus production from its earliest days producing Post buses in the 1920's. Post war the company introduced the B series of buses which were followed by the BF series in the late 1950's. Bus production continues today as a major part of Scania's production after the dropping of the Vabis name in 1968.

Military vehicles

A few military vehicles were built by the company.

  • Scania-Vabis 33520/1 military Truck of 1941
  • The Scania-Vabis SAV m/43 a light tank built during the 2nd world war
  • Scania-Vabis 2L12 military Truck (1947)

Overseas truck production

Scania-Vabis and later Scania also manufactured trucks in Argentina, Botswana, Brazil, Korea, Tanzania, The Netherlands, Zimbabwe and (temporarily) in the USA.

Model range

  • Scania-Vabis 3752 Bus 1925
  • Scania-Vabis B series 3243 Bus 1927
  • Scania-Vabis 8406 Bus 1928
  • Scania-Vabis 3243 Post bus 1929
  • Scania-Vabis 8307 Bus 1932
  • Scania-Vabis 8208 Bus 1936
  • Scania-Vabis 8422/4 Buschassi 1939
  • Scania-Vabis B31 Bus 1947
  • Scania-Vabis B16 Bus 1948
  • Scania-Vabis Type I Phaeton 1914
  • Scania-Vabis DLa Special Fire Engine 1915
  • Scania-Vabis Type III Ambulance 1919
  • Scania-Vabis CLc Truck 1919
  • Scania-Vabis T-1 Fire Engine 1920
  • Scania-Vabis 2½-Ton Fire Engine 1925
  • Scania-Vabis 3291 Truck 1925

Scania-Vabis 3251 Truck 1927 Scania-Vabis 3256 Truck 1928 Scania-Vabis 3244 Truck 1929 Scania-Vabis 2555/2 Fire Engine 1931 Scania-Vabis 3352 Truck 1934 Scania-Vabis 1565 Fire Engine 1936 Scania-Vabis 1664 Wrecker 1940 Scania-Vabis 33520/1 Truck 1941 Scania-Vabis L12 Truck 1946 Scania-Vabis 2L12 Truck 1947 Scania-Vabis L44 Truck 1949 Scania-Vabis LS64 Truck 1950 Scania-Vabis L62HS Truck 1951 Scania-Vabis L65 Truck 1951 Scania-Vabis LS63 Truck 1952 Scania-Vabis LS85 Truck 1952 Scania-Vabis L51 Drabant Truck 1953 Scania-Vabis L5142 Drabant Truck 1958 Scania-Vabis L5146 Drabant Truck 1954 Scania-Vabis L63E Truck 1953 Scania-Vabis L64E Tanker 1953 Scania-Vabis L71 Regent Truck 1954 Scania-Vabis L7138 Regent Truck 1956 Scania-Vabis LS7142 Regent Truck 1956 Scania-Vabis L7146 Regent Truck 1955 Scania-Vabis L7150 Regent Truck 1954 Scania-Vabis LT75 Truck 1959 Scania-Vabis L7542 Truck 1962 Scania-Vabis LS7550 Truck 1963 Scania-Vabis LS76 Truck 1963 Scania-Vabis LS76 Tanker 1963 Scania-Vabis LS 76 46 213 Tanker 1964

Military vehiclesScania-Vabis L55 TruckScania-Vabis L56 Truck 1965

Scania-Vabis SAV m/43 - Light tank Scania-Vabis LS23 Truck 1948


Scania Museum

Many examples of Vabis, Scania-Vabis and Scania commercial vehicles are in the Marcus Wallenberg-hallen (the Scania Museum) in Södertälje, Sweden.

UK vehicles

These are relatively rare in the UK as continetal vehicles did not gain a massive sales in the UK till the 1970's onwards when the modern foreign designs gained popularity, against some of the dated British designs.

  • An example of a UK lorry is shown above.

See also


Initial article based on wikipedia entry

  1. Ekström, Gert (1984). Svenska bilbyggare. Allt om hobby. ISBN 91-85496-22-7. 

External links

[[Category:1969 mergers

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