The Sfakianakis group of companies is a Greek conglomerate with a wide range of activities, employing over 2400 in five countries in 2008.
The company's origins were based on vehicle manufacture. Originally called Büssing Hellas (after the German manufacturer whose engines it used) it was founded in 1961 succeeding earlier trading companies founded by the same family. Initially building bodies on imported chassis, it soon developed its own chassis family (originally based on a German MAN model, the latter having acquired Büssing). The company's SS500 chassis ('SS' standing for 'Stratis Sfakianakis') was subsequently further developed, and a great variety of bus types was designed and built over it in the following years in the company's factory near Elefsina, with limited exports to Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Other industrial activities included construction of truck bodies and Japanese Hino chassis assembly. The company was renamed Sfakianakis S.A. in 1993 and among the last types it designed and produced were the SS400 and SS380 minibuses and a new series of SS500 inter-city and coach variants.
Evolution of the Industrial Division
The Sfakianakis industrial division had managed to survive for decades without any state support, despite fierce competition from imports; a flood of cheaper imports, though, eventually made bus manufacture unprofitable. This division was greatly shrunk in 2006, after the group had very successfully diversified into other business areas including vehicle import and sales and the services sector.
- L.S. Skartsis and G.A. Avramidis, 'Made in Greece', Typorama, Patras, Greece (2003).
- Profile from Company website