It all began in 1891 with the foundation of a factory in Södertälje for the manufacture of railway carriages. The name of the company was Vagnfabriksaktiebolaget i Södertälje (Swedish for “Wagon Factory Ltd in Södertälje), shortened to Vabis. Soon the company also started to develop and manufacture cars and trucks.
In 1900 Maskinfabriksaktiebolaget Scania (a mixture of Swedish and Latin meaning “Machine Factory Ltd in Skåne”) was established in Malmö, the largest city in Sweden’s southernmost province of Skåne, for the purpose of manufacturing bicycles. Soon Scania also began production of cars and trucks.
In 1902 the first truck was produced. In 1911 Scania and Vabis merged in order to meet increased competition from around Europe. The first bus was manufactured, and production of cars, trucks and buses continued in both Malmö and Södertälje.
Video: A mail truck on treads - Car - Artillery tractor (0:19)
In 1935 Scania-Vabis became the general agent in Sweden for Volkswagen.
In 1936 Scania-Vabis introduced its first in-house diesel engine.
In 1939 Scania-Vabis unveiled the Royal, a unitary diesel using standardised components, a first for the company. This was the beginning of Scania’s modular system.
In 1949 Scania-Vabis launched its direct-injection diesel engine. This engine was so durable that it became known as the “400,000-kilometre engine”.
In the 1950s Scania-Vabis started to build up a sales and service network in Europe.
In 1957 Scania-Vabis began production of trucks in Brazil.
In the 1960s more production plants opened in Sweden – a bus production plant in Katrineholm and a cab production plant in Oskarshamn.
In 1965 the assembly plant in Zwolle, the Netherlands, was inaugurated.
In 1969 Scania-Vabis launched the new 14-litre V8 engine (350 hp). It was the most powerful truck engine in Europe.
In 1969 Scania-Vabis merged with the Swedish aircraft and car manufacturer Saab to form Saab-Scania.
In 1976 Scania opened a factory in Tucuman, Argentina.
In 1992 Scania opened a factory in Angers, France.
In 1995 Scania again became an independent company and was listed on the stock exchange in Stockholm and New York the following year.
In 2000 11 factories in five countries joined in the manufacture of Scania’s 1-millionth truck.
In 2007 Scania presented the bus of the future, a full-size low-floor ethanol hybrid city bus that cuts fossil carbon dioxide emissions by up to 90 percent if fuelled with ethanol.
In 2008 Volkswagen became the main owner of Scania, with 68.6 percent of the voting rights and 37.73 percent of the capital rights.