Scania celebrates 125-year history

Swedish truck-maker documents its most important milestones in a brief look back over 125 years

Scania celebrates 125-year history
The first Swedish car. The Vabis A-car from 1897.


Celebrating its 125th year in operation, Scania has released a brief timeline covering its growth from a wagon-building company to the global truck manufacturer it is today.

Beginning in 1891, the company says it has survived a number of "hostile take-over attempts and financial crises" on its journey to 2016, a year in which its employees will be the focus.

Among the highlights listed by Scania is the arrival of its first diesel engine in 1936, followed 33 years later by the launch of the 14-litre V8 turbocharged engine that offered 350hp and took Scania to the top of the power-packing truck list.

Push forward another 41 years and Scania once again took the mantle of most powerful truck in the world with the 730hp V8 engine found in the R730.

The company’s International Truck of the Year award winners also feature in the timeline, with the 3-series and 4-series taking the gongs in 1989 and 1996, respectively.

For those interested in a more detailed look back over Scania’s 125-year history, the Swedish truck-makers' timeline is listed below.


Scania’s timeline


The privately owned wagon‐building company Vabis is established in Södertälje and sets about producing open goods wagons and transport wagons.

Some 20 years later, Scania‐Vabis is created through the amalgamation of Vabis with the Malmö‐based, privately owned machine‐manufacturing company Scania.


Scania´s Malmö works, showing work in progress on the initial series of five Scania 1903 Type A cars.



Scania‐Vabis designer August Nilsson develops a fourcylinder, overhead‐valve engine.

The engine’s power and reliability are of major benefit in trucks and buses.


Scania‐Vabis develops its first diesel engine, something that impresses the trade press during test drives.

"To my surprise, I could hardly hear the engine," wrote one journalist.

"However, I certainly felt its effect as the bus shot forward like an arrow."


Scania-Vabis´ first pre-combustion diesel engine from 1936.



Scania‐Vabis builds on its success in Brazil, opening its first ever production facility outside Sweden in São Bernardo do Campo, near São Paulo.


A legend is born! Scania introduces a 350hp, 14‐litre V8 turbocharged engine.

It is the most powerful truck motor in Europe at the time and pioneers Scania’s low‐rev philosophy with a high‐torque output at low engine speeds.


Scania launches the 2‐series, the first modular commercial vehicle range.


A row of 2-series Scania trucks.



The new 3‐series is launched and the following year takes the International Truck of the Year award.

Scania is now able to tailor trucks according to customer specifications.


The 4‐series is launched and the following year also receives the International Truck of the Year award.


A Scania R 164GB 6x4 480 milk-tanker, a member of the 4-series range.



Scania’s millionth vehicle rolls off the assembly line.


Scania’s Young European Truck Driver competition makes its debut.

Numerous winners have since been crowned.


Scania launches the Scania Touring, a new coach built in partnership with Chinese bus bodybuilder Higer.

Scania and Higer has joined forces to produce buses in China for the world market – a pioneering step forward in bus manufacturing.


The Scania R730 is the most powerful road-going truck on our market.



Boasting 730hp, Scania’s new V8 engine is the most powerful in the world without having to compromise on fuel efficiency. 

Read our review of the R730 here.


Two years before it becomes legally compulsory, Scania introduces Europe’s first Euro 6 truck.


New Streamline models for long distance transport are launched.


Scania delivers its 150,000th truck with activated connectivity.



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