Buses from Mercedes-Benz and Setra – 25 years of successful bus manufacturing

1995 marked the start of a unique success story for Daimler Buses

25 years ago, on February 23, 1995, the two European bus brands Mercedes-Benz and Setra created a strategic alliance. It marked the beginning of the successful bus business of Daimler Buses. Today, the company is represented far beyond the borders of Europe with its maintenance offering and advisory services, and is also known for the contribution it is making to creating efficient and sustainable mobility solutions.

“I’m of the firm belief that the events of 25 years ago have allowed us to write a good portion of industrial history in the field of bus building and in doing so, we’ve set ourselves up to continue this trend in the future. We have a clear vision: as a leading provider, we aim to provide our customers the world over with the best buses and mobility solutions,” says Till Oberwörder, Head of Daimler Buses.

From bumpy beginnings to a bright future

The merger of the Mercedes-Benz Buses product area, then part of Mercedes-Benz AG, and the Setra bus brand of the former Karl Kässbohrer Fahrzeugwerke GmbH vehicle works was, however, anything but smooth. As Mercedes-Benz and Setra were both leaders in the bus sector, political and cartel-relevant hurdles had to be overcome. For fear of the fusion failing, the people of the Ulm/Neu-Ulm region protested peacefully on February 1, 1995 in a show of support for the merger. At the end of February, the time had come: The Mercedes star and the Kässbohrer “K” joined forces – and the EvoBus GmbH brand was born. The brand has 14 subsidiaries in countries like France, Spain, Italy and Belgium which are responsible for the European operations of Daimler Buses. Besides EvoBus GmbH, a number of bus manufacturing plants and relevant national sales organizations around the world also form part of the Daimler Buses business area.

“Today, we can say with certainty that we have amalgamated the best of both brand worlds. We have developed together and set ourselves up for a sustainable future. EvoBus GmbH is a major part of the international bus business of Daimler Buses. We are the market leader in our core markets of Europe, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. With continuous improvements at our Mannheim and Neu-Ulm production locations, we are now the last remaining bus manufacturer to produce vehicles in Germany. And we’re very proud of that and we’re fully aware of the responsibility with which it comes,” explains Till Oberwörder.

Innovative and technological leadership in tomorrow’s mobility solutions

The business area is keeping a close eye on the future requirements in the field of bus mobility: in developing locally emission-free drive systems and networked vehicles, Daimler Buses is contributing to making traffic in our cities and conurbations not only more efficient but also more environmentally friendly. The technological and innovative leadership role of the company isn’t just underlined by the development of the fully-electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro urban bus manufactured in series production at the Mannheim plant, but also by the fact that these vehicles are now already on the road all over Europe. With solutions tailored to local requirements, the products of the Mercedes-Benz, Setra and Bharat Benz brands, as well as the proximity of their sales and service network to the customers provided further opportunities for growth in emerging markets around the world. In order to create the basis for sustainable and profitable growth, the production network has been continuously developed over the past years.

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SOURCE: Daimler