Scania AB is a leading European manufacturer of heavy trucks (British English: lorries), buses, and diesel engines, based in Sodertalje, Sweden.
The company was founded in 1900 as Maskinfabriks AB Scania in the town of Malmo in southern Sweden. Scania is Latin for the province of Skane.
In 1911 Scania merged with another automobile and truck manufacturer, Vagnsfabriks Aktiebolaget i Södertälje (VABIS) of Sodertalje in mid-east Sweden, to form AB Scania-Vabis. After the Second World War, Scania-Vabis imported Volkswagen cars, under the banner of "Svenska Volkswagen AB".
In 1969 Scania-Vabis merged with SAAB, to form Saab-Scania AB. At this time, the Volkswagen subsidiary was renamed "V.A.G. Sverige AB".
When the SAAB-SCANIA corporation was split in 1995 the name of the truck and bus division changed to Scania AB.
In 1999, Volvo attempted to buy Scania using some of the cash received from the Ford buyout of Volvo Cars, however the European Union blocked this as the merged corporation would have had a virtual monopoly on heavy trucks in northern Europe. As of June 30, 2006, the largest shareholder in Scania AB was the German automaker Volkswagen AG, owning 18.7% of the capital and 34.0% of the voting stock.
Scania produces only heavy trucks (i.e. over 16 metric tonnes or Class 8 in the US) and heavy buses (over 12 tonnes), and is the world's third largest make in these two segments.
Scania exports its trucks and buses to over 70 countries. They are regarded as more high tech than others in their class. Scania places great emphasis on technology, fuel efficiency and low emission.
Scania-Vabis and later Scania also manufactured trucks outside Sweden, in Argentina, Botswana, Brazil, Korea, Tanzania, The Netherlands, Zimbabwe and (temporarily) in the USA.
Many examples of Scania, Vabis and Scania-Vabis commercial and military vehicles can be seen at the Marcus Wallenberg-hallen (the Scania Museum) in Sodertalje.
Scania was majority owned by the Wallenberg family, but over the years they have diversified their interests. The major stock holders today are:
- Volkswagen - Scania's biggest share holder, after buying shares from Volvo's aborted takeover, as well as Investor. Owns 34.32% of the voting rights and 18.7% of Scania's share capital.
- Investor AB - holds 19.3% of Scania's voting rights.
- MAN AG - holds 14.54% of Scania's voting rights.
The German truckmaker MAN AG has launched a 10.3bn (euro) hostile offer to aquire Scania AB. Scania's CEO Leif Ostling was forced to apologise for comparing the bid of MAN to a "Blitzkrieg", even if his notion that Germany lost WWII and might loose this time too may come true.
Aborted Volvo takeover.
On 7 August 1999 Volvo announced it had agreed to acquire a majority share in Scania. Volvo was to buy the 49.3% stake in Scania that was owned by Investor AB, Scania's main shareholder. The acquisition, for $7.5 billion (60.7 billion crowns), would have create the world's second-largest manufacturer of heavy trucks, behind DaimlerChrysler. The cash for the deal came from Volvo selling its car division to Ford in January 1999.
The deal eventually failed, after Scania's board gained an agreement from Investor that better value could be gained from the two companies developing separately. Volvo subsequently sold its shares to Volkswagen and Investor sold a portion of its shares to Volkswagen, after pressure from both the EU and the Swedish government.
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