Scania-Vabis was a Swedish truck and car manufacturer. The company was formed from a merger of Scania with the firm of Vabis in 1911. The car production ended in 1929. The Vabis name being dropped from the trucks in 1968.
Its name came from the merger of Scania (Maskinfabriksaktiebolaget Scania), which started out by manufacturing bicycles, with Vabis (Vagnfabriks Aktiebolaget iSödertälje), in 1911. Until 1929 the company manufactured cars in Malmö, as well as trucks and buses. Over the succeeding years, the company, based in Södertälje, Sweden, developed an enviable reputation for the toughness, comfort and reliability of its commercial vehicles. The 1963 LB76 was the model that forged the Scania-Vabis reputation outside Sweden. This forward-control design was one of the first exhaustively crash-tested truck cabs.
For some time Daimler-Benz waged a 'logo war' with Scania-Vabis, claiming a possible confusion between the Scania-Vabis 'pedal crank' design featuring on Scania bicycles around 1900 and the Mercedes 'three-pointed star'. In 1968 Daimler-Benz won and the Scania-Vabis logo changed to a simple griffin's head on a white background, and 'Vabis' was dropped from the name.
In 1969 Scania merged with SAAB, to form the Saab-Scania AB company, under the Wallenberg family umbrella. This corporation was split in 1995 and the company became simply Scania AB, which is still a manufacturer of advanced truck and bus designs. In 1999, the European Union blocked a merger with Volvo.
For Scania-Vabis, there were many inexpensive, imported cars with which to compete so, in order to establish a profile of their own, they made high-class, luxury cars. Examples include the Scania-Vabis Limousine Type III, from 1920, that included a top hat holder in the roof. Prince Carl of Sweden had a 1913 Scania-Vabis 3S. The type 3S was fitted with an in-car phone or buttons so the passenger could communicate with the driver. They also made two-seat sports cars (or "sportautomobil").
The company was involved in bus production from its earliest days producing Post buses in the 1920s. Post war the company introduced the B series of buses which were followed by the BF series in the late 1950s. Bus production continues today as a major part of Scanias production after the dropping of the Vabis name in 1968.