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Bus (in general) - 3

At this point the important cooperating must be mentioned. The manufacturers of superstructures on truck chassis established themselves quite early. Kässbohrer built them for Saurer frames, although Saurer also offered their own buses. After 1915, through the cooperation with Saurer, MAN also came into bus-building. In 1907, Benz took over the Süddeutsche Automobilfabrik Gaggenau (South German Autobobile Factory) and relocated the entire utility vehicle production to this site.

The military played an important role. After all, this was the period before the First World War (1914 - 18). Germany was arming itself, not only the naval-forces. As well as trucks, one also needed buses to transport the troops. Thus, they approached not only the manufacturers but also the consumers. The former were given stricter standards for the coveted state orders, the latter were subsidized, if, in the event of a war, they placed their vehicles at the state's disposal.

During the war the construction specifications became tighter, it all came down to a uniform model. It had a net-weight of 4,5 tons and was powered by a four cylinder engine with 44kW (60h hp), the same as in the buses. Everyone was building the same vehicle and earning good money. The fusion between MAN and Saurer should now be mentioned, which gave the former, through having an established partner, access to the construction of trucks and buses.

Of course, the military needed more trucks than buses, because trucks could also be used to transport troops. By the way, traditionally, the truck was and stayed much cheaper than the bus, nowadays, that means that the bus costs more than double the amount that a truck does. The series are smaller and the customers wishes are more varied. Due to inflation and the economic crisis, after the war the situation was hardly any better.

The Saurer, being a Swiss product, invites us to have a look at foreign countries, where e.g., in France, apart from a Saurer factory, there were enough producers ready and waiting. Beside the well-known motor car manufacturers, Berliet should be mentioned, a company which was founded already in 1899 in Lyon, who, which is less well known, also produced motor cars. Germany lost it's status as exporter to other countries.

Times were bad. Horses cost a lot less to look after and, once again, were desired for goods-transporting. Instead of advancing to the pneumatic tyre the clock was being turned back to the iron wheels. One managed as best one could, there was simply no money for buying anything new, not to mention for new developments. Moreover, there was enough scrap-metal left over from the war, from which, e.g., a truck could be put together. By the way, Ferruccio Lamborghini started his business building military vehicles, indeed, this was only after World War Two.

After such a long war, which was accompanied by famine, whoever had the money to pay for a bus-trip across the country? Apart from that, to build anything new, raw materials were necessary, which so soon after the war, could not and were not allowed to be imported. Nevertheless, whether out of courage or perhaps desperation, several manufacturers, during and after the war, decided to take on the production of trucks and buses. 02/13

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