GRANT WISE tells the story of the Polish manufacturer, which in 24 years has grown from modest beginnings to claim leadership in supplying operators across the continent with zero-emission and hybrid vehicles

The major European bus manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz, MAN, Volvo, Scania and Iveco, can trace their product history back 100 years and more. Likewise the Dennis part of Alexander Dennis.

But another of the continent’s major manufacturers — Solaris Bus & Coach, based in Poland in Bolechowo, near the city of Poznan — has only officially existed for just over 22 years and through the impressive efforts of its founders and innovative workforce has been producing its own designs of vehicles since 1999.

One of the large fleet of Solaris Urbino 18 bendybuses operated by BVG in Berlin.

It began with 36 production line employees, had a total labour force of 1,000 by 2005 and 2,400 after Spanish train and tram manufacturer CAF Group acquired the business in September 2018. Production volumes reached 1,100 in 2010 and were around 1,600 last year. It has produced over 19,000 vehicles in total.

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