Passion for commercial vehicles

For half a century, commercial vehicles have been produced in Salzgitter. The plant´s origins can be traced back to a prominent inventor - Heinrich Büssing.

The Salzgitter plant in 1964

Stefan Meusert proudly moves along the production line. "There have been tremendous changes in recent years. I am especially proud of the motivation shown by our employees and that improvements are visible and tangible," says the Manager of the Salzgitter plant, obviously very touched by this. This year, the plant is celebrating its 50th anniversary, yet its origins date back even further.

Today, the "Büssing lion" still dominates the MAN Truck & Bus logo. The roots of MAN´s Salzgitter plant also go back as far as Heinrich Büssing, an important pioneer in commercial vehicle development.

Heinrich Büssing
Heinrich Büssing created the roots of the MAN production plant in Salzgitter.

Heinrich Büssing – brilliant inventor and entrepreneur

Even as a young boy, Heinrich Büssing was interested in inventing things. As an adult, he first spent thirty years utilizing his interest in innovations as Technical Manager of the railway signal construction company "Max Jüdel & Co." During this time in Braunschweig, he had almost one hundred patents registered in his name. His real passion had however always been motor vehicles, especially trucks and buses. After dismantling a car into individual parts in the year 1900 to gain a better understanding of its construction, Büssing wanted to build trucks and buses to provide feeder transport for the railways. Just two years later, he produced his first motor vehicle with only five helpers.

Business registration of Heinrich Büssing

Finally in 1903, at the age of sixty, Büssing founded his first own company together with his sons, this being registered under the name "H. Büssing, Spezialfabrik für Motorlastwagen und Motoromnibusse, Braunschweig" (Special Manufacturer of Motor Trucks and Omnibuses). Thanks to his outstanding management talent, the company soon became a significant part of the motor vehicle industry. With their many inventions, such as the first tri-axle trucks and buses launched in 1924, Büssing and his employees made a major contribution to the technical development of commercial vehicle construction. Even following his death in 1929, the tradition created by his inventive talent was continued. As early as 1932, the company was offering a full range of trucks weighing from 1.5 to 11.5 tons, as well as buses. Invention of the underfloor engine, which was first built into a commercial vehicle in 1949, also became a special feature on the bus market.

After the Second World War, the original Büssing family enterprise had to be repositioned on a broader basis. At the same time, the decision was taken to set up a new assembly plant in Salzgitter, less than fifty kilometers from the original Braunschweig site. Following a construction period of only fourteen months, the first truck, a "Burglöwe", finally rolled off the conveyor belt at the new, modern Salzgitter assembly plant on June 25, 1964. At that time, both commercial vehicles and buses were being built over a total area of 600,000 square meters. During the difficult times that followed Germany´s economic miracle, "Büssing Nutzkraftwagen GmbH" found a strong partner in MAN, which acquired its first shares in the company in 1968 and became sole owner in 1971. Even then, the goal was to continue promoting its valuable tradition and Büssing´s legacy.

MAN production site in Salzgitter
The plant in Salzgitter today

Today, MAN Truck & Bus employs 2,500 people at its production site in Salzgitter, which offers approx. 715,000 sq. m of floor space. Along with the MAN TGS and TGX series, the Salzgitter plant also manufactures gensets and components as part of the production network. These include, for instance, non-driven axles for buses and trucks, as well as crankshafts for commercial vehicle engines. Bus chassis are put together on a separate assembly line and provide a basis for coachwork customers operating on a global scale. Complete construction kits for the MAN brand´s global Truck in the Box (TIB) assembly plants are packed at this site, which also controls the global logistics chain. Logistics facilities covering around 145,000 sq. m are available to take receipt of, store and dispatch original MAN spare parts.

This is how the production of commercial vehicles has developed from the time of the first Büssing plant until today:

Heinrich Büssing’s first company in Braunschweig


Heinrich Büssing founded his first own company for the production of commercial vehicles in Braunschweig.

Büssing’s first truck forge from the inside


A glimpse of Büssing´s first truck forge - originally, the building was an old laundry

First motorized omnibus line to carry passengers and mail


Heinrich Büssing set up the world´s first motorized omnibus line to carry passengers and mail between Wendeburg and Braunschweig.

Büssing advertisement


Büssing´s company developed trolleybuses with underfloor engines. These flat internal combustion engines made it possible to save considerable space, while ensuring a low centre of gravity to improve road holding.

Plant Salzgitter in 1964


The new Büssing assembly plant in Salzgitter-Watenstedt covered some 600,000 square meters.

Plant Salzgitter in 1967


For a long time, buses were also produced here as well as trucks.

Vehicles in the Salzgitter plant in the 80s


The light G90 truck series was also produced here during the '80s and '90s – in cooperation with Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

Parts Logistic Center


The Parts Logistics Center became operational in 2011 and was completed in 2012. It offers more than 145,000 square meters of logistics facilities.

The Salzgitter plant today


With 2,500 employees, the Salzgitter plant is a key location in the MAN Truck & Bus production network.


Truck production

In Salzgitter the heavy TGX trucks and the medium-weight TGS series are produced.

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