1980 - The modular family
During the 1980s, Scania introduced two new modular truck ranges. Intensive technical development also enabled the company to manufacture "made-to-measure" trucks based on customer orders.
In 1980-81, Scania introduced the new Program Scania range of trucks. Encompassing trucks in the 16-36 tonne gross weight range, it was based on far-reaching modularisation not only of engines, gearboxes, propeller shafts and final gears, but also chassis components such as axles, frames and especially cabs. This enabled Scania to respond to market demands for solutions tailored to different transport needs, while satisfying demands for more economical production. Using a limited number of components, Scania could build an almost unlimited number of truck variants.
Greater variety for the customers
Scania pursued its modular development work consistently and systematically. In disciplined fashion, pre-production engineers accepted the constraints that the modular philosophy obviously imposed on their freedom. Their work was richly rewarded, as the new cab range in particular demonstrated.
In principle, three different cab families were replaced by a single modular family. As a result, customers were offered greater variety while the number of items in the full cab range shrank by 70 percent. The number of sheet metal parts, which required expensive investments in press tools, was reduced to a minimum and average working hours per cab fell by about 30 percent.
The new Program Scania range marked the return of efficient modular thinking as one of the cornerstones of Scania's corporate philosophy. Due to thorough modularisation, Scania trucks were characterised by high quality and cost-effective production. This paved the way for comparatively high margins and the best profitability in the industry.
In 1987-88, Scania introduced the 3-series, awarded the "Truck of the Year" award in 1989. In the 3-series, Scania further refined its modular thinking. The company was able to manufacture "made-to-measure" trucks based on customer orders.
In a dialogue with the dealer, each customer could specify individual demands. Together, they were able to design a truck - component by component and part by part. The result was a "made-to-measure" truck, with a unique combination of components and equipment. Computers broke down this unique truck order into its constituent elements. This immediately resulted in sub-orders for frame members, axles, a cab, transmissions and an engine from component manufacturers. These would be assembled a few weeks later on a predetermined date at one of Scania's chassis workshops.