Solaris Bus & Coach, Poland

Solaris Bus & Coach, Poland

Solaris Bus & Coach


Solange Olszewska, Krzysztof Olszewski

Bolechowo, Poland


Solaris Bus & Coach is a leading European manufacturer of innovative public transportation vehicles, such as buses, trolleybuses and urban rail vehicles. Since its launch in 1996, nearly 17 000 vehicles have left the factory gate in Bolechowo near Poznan. These drive on roads in 32 countries. The vision and experience of the company owners coupled with the enthusiasm of its young crew led to the establishment of a firm that is a trendsetter for the industry. Solaris is a European leader in e-mobility offering a wide range of battery buses. The new Solaris Urbino 12 electric was named “Bus of the Year 2017”. Solaris Bus & Coach and company was included to the Group CAF. Additionally, CAF has entered into an agreement with the Polish PFR investment fund – Polski Fundusz Rozwoju – for the acquisition by the latter of a minority stake in Solaris (35%) in the same terms and conditions agreed in by CAF in the acquisition of Solaris.



In 1994, Krzysztof Olszewski founded the company Neoplan Polska Sp. z o.o., a branch office for the Polish market of German bus brand Neoplan. In 1995, this enterprise won a tender for the delivery of 72 low-floor city buses for Poznan. The tender was made conditional upon locating the bus manufacturing factory in the vicinity of Poznan. As a result, the company launched an assembly plant for buses in Bolechowo-Osiedle. The first bus produced by Neoplan Polska came fresh off the production line on 22 March 1996. Having carried out the order for Poznan, the firm went on to reach the position of Polish market leader in the segment of low-floor city buses. Initially, the Bolechowo plant manufactured licence-based buses of the Neoplan family.

The buses stood out from other ones thanks to their reliability and the quality of execution, but above all thanks to their innovative design and, which was a novelty back then, its accessibility for elderly and disabled people thanks to the low floor. An element distinguishing the Neoplan buses produced in Poland from those made abroad was the green dachshund logo pasted onto the left-hand corner of the front face. It was supposed to symbolise the low-floor feature of the bus and the simplicity of use. The colour of the dachshund was a reference to the company’s environmental commitment in the production of public transport vehicles. The green dachshund has remained the symbol of our company until this day.



In the first years of operation, Neoplan Polska also handled the assembly of the coaches Neoplan Transliner and Neoplan Skyliner. Serial production of the tourist coach of the company’s own design Solaris Vacanza 12 began one year after the official unveiling in August 2001. The design of these coaches was drafted by the Berlin-based enterprise IFS Designatelier. A characteristic feature of these vehicles is the wedge-shaped bodywork line. Engines made by DAF were used for the driveline. In 2004, the company launched production of the longer model Solaris Vacanza 13. In 2003 the Solaris Vacanza was ranked second (ex aequo with the Volvo 9700) in the contest Coach of the Year 2004, right behind such brands as MAN Lion's Star and Scania Irizar PB, which took the first place ex aequo. Due to limited sales, Solaris decided to eliminate them from its offer in 2011.


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