The Sfakianakis group of companies is a Greek conglomerate with a wide range of activities, employing over 2000 in four countries in 2007.
The company's origins were based on vehicle
manufacture. Originally called Büssing Hellas (after the German
manufacturer whose engines it used) it was founded in 1961
succeeding earlier trading companies founded by the same family. Initially building bodies on imported chassis
, it soon developed its own chassis family (originally based on a German MAN
model, the latter having acquired Büssing
). The company's SS500 chassis ('SS' standing for 'Stratis Sfakianakis') was subsequently further developed, and a great variety of bus types was designed and built over it in the following years in the company's factory near Elefsina
, with limited exports to Eastern Europe
and the Middle East
. Other industrial activities included construction of truck bodies and Japanese Hino
chassis assembly. The company was renamed Sfakianakis S.A. in 1993
and among the last types it designed and produced were the SS400 and SS380 minibuses and a new series of SS500 inter-city
and coach variants.
Evolution of the Industrial Division
The Sfakianakis industrial division had managed to survive for decades without any state support, despite fierce competition from imports; a flood of cheaper imports, though, eventually made bus manufacture unprofitable. This division was greatly shrunk in 2006
, after the group had very successfully diversified into other business areas including vehicle import
and sales and the services sector.