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Menarini

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Carrozzeria Menarini as a carbody maker was founded in 1919 during the difficult afterwar period in which Italy, yielded by the damages suffered, delayed to recover itself and start up new activities. At the beginning the Company had an artisan profile since the total lack of capitals, but the skillness and the untiring work of Ettore Menarini imprinted in it a so great activity so as to ensure a constant and increasing development.

After a first period aimed to the refurbishing of vehicles bodies, in 1925 as soon as it was possible to extend the plant and buy machinery, the Company started, with good results, and also built car bodies for cars and taxi.

In the new location, the production went through an evolution and a transformation: the manufacture of tourism vehicles was stopped and the production of industrial vehicles: vans, ambulances, lorries, truck cabins was started and later, also buses the most complex and difficult among the others.

In ten years the bus production tripled and increased further until the burst of the Second World War. At the beginning of the war the Italian factories built many more buses than cars.

In the first years of war the Menarini plant produced special vans, ambulances, shop trucks for war purpose, but later bad times occurred: the big plant was mostly damaged by bombing raids and the manufacturing activity had to be stopped in 1944. Production did not continue when the war ended because the plant was requisitioned by the Allied Army's.

In 1946 Ettore Menarini again could take possession of his property. He started to restore the various sectors and damaged machinery and finally in 1952 the plant started to build only buses.

The first depicts a Fiat 309 Menarini Series 1016/1020 at the train station on Line 2 towards San Giuliano a Mare, together with a Fiat 656E trolleybus 1002 of the first allocation direct to Miramare. The photo is dated pre 1968, as the car 1002 was canceled in 1968. Source

In 1952 after the death of Ettore Menarini, his three sons Dante, Giorgio, Eugenio, continued the industrial activity under the new name Carrozzeria Menarini Bologna s.n.c..

In 1954 the Menarini brothers started the construction of a wide and modern plant for the manufacturing of every type of modern bus carbodies, including the self bearing structures. The great plant was completed in 1960 on a total area of 50.000 sm. whose 25.000 sm. are covered.

With the starting of activity at the new plant, also the success of Carrozzeria Menarini with the bus, the Italian market improved as well as with a further plant enlargement and updating.

The bus body model named "Essediemme", launched in 1961 represented a real milestone for all the bus manufacturing techniques. After that, more or less all the bus manufacturers have to update their models in order to conform to the new style launched by Menarini whose main points were: no more transparent tiles on the roof, no more descending panes in the wall sides, electrically operated doors on coaches, flat roofs and large windows. Furthermore many other technical improvements were introduced such as a better acoustic insulation, the curb weight reduction, the interchangeability of parts which can fail.

The sixties are for Italy a period of fast progress in every industrial activity during which Menarini grew and strengthened designing and realizing by itself also the chassis for city buses and coaches, thus leaving its past characteristic of simple body maker, and becoming in full a complete bus manufacturer.

In the following years Menarini continued to follow the path of innovation in its products playing the role of the "bus at the state of art" among the competitors and reaching the leadership on the domestic citybus and coach market.

The disc brakes application appears on the beginning of the eighties, then the front wheel suspensions for coaches, and even a DE DION rear axle on the coach Monocar 101 and 102 SBH, state of art in the development of the modern coaches design as well as the first studies for the low floor lay out on the city bus families.

In the most recent years, in 1989, Menarini was purchased by Breda Costruzioni Ferroviarie anticipating that process of industrial aggregation which would characterize also the bus sector as it occurred before among the car and industrial vehicles manufacturers. The new trademark Breda Menarini bus is established; the red little horse will appear on all the buses produced by the Company based in Bologna.

1986 Menarini Monocar 201 Della

The transfer of property to the Breda Group first, and later under the direct control of Finmeccanica (2001), the main industrial holding in Italy, allows Menarini to receive enough funding in order to renew its product range reducing the recurring difficulties due to the fall of the bus market following the cut in the state financing.

Many new models of success are launched in the urban segment: the first low floor families such as M 221, M 321, M 230. The last one represents the first ultralow floor in Italy in the Midi size.

Starting on 1997 an entire new product range, ultralow floor, is launched: M 240, M 231, M 340 some of them currently on catalogue. These buses witness the evolution to a new generation of vehicles, featuring a relevant technical content (engines, chassis, electronics, etc) and design solutions aimed to achieve high reliability and low managing costs.

Anticipating the market demand towards low emission buses, Breda Menarini bus presents CNG buses (EXOBUS), a battery minibus (ZEUS) and a hybrid bus (ALTERECO).

Since 1989 about 5000 buses are produced by Breda Menarini bus, while the continuous improvement in the manufacturing process allows the achievement in 1997 of the ISO 2001 certification for the Quality Assurance System. In june 2003 Breda Menarini bus also gets the certification to the ISO 9001 ed. 2000 confirming its leading position among the competitors in the bus sector. Source



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