History

Saracakis_bus_Thessaloniki

History

1922: John D. Saracakis establishes in the city of Thessaloniki (north Greece) what is bound to become one of the largest commercial and industrial groups in Greece.

1922 to 1940: Numerous world-famous companies like Renault, Fiat, Dunlop, Hudson and General Motors among others, are distributed and supported in northern Greece by Saracakis. In 1933, collaboration with DuPont de Nemours is established for exclusively handling in Greece the franchise of their automotive refinish products, coating solutions etc.

1941: Saracakis company headquarters are moved to Athens.

1950: Volvo entrusts Saracakis with the exclusive Import – Distribution of Volvo passenger cars, trucks, buses and later on of its marine, industrial engines and construction equipment.

1959: John D. Saracakis becomes acquainted with Honda Motor making its motorcycle racing debut in Europe at the Isle of Man T.T. race and decides to pioneer the Import – Distribution of Japanese origin Honda motorcycles in Greece.

1963: Saracakis formalises its co-operation with Honda by signing exclusive distribution agreement for the import of Honda motorcycles in Greece. In same year, Mitsubishi appoints Saracakis as its exclusive Importer – Distributor of Mitsubishi passenger cars and commercial vehicles in Greece.

1965: The first complete Volvo buses with rear engines are developed by the Group’s Industrial division by the name SBAV, long before similar chassis are made available in the Volvo product range. The SBAV bus chassis is developed from F85 Volvo truck chassis. Total production of such buses reaches 1,200 units and 50 of these are exported to Alexandria-Egypt. This year Saracakis also establishes business relationship with Komatsu for exclusively Importing – Distributing Komatsu earthmoving equipment and forklifts in Greece.

1968: Collaboration with Honda Motor is expanded to also include the Import – Distribution of Honda passenger cars and later on of Honda marine engines and power products in Greece.

1975: John D. Saracakis passes away.

1977: The first Articulated bus is produced (initially with Saracakis chassis and later on Volvo B10M chassis and Schenksemi-trailer), 18-meter long, with the nick-name «Dinosaur». The «Dinosaur» begins its career in the city of Thessaloniki whilst its simpler version, built on Volvo B10M chassis, is used for the transport needs of the area of Piraeus.

1999: Saracakis’ Industrial division completes construction of 120 articulated buses for the Athens Urban Transport Company (ETHEL) in Greece, built on Volvo B7LA chassis. This type of bus, by the name of «Athina», is the first 3-axle articulated bus worldwide with low floor in its entire length.

2000: The Group’s Industrial division innovates the manufacture of the first in Greece stainless steel bus body on Volvo chassis (40 buses for the city of Thessaloniki).

2001: In recognition of the contribution made by the Saracakis family towards the development of economic relations between Sweden and Greece over the past 5 decades, His Majesty the King of Sweden, awards the insignia of “Commander of the Royal Order of the Polar Star” to Mr. D. J. Saracakis, President of the Group.

2002: Saracakis formalizes collaboration with Renault Trucks to become its sole authorized Importer – Distributor in Greece.

2005: The Group expands its activities in the neighboring country of Bulgaria through the establishment of a separate company there. During same year, initiates collaboration with the Chinese manufacturer Anhui Heli for Importing – Distributing their range of forklifts in the Greek market.

This year is also characterized by a thrust in developing Group’s own car retail operations in Greece.

2007: Saracakis agrees with Volvo Construction Equipment (VCE) to expand their business relationships by taking up the respective franchise also in Bulgaria.

2008: Saracakis agrees with BAE Systems to exclusively represent the latter’s Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles (FMTV) in the Greek market.

2009: The Group’s operations are expanded in Cyprus; Volvo Truck Corporation and Volvo Bus Corporation appoint Saracakis as their sole authorized Importer – Distributor in that market as well.

2011: The Group is appointed official Importer – Distributor in Greece of the forklift range of the Italian manufacturer OMG and the gen sets of the French manufacturer SDMO.

2013: The Group expands its operations in the vehicle Tyres market by becoming official Importer – Distributor of: Infinity, Titan, Apollo and Sigma Motion Tyres.