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Drögmöller

Coachbuilder

Drögmöller (Drögmöller-Karosserien GmbH & Co. KG) was a motor coach manufacturer based in Heilbronn, Germany, known for the production of touring coaches, operating between 1920 and 2005.

The firm was founded 1 July 1920 by Gotthard Drögmöller from Mecklenburg. Originally the Drögmöllers were built on a Mercedes-Benz chassis, but in 1965 the firm started to build complete vehicles, following the pattern established more than a decade earlier by the Ulm-based firm Setra. Drögmöller gained market exposure by producing touring coaches with so called theatre or panorama seating: these vehicles featured an interior floor incorporating a slight slope towards the rear of the vehicle, which improved forward vision for passengers. Volumes remained modest, however: during the 1980s the firm was producing around 90 vehicles per year with a workforce of approximately 320.

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Drögmöller (Drögmöller-Karosserien GmbH & Co. KG) was a motor coach manufacturer based in Heilbronn, Germany, known for the production of touring coaches, operating between 1920 and 2005.

The firm was founded 1 July 1920 by Gotthard Drögmöller from Mecklenburg. Originally the Drögmöllers were built on a Mercedes-Benz chassis, but in 1965 the firm started to build complete vehicles, following the pattern established more than a decade earlier by the Ulm-based firm Setra. Drögmöller gained market exposure by producing touring coaches with so called theatre or panorama seating: these vehicles featured an interior floor incorporating a slight slope towards the rear of the vehicle, which improved forward vision for passengers. Volumes remained modest, however: during the 1980s the firm was producing around 90 vehicles per year with a workforce of approximately 320.

In the 1990s the lucrative German market for touring coaches was dominated by Mercedes-Benz, Setra, and Neoplan, and it was presumably in the hope of gaining a more significant share of the German market that in 1994 Volvo took a stake in Drögmöller: in 1995 they acquired the business outright. In 2001 a new model with Drögmöller-style theatre seating, the Volvo 9900, was introduced: nevertheless, the closure of the plant in 2005 suggests that Volvo's ambitions for their acquisition were not fully realised. The Heilbronn plant remained Volvo's German headquarters for buses until 2010, when the administration moved to Ismaning near Munich and the used buses department to Lohfelden near Kassel.

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