The American subsidiary of the German bus manufacturer, Neoplan began
operations in 1981 in Lamar, Colorado. Since that time, Neoplan USA has been
a major player in the bus market in the US. Neoplan manufactures a wide
range of models ranging from 45 foot coaches down to 30 foot transit buses.
The NEOPLAN's main plant is still there in its original location where once
the first coach was built, in Stuttgart Möhringen. Due to the main plant
reaching its capacity in 1973 another plant was established in the bavarian
Pilsting and again in 1981 a site was opened in Berlin. This place has its
advantages, especially because it facilitated the business with eastern
countries. In the same year the company went international and established
on another continent: two plants were built in the USA, one in Lamar,
Colorado the other one in Honey Brook, Pennsylvania. After the Berlin wall
fell, Neoplan expanded to the east of the Republic, two plants were founded,
in Plauen and in Ehernhain.
In the USA more than 7.000 NEOPLAN-buses
1935 saw the start of an impressive success story in Stuttgart-Möhringen.
It's the tale of a small coachbuilding company which rose to become a
globally renowned brand. Its founder, Gottlob Auwärter, was particularly
attached to busbuilding, especially after the war when the company really
began to flourish. In 1953 a bus with the revolutionary and unique monocoque
design was constructed at the Stuttgart plant - the first NEOPLAN was born.
Gottlob Auwärter and his sons, Albrecht and Konrad, steadily developed the
brand further, setting many milestones in the history of bus construction in
Gottlob Auwärter founds his own company for producing superstructures in
Stuttgart-Möhringen. Although used in several areas, they were mainly
designed for buses.
After the war, the company recovers quickly from the initial difficulties
encountered. Auwärter develops a stronger all-steel design, at that time a
completely new departure in superstructure construction.
The first NEOPLAN is built. The NEOPLAN was a milestone in the history of
bus and coach construction for several important reasons. The NEOPLAN no
longer has a superstructure fitted to a rigid chassis. Instead the body and
chassis form a unit.
Further technical innovations and improvements from NEOPLAN followed. One
was a new spring system: air bellows replaced the leaf springs. As a result
ride comfort improved immensely. Besides this, Auwärter developed
independent wheel suspension for the front axle and the NEOPLAN driving
bogey with wide spring track for the rear axle.
NEOPLAN achieves the breakthrough in the field of airport buses, moving the
engine and drive unit to the As front. This made it possible to position the
passenger compartment lower than ever before. This design made NEOPLAN the
market leader in apron buses
In the course of work on their dissertation in Hamburg, Albrecht
Auwärter and Bob Lee develop a completely new kind of coach, the Hamburg
model, which testifies to progress in both technology and design. The air
ducts run along the roof parallel to the centre aisle and have outlets at
each row of seats. The windows curve up into the roof, and the
forward-slanting window posts have remained a characteristic of all NEOPLAN
de luxe coaches to the day.
Like his brother, Konrad Anwärter too develops a bus as part of his
dissertation, constructed the first NEOPLAN double-decker, which was also
known as do-bus. The distinctive feature of the scheduled-service bus was
its lightweight design. NEOPLAN continued to build double-deckers with great
success, becoming world market leader in both buses and coaches.
It was also a double-decker, the Skyliner, that really caused a furore in
the touring coach sector. It set completely new standards, as it was the
first double-decker coach in the world. Initially it was built with two
axles, and later a three-axle variant followed. Today the Skyliner is one of
the most popular NEOPLAN products.
NEOPLAN again pointed the way in the industry, this time with the Cityliner.
Here the passenger level is higher than the driver's, which gives passengers
an excellent view. In terms of interior fittings too NEOPLAN was once again
one step ahead: the Cityliner was the first bus with a toilet and a
cloakroom. Two years later a Cityliner with air-conditioning and double
The Jetliner is basically the successor to the Hamburg model. Bob Lee gave
it a progressive exterior design incorporating typical NEOPLAN elements.
Inside too, however, the engineers came up with typical NEOPLAN de luxe
fittings. In the wake of its amazing success NEOPLAN built a new plant in
The Skyliner was the pattern for the biggest coach in the world, which was
also developed by NEOPLAN. 18 metres long, 2.50 metres wide and 4 metres
high, the Jumbocruiser exploits all permissible dimensions in full. A
double-decker articulated bus, it is unique with its four axles. Once again
the Stuttgart busbuilders took the lead.
The Spaceliner is launched. A highliner, it was also further developed into
a super highliner with underfloor cockpit. In terms of luxury and fittings
the Spaceliner was without parallel.
Another NEOPLAN plant is built in Berlin- Spandau. Since 1981 this plant has
been used particularly for producing the NEOPLAN Telebus as well as several
other front-wheel drive minibuses.
Due to the popularity of NEOPLAN buses in the USA plants are opened there
too, firstly in Lamar, Colorado, and later in Honey Brook, Pennsylvania.
Auwärter-NEOPLAN starts to build standardized city buses. This was the year
in which low-floor buses for public transport finally made their
The Metroliner with Carbon Design is launched. Its body is revolutionary,
consisting completely of a fiber composite material. Due to its low weight
the Metroliner is extremely suitable for alternative drive systems.
NEOPLAN opens another two plants in Ehrenhain and Plauen, where primarily
the successful Transliner series will be produced.
Albrecht Auwärter presents the 15-metre Megaliner. To improve its
manoeuvrability it has a steered drive axle. Due to its high economy
more and more countries granted it an operating permit.
The first NEOPLAN trolleybus is released. Its main characteristic is its
entirely low-floor appearance.
The NEOPLAN Metroshuttle is awarded the title "Bus of the year 1995".
Although a generally forward looking vehicle, a particularly notable feature
is that both axis are steered. This is an illustrative example of one of the
many trend-setting concepts embraced and developed by Neoplan.
As a 60th commemorative anniversary design, 60 exemplars of the
Cityliner platinum edition were produced with a particularly noble
At the international bus and coach exhibition (IAA) the Starliner was
presented for the very first time and has been receiving acclaim this first
Beginning of the serial production of the Starliner.
The Centroliner and the Euroliner are presented at the IAA in this year,
both receiving much admiration.
Additionally, the Starliner is nominated „Coach of the Year“
Once more, the Starliner is nominated the
coveted "Coach of the Year". With this award, NEOPLAN is the first
manufacturer to receive this title three times.
Also in Brighton, England, the majority of the jury voted for the
Starliner "Coach Of The Year" again. again. In July 2000, an important
milestone is reached with the 500th Starliner being produced.
On the 20th of July the well known Gottlob Auwärter GmbH and the MAN
Nutzfahrzeuge AG forged a partnership. From July, the Gottlob Auwärter GmbH
becomes the NEOPLAN Bus GmbH.
The new models of the Skyliner, Starliner, Centroliner and the X-Liner were
first presented at the IAA in 2002. The Starliner is awarded the title
"Coach of the Year" for the fourth time. This is an indicative of the high
standard and innovation found throughout the NEOPLAN coach range, especially
the enormously popular and impressive Starliner.
For the fifth time the Starliner is awarded the title "Coach of the
Year". Also the C-Versions of coaches has been receiving acclaim during
the first presentation at the IAA.
The new touring buses of the family NEOPLAN Tourliner was presented.
High economy and reliability as well as an excellent price/performance
ratio are the distinguishing features of the new coach of NEOPLAN which
unites aesthetics and economy. The Tourliner will be in the medium-term
the follow-up of the legendary Euroliner N 316 SHD.