Build On Demand
- Gepubliceerd: zondag 09 april 2017 12:35
- Geschreven door René
So what do you do as a manufacturer of cars, and you wish to expand your modelrange with off-road vehicles? Then you go to the specialists surrounded by mountains of experience.
Since Steyr-Daimler-Puch had the expercience and the reputation of getting the most out of every engine and driving mechanism, which they had shown with their own Pinzgauer and Haflinger models, it was a matter of time before other car manufacturers stood at their doorstep and wanted to build their own cars with all-wheel drive.
Since Puch owned all the patents, the deal was made every single time, to build the entire car at the Werke in Graz. This was excellent for the local labour and brought many prosparity to the region. So, what other 4x4 models came rolling off the Puch production plant? You'll be amazed:
First there was Mercedes-Benz with their G-series. All 4x4's were build by Steyr-Daimler-Puch, right until the end. The 280 model was very popular and still rides today, bothoriginal from the late 70'sas the latest models in 2017. The entire engine and 4 x 4 parts were assembled and build in Graz. There was also an identical Puch version, which costed less but it was still the same make.
You can still find them and buy them used for a very nice price, if you want. But Mercedes-Benz hit it rich and the G-series is going stron for almost 50 years now! All because of the quality build by Steyr-Daimler-Puch.
Another manufacturer that came knocking on Puch's door in the early 80's, was none other than Volkswagen. Their Golf model (or Rabbit, if you live in America) was very popular as the successor of the Beetle, and VW needed to expand their range of Golf/Rabbit models quickly, so the demand for a 4 x 4 was the logical step.
The Volkswagen Golf Country, as it was marketed, was again fully assembled and build by Steyr-Daimler-Puch in Graz, Austria.
It never became as popular as the G-Series from Mercedes, but it filled a niche market quite nicely. The all-wheel drive mechanism was a proven concept and these cars really could go cross country and offroad if they wanted. These were huge successes for the Grazer factory and it wasn't the last one, because now the word was out, other big brands were in line for their own models and the factory got a whole lot bigger by then.
Puch and Fiat's cooperation has a rich history that goes back for decades, so it was no wonder that Fiat also wanted a 4 x 4. Their model? The Fiat Panda. Very succesful in the 80's and 90's, just like the Golf, and very high in demand. No wonder Fiat wanted in.
Thus, during the 80, the Fiat Panda 4 x 4 was born. It was another statement of excellence and these cars could conquer any terrain for sure.
During those days however, it was barely noticed that htese were build by Steyr-Daimler-Puch. They were ofcourse marketed as their own brands and not as something build by another factory. But they were! In the latter days of the Stayr-Daimler-Puch adventure, the Americans came by and wanted their vehicles not as 4 x 4's, but merely assembled for the European market.
Puch offered a deal and thus Chrysler ordered all of their European Voyager models to be build in Austria. However, being Americans, it had to be cheap. The quality of these things were not the Puch standard, but American standard, and that is why today you no longer see the Voyager around. They are long gone off the roads and all were scrapped in the 90's. But again, it was on the list of things being build by Steyr-Daimler-Puch.
These were some of the collaborations between Puch and other carbrands that came to life thanks to the ingenuity of the R&D division of Steyr-Daimler-Puch. Even Steyr-Magna works the same way, thanks to the legacy and reputation of Steyr-Daimler-Puch.