Pioneering bodywork since 1882

1882 Heinrich Hess, an experienced wainwright and blacksmith, sets up a workshop and forge in Solothurn to repair wagons and trailers of all kinds. 1919 First coach work concepts for buses, trucks and cars. 1933 HESS presents first bus with aluminum bodywork. 1940 Biel and Basel order the first HESS trolley buses. 1961 HESS introduces the articulated bus to satisfy public need of increased passenger capacity. 1977 HESS develops the first generation COBUS airport bus. 1978 Prototypes appear. Licensed manufacturing begins in Australia and New Zealand. 1987 Construction starts on the world’s first low-floor passenger trailer. 1991 Swisstrolley is the world’s first-ever low-floor articulated trolley bus. It sets the market alight. 1994 HESS starts production of 3500 off-road DURO car bodies. 1996 HESS licenses manufacturing in the USA. 2003 HESS puts the world’s first low-floor double-articulated trolley bus into service. 2007 Another breakthrough – the first low-floor double-articulated hybrid bus in the world. 2008 HESS receives the «company award» for its «sustainable development», awarded by the Government of the Canton of Solothurn. 2011 The flexible BusTrain with HESS low floor tractor vehicle goes into production. 2013 World’s first 18,7 m E-Bus with stationary fast charging TOSA/ABB for TPG Geneva and with new design. 2014 Presentation of the new design generation lighTram® 25 with the new trolley buses for VBL Lucerne. 2017 Lighthouse project SwissTrolleyPlus with the assistance of the Swiss Federal Office of Energy and the ETH Zurich. 2017 Change of the diesel bus line 23 of TPG Geneva to an E-Bus system with 12 lighTram® 19 TOSA and charging stations along the lines. 2017 Start of series production of lighTram® 19 DC with delieveries to the cities of Berne and Biel. 2018 Start of series production of lighTram® 25 DC with delieveries to the cities of Berne and Zurich. 2017 Change of the diesel bus line 17 of Bernmobil to an E-Bus system with 5 lighTram® 17 OPP and charging stations along the lines. 2019 Change of the gas-powered bus line 4 of Semitan Nantes to a HESS E-Bus system with 22 lighTram® 25 TOSA and charging stations along the lines. 2020 The Lausanne public transport authority (tl) expands its fleet with lighTram® 25 DC 2021 double-articulated trolleybuses. The first four 12-metre e-buses from HESS (lighTram® 12 OPP) are delivered to the Baden-Wettingen regional transport authority (RVBW). 2021 In Lyon the first 34 lighTram® 19 DC trolleybuses start operating. 2022 The last HESS diesel bus to be constructed on a Scania chassis leaves the factory. From now on, only electric buses will be produced. 2022 Basler Verkehrsbetriebe, the transport authority in Basel, change over to battery-powered buses on their route 50 service (from the SBB station towards EuroAirport). Previously operated with diesel buses, the route now operates with eight lighTram® 25 OPP vehicles. 2022 HESS lighTram® 25 DC trolleybuses are now also running on routes in Winterthur. 2022 After successful tests, Brisbane City Council confirms its order for 60 lighTram® 25 TOSA double-articulated buses. 2023 In La Chaux-de-Fonds the trolleybus network is being reactivated with lighTram® 19 DC buses, having been suspended for a period of ten years.

Our tradition is innovation

There is little point in reinventing the wheel, but a lot to gain by reinventing the vehicle it carries – and this is a wheel that turns faster and faster all the time. The original HESS team was made up mostly of wainwrights and blacksmiths. Today’s team includes IT professionals, automotive electricians, engineers, mechanics, bodywork fitters and finishers, as well as all the other specialized technicians and craftsmen, whose shared decades of expertise and experience continue to drive the company’s name for reliability and innovation towards the future.

eBook 125 Jahre HESS

Im Jahre 2007 feierte HESS sein 125 Jahre Jubiläum. Zu diesem Anlass wurde die umfangreiche Geschichte des Unternehmens zusammengetragen, bebildert und in einem Buch veröffentlicht. Die gedruckten Exemplare sind schon längst vergriffen aber als eBook können Sie die Geschichte unseres Betriebes bequem auf jedem Gerät, zu jeder Zeit und von überall nachlesen.

eBook 125 Jahre HESS jetzt lesen