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Spark 1:43 1971 Saviem S45 Race Car Transporter: Team BP / Ligier

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Spark 1:43 1971 Saviem S45 Race Car Transporter: Team BP / Ligier

Spark 1:43 1971 Saviem S45 Race Car Transporter: Team BP / Ligier
MSRP: $149.95
(You save $10.00 )

The Société Anonyme de Véhicules Industriels et d'Equipements Mécaniques, commonly known by the acronym Saviem was a French manufacturer of trucks and buses/coaches part of the Renault group, headquartered in Suresnes. The company was established in 1955 by merging Renault heavy vehicle operations with Somua and Latil and disappeared in 1978 when was merged with former rival Berliet to form Renault Véhicules Industriels.

The company initially had various factories for vehicle production around France (mainly at the Paris area) which came from its predecessors and Chausson, but it soon centred assembly on Blainville-sur-Orne (trucks) and Annonay (buses and coaches). Saviem formed partnerships with other manufacturers, leading to technology-sharing agreements.

At the end of 1946, Renault abandoned the production of heavy trucks in view of its financial troubles, and the company lost the position of France's market leader which it had before World War II. However, the rapid development and production concentration on that sector made Renault to seek ways to enter into the market. In 1950, the Renault's technical chief, Fernand Picard, elaborated a plan to launch a limited range of trucks and buses with a single 105 CV engine, taking advantage of the economies of scale, which proved unsuccessful. In 1953, the strategy was changed and Renault decided to acquire rival manufacturers, starting with Somua and Latil. The company Saviem was formed in October 1955 by the merger of Renault's trucks and buses manufacturing operations with Somua and Latil and both Schneider (owner of Somua) and the Blum family (owner of Latil) had stakes in the new company. Initially, the Saviem name was added besides the existing badges of the three forming companies but, from 1957 onwards, Saviem-LRS appeared as marque's name on the company's products (the acronym representing the former marques Latil, Renault and Somua), which was simplified to Saviem in 1960. In 1959, Saviem became a whole-owned subsidiary of Renault. The early range of the company consisted of small commercial vehicles derived of Renault's existing models (Goélette and Galion), new medium and heavy trucks with Alfa Romeo engines and Chausson support for the coach/bus production. With an aggressive market approach focussed in volume rather than quality, Saviem became the leader by sales in France.

During the early 1960s the company introduced a renovated JL heavy and medium duty trucks range with a revised design, new buses and coaches and, in 1964, a S range of medium duty trucks (with Renault and Perkins engines), unveiled at the Paris Motor Show. In January 1961, Saviem took control of the bus manufacturer Floirat, based at Annonay. That year, Saviem signed a cooperation agreement with Henschel-Werke. In 1962, Pierre Dreyfus decided to expand the European partnerships of Saviem and the company received a large capital amount from the French State for recapitalisation and modernisation. It also got the Limoges factory, which manufactured diesel engines. Between 1963 and 1966, Saviem moved most of its production from the Paris area to Blainville-sur-Orne and Annonay. In 1967, the Blainville-sur-Orne factory produced 26,000 large goods vehicles and the Annonay factory 1,777 buses/coaches. In 1965, Saviem acquired the French heavy equipment manufacturer Richard-Continental in a bid to compete with Caterpillar.

From 1963 to 1977, Saviem cooperated with MAN of Germany (in 1967 such cooperation was expanded). As part of the agreement Saviem supplied cabs and in return MAN supplied axles and engines. The result of this was the launch of the SM (Saviem-MAN) and JM truck ranges in France. Renault also introduced the Super Galion, in partnership with Avia. In 1975 Saviem, together with DAF, Volvo and Magirus-Deutz (soon after to become a part of Iveco) became co-founder of the Club of Four cooperation to produce medium-sized trucks. The same year Saviem also acquired Sinpar and completed, together with Fiat and Alfa Romeo, the construction of a joint production facility for engines (Sofim) in Foggia, Italy, at a cost of US$250 million.

As a result of companies' reorganisation and a French State decision of unifying the heavy vehicle production in France, in 1975 Renault also acquired the truck and bus manufacturer Berliet from the Michelin group. In 1978, Berliet and Saviem were merged to form Renault Véhicules Industriels (RVI). Again, the old marque names were retained for two more years while the model lineups gradually were assimilated, and in April 1980 they were replaced by the name Renault, putting an end to the Saviem badging. In 1977, its last year as a separate company within Renault, Saviem manufactured 35,059 buses/coaches and trucks.

Ligier is a French automobile and minibus maker created by former racing driver and rugby player Guy Ligier, specialized in the manufacturing of microcars. Ligier is best known for its involvement in the Formula 1 World Championship between 1976 and 1996.

The firm entered the automobile business with the Ligier JS2, a mid-engined sports car for the road initially powered by a Ford V6 and from 1971 by the same Maserati V6 engine as the Citroën SM. The JS2 was considered by many as a well-designed car with a very good power-to-weight ratio[citation needed]. The Ligier motorcars were all designated with the prefix "JS" in honour of Ligier's great friend and cohort Jo Schlesser who was killed in the 1968 French Grand Prix while driving for Honda. The final SMs were also produced in the Ligier factory in Vichy[citation needed]. The 1973 energy crisis caused such a decline in the market for the JS2 that production ceased soon after, and the firm changed its focus to microcars, for example, 1984 moped-powered Ligier JS6.

One of the world's first experimental prototypes of automatic parallel parking was developed on a Ligier electric car at INRIA in the mid-1990s.

In September 2008, Ligier Automobiles completed its acquisition of Beneteau Group's Microcar division, with financing provided by 21 Investimenti Partners. Phillipe Ligier, son of the company's founder, remains as CEO. The Ligier and Microcar brands are to retain their separate identities and manufacturing facilities. The merger creates Europe's second largest microcar manufacturer (after Daimler's Smart unit, if one considers that a microcar), and largest manufacturer of drivers license-exempt vehicles.

In August 2018, Ligier teased a new road-going sports car to celebrate their 50th anniversary. The car will be built in collaboration with Onroak. It will feature a 3.7 liter V6 producing approximately 330 hp, and a 6-speed manual transmission. It will be homologated to FIA E II-SH regulation. More details are to be released in September 2018, and it is expected to go on sale in November 2018 at a price of €89,000

Ligier is best known for its Formula One team that operated from 1976 to 1996. Ligier entered Formula One in 1976 with a Matra V12-powered car, winning its first Grand Prix with Jacques Laffite in 1977.

Ligier also competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1970 to 1975.

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