How the Rosenbauer flagship got its name and why it's in the best of company.
Jaguar, Ford Mustang, Dodge Viper, Alfa Spider, Opel Manta, Fiat Panda, VW Rabbit, Lamborghini Aventator ... who hasn't heard of the numerous animals in the automotive zoo. They not only lend the vehicles their names, but also represent their characteristics, appearance, and personalities. When, for example, a Lamborghini bears the epithet of a Spanish fighting bull, you know that the manufacturer is trying to say: limitless power! When Rosenbauer names the top model of its ARFF vehicles PANTHER, the characteristics of the big cat should naturally resonate: strength, elegance, suppleness, super sharp senses and highly efficient in everything it does.
From ARFF to SIMBA
Rosenbauer built the first aircraft rescue and fire fighting (ARFF) vehicles in the 1950s. They don't have their own name yet, but simply bear the quantity of extinguishing agent they carry on board in their identification, e.g. ARFF 8,500. In the mid-1970s, Rosenbauer launched the FOAMATIC automatic foam proportioning system, a key technology for ARFF vehicles, which allowed proportioning rates to be set with previously unknown precision. For a short time, the new foam extinguishing technology is even included in the names of Rosenbauer ARFF vehicles, e.g. ARFF 11,400 FOAMATIC.
At the beginning of the 1980s, the demand for ARFF vehicles increased worldwide and Rosenbauer began to develop a new generation of vehicles based on the equally new requirements issued by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Now it was also time to think about a name for this type of vehicle in order to promote the international brand image. It should come from the animal world and express the enormous performance capacity. The final choice is SIMBA, which means lion in Swahili, the most common language in East Africa. The big cat is at the top of the food chain in the animal kingdom, just as the SIMBA is THE high-end product among Rosenbauer ARFF vehicles. It also belongs to the Panthera genus (sic!) and already hints at the flagship's current brand name, although it will take a few more iterations before this is established.
DRAGON, PUMA, BUFFALO
Before that, Rosenbauer will add other animals to the nomenclature of the ARFF vehicles as naming patrons. Numerous types are added, especially in the second half of the 1990s. There are vehicles called ARFF 13500/1500 DRAGON, which are delivered to locations including Athens, Budapest, and China. A variant called ARFF 10000/1250 PUMA is also developed and produced, e.g., for South Korea and Nepal. While these vehicles are built on special chassis like the SIMBA, the BUFFALO, also first launched in the mid-1990s, is implemented on serial chassis. And there are also various versions of this series, such as the SUPER BUFFALO (Oslo Airport) or the SUPREME BUFFALO (Airports Company South Africa).
Two animals left
With the development of the PANTHER in the early 1990s, the animals are recaptured in the Rosenbauer ARFF zoo and the nomenclature is simplified. What remains is the distinction between vehicles on special or later their own chassis, and vehicles on serial chassis. The latter keep the name BUFFALO, the flagship is to conquer the world under a new name.
It doesn't take much thought after the SIMBA had already set the course: the top product among the Rosenbauer ARFFs is to be called the PANTHER. The animal is known around the world and its extraordinary abilities are admired. The panther is a walking powerhouse, one of the most skilled and sure-footed climbers and the best stealth hunter among predators. These characteristics, translated into technical terms, also distinguish the Rosenbauer PANTHER: the powerful engine gives it its sprinting strength, the uncompromising all-wheel drive chassis its good handling characteristics on unpaved terrain and the fully integrated firefighting equipment its outstanding overall performance. Anyone who has ever seen the PANTHER in action will immediately agree: the name fits!
Branding on product.