Associated Equipment Company
Associated Equipment Company (AEC) was a British vehicle manufacturer that was active from 1912 to 1979. The company specialized in the production of commercial vehicles, including buses, trucks, and military vehicles.
AEC was founded in 1912 through the merger of several established vehicle manufacturers, including the London General Omnibus Company and the Autocar Company. Initially, AEC focused on the production of double-decker buses, which became a common sight on the streets of London and other British cities.
During World War II, AEC played a crucial role in the war effort by manufacturing military vehicles such as the Matador artillery tractor and the Armoured Command Vehicle (ACV). AEC's trucks were widely used by the British Armed Forces and were known for their reliability and durability.
After the war, AEC continued to produce buses and trucks for both domestic and export markets. One of their most famous bus models was the Routemaster, an iconic double-decker bus that became synonymous with London. The Routemaster was in service from 1954 to 2005 and is still celebrated for its unique design and functionality.
In the 1960s, AEC faced financial difficulties and went through a series of mergers and acquisitions. The company eventually became part of the British Leyland Motor Corporation (BLMC) in 1968, which later evolved into the British Leyland (BL) group. However, due to various challenges, including labor disputes and declining market share, AEC's production ceased in 1979, and the brand was gradually phased out.
Today, AEC vehicles are highly regarded among collectors and enthusiasts, particularly the Routemaster buses and military vehicles produced during World War II. The company's legacy lives on in the form of these iconic vehicles that played a significant role in British transportation history.