Setra buses are manufactured by Setra, a German manufacturer of bus models and coaches for tours. Setra buses is now a subsidiary of Daimler AG, who also owns other companies or at least a significant amount of stock in other companies. Outside of Setra buses, Daimler also has ties to Mercedes, Chrysler, and Mitsubishi, just to name a few. Setra buses really got their start in 1951 when Otto Kassbohrer produced the first body/chassis integrated Setra buses
The word Setra refers to a German word for 'self-supporting', which is itself a reference to the design of Setra buses back in the 1950s. Unlike most other companies, chassis and body are separate, but not for setra buses. The body and chassis are integrated into one for setra buses. Nowadays things have changed for the other companies and many do follow the lead set by setra buses.
Other Models (historic): First generation (1951): S6, S7, S8, S9, S10, S11, S12, S14, S15. Second generation (1967): S80, S110, S120, S130S, S140ES, S150, SG180M, SG180Ü, SG180ÜL, SG180S. Third generation (1976): S208H, S208HM, S208HMU, S208HU, S209H, S209HM, S209HMU, S209HU, S210H, S210HD, S210HI, S210HM, S210HMU, S210HU, S211H, S211HD, S211HDI, S211HDU, S211HI, S211HM, S211HMU, S211HU, S212H, S212HM, S212HMU, S212HU, S213H, S213HD, S213HDU, S213HI, S213HM, S213HMA, S213HMI, S213HMU, S213HR, S213HRI-GT, S213HUL, S213UL, S214H, S214HD, S214HDI, S214HDU, S215H, S215HD, S215HDH, S215HDI, S215HDS, S215HDU, S215HI, S215HM, S215HMI, S215HMU, S215HR, S215HRI-GT, S215HU, S215HUL, S215NR, S215RL, S215SL, S215UL, S216HDS, S216HDSI, SG219SL, SG220UL, S221HDS, SG221UL, S228DT, S228DTI, S250 Special.
Fourth generation (1991): S300NC, S309HD, S312HD, S313UL, S313UL-GT, S315GT, S315GT-HD, S315H, S315HD, S315HDH/2, S315HDH/3, S315NF, S315UL, S315UL-GT, S316HDS, S316UL, S317GT-HD, S317HDH, S317UL, S317UL-GT, S319NF, S319UL, S319GT-HD, SG321UL, S328DT
Other Models (current 2008): S412UL, S415UL, S416UL, S417UL, S419UL, S415NF, S416NF, S415GT, S415GT-HD, S416GT, S416GT-HD, S416GT-HD/2, S417GT-HD, S419GT-HD, S411HD, S415HD, S415HDH, S416HDH, S417HDH, S431DT.
Setra buses definitely deserve credit for some landmark bus innovations. One such innovation for Setra buses was to build the engine behind the rear axle. At first it seemed to be an odd design, it turned out to be a small stroke of genius. It made production of buses easier, and allowed for a more passenger friendly bus. The layout designs that stemmed from a rear engine bus typically involved an even (as opposed to offset) floor throughout the length of Setra buses. If the bus was built with a high floor design, there was increased underfloor space, which could be used for storage/luggage, or perhaps more equipment. However, their innovations have become mainstream so they cannot be boasted as a unique feature of Setra buses anymore. Therefore, if you're looking for a bus, Setra buses boast no particular design advantages. It is a good place to look if you have no particular special interests, but if you do you may want to check out the appriopriate bus company.
Links: The official Setra Website.