Tatra Trucks exceeded the plan for last year and sold 1,277 vehicles
Kopřivnice-based Tatra Trucks managed to sell more vehicles than planned for 2021 and fulfilled its commitments to partners. It delivered a total of 1,277 vehicles to customers, won major military orders in NATO countries, launched the development of a hydrogen-powered vehicle, and celebrated ten years of production of the Tatra Phoenix model line.
In 2020 (the year before last), Tatra did not stop production for a day despite the pandemic situation, and thanks to this, it met its plan and sold 1,186 vehicles. For 2021, Tatra Trucks planned to sell 1,220 vehicles, a number it eventually managed to increase by delivering 1,277 vehicles to customers. Of this number, approximately 40 percent went to the Czech and Slovak markets, the rest was for export. In terms of the proportion of cars produced, divided into the main segments, 40 percent were taken by customers in the civilian sector, 10 percent were destined for the rescue services and 50 percent were supplied by the carmaker as part of military orders. "Tatra had a very successful year last year and this trend is expected to continue this year as well, given that we are registering strong customer demand for our unique vehicles," said Pavel Lazar, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Tatra Trucks, adding: "Last year, we also won ground-breaking military contracts in Belgium and Germany, which can help us significantly to establish ourselves on a wider scale in the NATO military environment."
Significant military contracts
The order for vehicles for the Belgian Army represents the largest ever military project for Tatra, not only last year but also in recent years. Tatra Trucks, in cooperation with partner DAF Trucks, will deliver 879 CF series logistics trucks to Belgium on Tatra's 4x4 and 8x8 platforms. Petr Hendrych, Sales Director and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors, explained, "Our company will also carry out the assembly of the vehicles, and another company from Kopřivnice, Tatra Defence Vehicle, which has developed and will produce armoured cabs for the vehicles, will also cooperate in the project. In addition, at the end of last year, the Belgian Ministry of Defence concluded another tender for the supply of 9 heavy tractor-trailers in 8x8 design, in which we were also successful."
Last year Tatra Trucks recorded another major business success within NATO west of the Czech border. Last autumn, the German Bundeswehr ordered 76 new firefighting vehicles on Tatra Force chassis, which will be built in cooperation with partner company Rosenbauer.
Last year Tatra Trucks also completed the delivery of three dozen Tatra trucks with hook loaders for the Czech Army and is working on a programme of new wheeled self-propelled howitzers and air defence systems for which it is to supply the Army with the appropriate chassis. Tatra has also produced the first vehicles for the new MADR mobile 3D radars ordered by the Czech Army, special STARKOM communication jamming vehicles and chassis for TITUS armoured vehicles. Moreover, at IDET, Tatra representatives signed a contract with the state enterprise VOP CZ for the supply of additional chassis for fuel vehicles also intended for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Last year, deliveries of the first tens of Tatra Force vehicles for the Armed Forces of Ukraine were also started.
Picture: At the IDET trade fair, Tatra representatives signed a contract with the state enterprise VOP CZ for the supply of additional chassis for fuel vehicles also intended for the Czech Armed Forces. | Tatra Trucks
Ten years of the Phoenix series and new projects
Last September, Tatra also marked 10 years since the launch of the Tatra Phoenix model series, which is the automaker's flagship product for the civilian sector. To date, the company has delivered more than 3,650 vehicles of this series to customers. In 2012, the Tatra Phoenix was awarded the title of Best All-Wheel Drive Vehicle in the prestigious pan-European International Truck of the Year survey. It was the first time that a product from a Central or Eastern European carmaker was nominated for this survey and won this prestigious title.
Last year also saw the start of development of a Tatra prototype with hydrogen propulsion, on which the Kopřivnice carmaker is cooperating with several Czech research organisations and universities, led by the Institute of Nuclear Research in Řež. "For the project, we will use a Tatra Force chassis in a special version designed for the mining industry so that we can test the car in the most demanding conditions. Tatra will also provide complete integration of all components and drive systems. If everything goes according to plan, the first prototype should be ready for testing at the end of this year," explained Radomír Smolka, Tatra Trucks' Research and Development Director.
Picture: Tatra also produced the first vehicles for the Czech Army's new MADR mobile 3D radars, STARKOM special communication jamming vehicles and chassis for TITUS armoured vehicles (pictured) | Jan Zilvar / CZ Defence
Tatra Trucks also developed its activities in foreign projects in 2021. In the middle of the year, a new subsidiary Tatra Defence Slovakia was established in Trencin, Slovakia, which will be responsible for the production of chassis, cabs and certain types of bodies for Tatra vehicles intended for the Slovak armed forces. Last year, mass production of military versions of Tatra vehicles also started at a new industrial complex in Saudi Arabia. Tatra Trucks contributed to the project by transferring technology and production, providing consultancy services during the construction of the plant, and also helped with the construction of the production line and setting up production management. Currently, the company is supplying components and sub-assemblies of vehicles that are being assembled in Saudi Arabia, but the production of some parts will gradually be localised.
Tatra trucks helped, showed off at trade fairs and have a new museum
After a long break, a number of trade fairs and presentation events were held in 2021, where Tatra presented its products. Potential customers, experts and the public were able to see Tatras in various designs, for example, at the IDEX trade fair in Abu Dhabi, IDEB in Bratislava, MSPO in Kielce, Poland, or at the IDET trade fair in Brno. Tatras were also present at static and dynamic demonstrations at the NATO Days or Mud.
"One of the most important events of last year in the presentation of the Tatra brand and its long tradition was the opening of the expected new Tatra Truck Museum in Kopřivnice in November and the nearby exhibition depository of the historic motor car Slovenská strela. Both museum buildings and their exhibits have become representative stands of the history of Tatra Trucks and industrial production in northern Moravia," said Kamil Košťál, Marketing Director of Tatra Trucks. The museum belongs to the Moravian-Silesian Region, which has made a significant contribution to its realisation in organisational and financial terms and now operates it through its contributory organisation, the Museum of the Novojičín Region.
Tatra Trucks is also one of those Czech companies that are fully aware of their social role and responsibility. It proved this last year when it provided its own trucks free of charge to the rescue services for the removal of debris and waste from tornado-hit areas in South Moravia, and Tatra Trucks also directly helped several local families affected by the natural disaster. Tatra also dispatched a technical support team with a unit of the Fire Brigade of the Czech Republic, which intervened in fire-hit Greece.
Last year also saw the continuation of the highly successful Tatra to Schools project, which helps technical education in secondary technical schools in all regions of the Czech Republic. "Last year, students at secondary schools in Humpolec, Plzeň, Nový Bydžov and Valašské Klobouky assembled Tatra Phoenix vehicles, which were then put into service with regional organisations. The good news is that the Tatra to Schools project is also expanding to Slovakia, with schools from the Trenčín Region being the first to join," said Natálie Linhartová, HR Director of Tatra Trucks.