Kamaz to enter premiere league

20170904_093917 copy

Kamaz is fast expanding its product range to enter new segments.

Story by: Bhushan Mhapralkar

At Naberezhnye Chelny, the Kamaz manufacturing complex gives the impression of being a city within a city. Large chimney’s loom into the distance as a network of wide roads criss-cross. With a capacity to make 71,000 vehicles per year, Kamaz, commanding a 56 per cent market share in 2016, in the segments above 14-tonnes, is the number-one truck company in Russia. It has over 40 models and 1500 vehicle configurations. A Dakar rally winner for 14 times, Kamaz has a strong dealer network of 200 dealers. Placed 16th among the world’s heavy-duty truck producers in 2016, Kamaz is keen to enter the premier truck league. The company unveiled a new K5 truck cab (see box) recently. To be built in association with Daimler at a new cab plant at Naberezhnye Chelny from early 2019, the K5 truck cab hints at the company’s aspiration to enter the premium heavy truck segment in Russia, which is currently dominated by the Big-Seven European manufacturers like Volvo, Scania, Mercedes-Benz and others.

If the leading position in the Russian commercial vehicle market would provide Kamaz with a distinct advantage, the move to enter the premium segment will further augment the position of Kamaz in the home market. Acknowledged as the best Russian exporter for 14 times, Kamaz sold 28,000 vehicles in 2016 in the domestic market. It exported 6000 vehicles. With a 77.8 per cent market share in flatbed trucks, 65.4 per cent market share in dump trucks, 34.9 per cent in semi-trailers, and 66.5 per cent in special purpose vehicles, the CV maker produces both, trucks and buses. Seeking a presence in the premium truck market through a joint venture with Daimler in the medium truck market (through Fuso), and in the heavy truck market (through Mercedes-Benz), Kamaz has also inked a joint venture with Marcopolo for buses. It also has collaboration with tier suppliers like ZF (ZF Kama) for gearboxes; with Cummins (Cummins Kama) for engines; with Knorr bremse (Knorr Bremse Kama) for braking systems, and with Federal Mogul (Federal Mogul Naberezhnye Chelny) for cylinders and pistons.


With the truck range roughly divided into the legacy (K2) cabin range and the (K4 & K5) Neo cabin range, Kamaz has a presence in the eight to over 41-tonne truck segments. It makes trucks that are powered in the range of 160 hp to 550 hp. Significantly expanding its truck range with the launch of (5490) tractor in 2013, (65106) 6×4 tractor in 2014, (65207) 6×4 rigid in 2015, and five models each in 2016 and 2017, Kamaz makes special purpose rigid trucks and tractors (prime movers) for a variety of industries including oil and gas, public utilities, timber, road maintenance, towing, construction, retail and commercial transportation. Apart from the crew change buses, truck mounted cranes, fire tenders, mobile laboratories and mobile workshops, the company offers a wide range of trailers under the brand name of Kamatainer. Supplying large-size and small-size buses, the company also offers electric and trolley buses. The K5 cabin equipped Kamaz-54901 4×2 haulage tractor is set to propel the Russian CV maker into a different league altogether. Expected to complement the legacy range, which is still the most selling, and the Neo range, the Kamaz 54901 tractor is strikingly modern. Its cabin is not only stylish, it employs modern materials with a high quality of manufacture and assembly. The floor to ceiling height is 1980 mm. The width is 2270 mm.

With fog lamps (and cornering lamps) of the Kamaz-54901 are built into the bumper. The cabin has large steps and handles to help clean the windscreen. Equipped with an automated ZF Traxon transmission, the 54901 would offer service intervals of up to 150,000 km. Structured on a robust frame made from high strength steel the 54901, apart from elevating the living space for a driver in a Kamaz truck from 7.5 cu. m. in 2012, to 9 cu. m. in 2019, will mark a step up in refinement and driver comfort. To employ a front axle of up to nine-tonne, and an economical and ‘quiet’ hypoid axle at the rear with a gear ratio of 2.5 to 3.07, the 54901 will feature an onboard information system. It is a proprietary system of satellite monitoring. Sharing the line with the existing range of Kamaz trucks at Naberezhnye Chelny, the Kamaz-54901 is set to be a revolutionary truck indeed.

WP_20170906_14_17_02_Pro copy

The K5 cabin

The development of the K5 cabin project began at Torino Design in Italy in September 2014. The first style proposals were presented by Torino Design to Kamaz CEO Kogogin and to Kamaz board of management in the same month. Torino Design started the development of details, CAS 3D modeling, feasibility engineering and construction of style models that were frozen in 2015. Torino Design followed the engineering of complete product and the realisation of Class A maths. The project was completed in April 2016. The aim of the stylistic research was to create a full range of high-end industrial vehicles with a high level of synergy. They had to flaunt a modern European styling. They had to be capable of conveying an image of robustness and comfort. The cab was conceived to last for years. It has tense lines and taut surfaces that define the new Kamaz family look.

20170904_105513 copy20170906_151740 copy

The drive

The Neo 5490 4×2 tractor (prime mover) is one of the most modern trucks on offer from Kamaz. It is aimed at long-haul transportation and fitted with a high cab. Claimed to have been derived from the Mercedes-Benz Axor cabin, the first impression is that of a modern construction with good fit and finish standards. Giving the impression of being aerodynamically efficient, the cabin is four-point suspended. It has longitudinally flexible rubber bearings at front and two suspension struts at the rear. The bumper with steps built into it on either side houses large clear lens project headlamp consoles. The brush aluminium embellishment with the Kamaz logo at the centre marks for an interesting touch.

Climb inside, and the K4 cabin interior conveys a modern feel much like the exterior does. Almost two-meter high, the cabin looks spacious. The dashboard, the surrounding trim, the steering, and the suspended seat contribute towards a modern look and feel. Behind the driver and the co-driver’s seat is a sleeper berth. The driver and co-driver seats are supportive and comfortable. The steering is adjustable and adds to the superior ergonomics the cabin presents. If the layout of the cabin reflects upon a distinct generational gap between the K3 and K4 cabins, the Kamaz Neo 5490 with the K4 cabin is clearly superior in terms of comfort. It is a property that will be greatly appreciated by the long-haul operators.

Turn the key, and the 400 hp Daimler OM457LA Euro5 12-litre six-cylinder engine comes to life. Not much sound filters into the cabin. No vibes enter the (heated and air-conditioned) cabin either. The 16-speed manual ‘splitter’ transmission with intarder is easy to use. A toggle switch on the shifter stem helps to move from one ‘splitter’ range to the other and vice versa. The gears fall into place without any hiccup, and the clutch action is progressive and light. Equipped with EBS, ESP and ASR, the truck, with a good view of the outside, thanks to the ample glass area and large mirrors, feels easy to drive. As mentioned earlier, good ergonomics means most controls are within easy reach. Through the gears, the truck accelerates smoothly. Even as the revs rise, it does not get annoying. The suspended seat makes for a comfortable drive, and on surfaces that are less than ideal.

The disc brakes exert a good bite when it is time to shed speed. The pedal travel surprisingly felt a little longer than expected. The use of exhaust brake to shed speed in a hurry in association with the service brake before entering a tight corner brought the desired results. Equipped with creature comforts like power windows and more, the Kamaz Neo 5490 with the K4 cabin is a reflection of the abilities of its producer. It also reflects upon the abilities of the Russian auto industry; the OEMs and the components manufacturers on the whole.

20170906_145008 copy 20170906_144413 copy 20170906_144752 copy 20170906_143739 copy 20170906_142048 copy

The OAO Kamaz automobile plant, Naberezhnye Chelny, Russia, August 11, 2014.

Kamaz production

The highlight of the Kamaz production facility at Naberezhnye Chelny is the long final assembly line. The total length of the building that it is in, is 1,180 m. Manufacturing trucks with serial (K3) cabins, which make up the legacy range of Kamaz trucks, and the (K4) Neo range of trucks, the production facility has a capacity to build 140,000 vehicles per year. As of current, 40,000 trucks per year are built in accordance with the current market demand. The company currently operates a single shift. Employing 6500 people, Naberezhnye Chelny facility makes almost all the parts in-house. Situated in the manufacturing complex at Naberezhnye Chelny are joint venture companies like ZF Kama, Cummins Kama, Knorr Bremse Kama and Federal Mogul Naberezhnye Chelny. Various activities like forging are carried out in the plant. Components are also sourced from 10 plants across Russia. The engine plant within the production facility builds Euro3, Euro4 and Euro5 emissions compliant engines. Work on the Euro6 engine is progressing at good speed.

Building 50 truck models, the facility has two cabin lines – one for the serial cabin and the other for the new (Neo) cabin. The current average for the cabins per day is 63. The takt time for the cabin is four hours. The sleeper and high roof cabins are made off the assembly line. Five-hundred new cabins are produced per month. The plan is to increase the production of new cabins to 3000 numbers. Sourcing some components from China, Serbia and Europe, the plant has two identical final assembly lines. With an import content of 20 per cent, 180 trucks are built per day. 90 trucks roll out of each of the two final assembly lines per day. There are 54 feeding lines to the final assembly. There are four sides, each divided by a quality gate. The length of the final assembly line is 680 m.

20170904_095040 copy20170904_094255 copy 1 KAMAZ EXTERIOR RENDER copy

Comtrans 2017 is successful

20170908_104117 copy

A biennial show for commercial vehicles held at Moscow, Comtrans 2017 was bigger, better and successful.

Story & Photos:

Bhushan Mhapralkar

Opening its gates to the media on the morning of September 04, 2017, commercial vehicle fair Comtrans 2017 got off to a good start. Held at the Crocus Expo Centre in Moscow, the biennial show saw the participation of commercial vehicle industry from many parts of the world. Part of the shows under the aegis of OICA, the CV fair attracted 1324 participants from 41 countries. Spread across three halls, and over 40,000 sq. m., the commercial vehicle show witnessed the participation of foreign delegates and visitors. With a good number of premieres taking place at the show, the highlight of Comtrans 2017 was the Moscow Commercial Vehicle Summit held for the first time. The expo, organised by ITEMF Expo, a joint venture between Messe Frankfurt and ITE Group, saw the awards for the best commercial vehicle in Russia among others presented on the evening of the Press Day. The function was attended by the who’s who of the commercial vehicle industry. With a strong international flair, Comtrans 2017, recorded growth over the 2015 show, reflecting a strong growth potential the domestic and foreign commercial vehicle manufacturers have come to observe. Ever more keen to tap the Russian CV market, which is Euro5 emissions compliant and is estimated to be 70000 units strong as far as trucks above 16-tonnes are concerned, Comtrans 2017 saw homegrown manufacturers as well as global players — termed as ‘B7’ (Big Seven), display trucks, buses and vans. Also present were trailer manufacturers, specialists, and component manufacturers. With German and Chinese components manufacturers and specialists participating under the German and Chinese pavilion, Comtrans 2017 will be remembered for its quality, the emergence of alternate fuel propulsion technologies, and global flair. Expressed Sergey Alexandrov, General Director of ITEMF Expo that the revival of the commercial vehicles market since the second half of last year has contributed to Comtrans 2017. He opined, “Compared to 2015, companies have expanded their exhibition booths in-line with the market revival and increased competition. With gradual recovery of the economy and deferred demand since 2015 bringing a promising 40 per cent growth in the first half of 2017 compared to the same period last year, manufacturers are expecting that the market will continue to grow.”

20170904_094014 copy 20170904_093353 copy 20170904_093414 copy


The highlight of the Mercedes-Benz stand were the new Actros range of heavy-duty trucks in Euro5 guise. Complementing the range of classic Actros and Arocs range of heavy-duty trucks, the arrival of new Actros range marks a step ahead for Daimler Kamaz Rus, a joint venture between Daimler AG and Kamaz Russia. Operating an assembly operation for the last seven years within the Kamaz manufacturing complex at Naberezhnye Chelny for the manufacture of Actros, Arocs and Fuso Canter range of trucks, the joint venture also offers buses under the Setra brand, and used trucks under the Select Trucks brand. On display at the Mercedes-Benz stand were the Actros all-wheel drive 3341K tipper with ‘S’ day cabin, Actros 4141k tipper, Actros 1844LS tractor, Actros 1848LS tractor, Actros 1840LS tractor, Arocs 4142K tipper, Actros 3341K tipper, Atego 1218L, Arocs 3345K tipper, and an Actros 2545L.

The Unimog U529 premiered at the show. Expressed Heiko Schulze, CEO, Daimler Kamaz Rus, “We want to take a lead in the B7 market with a deep focus on customer satisfaction. The new Actros range will add a new dimension in terms of reliability, efficiency and comfort. Stating that the Arocs will be discontinued in 2018, Heiko mentioned that the new Actros with a cabin built locally will be offered from 2019. Almost complete, the cabin plant at Naberezhnye Chelny, measuring 59,600 sq. m., will be operational by 2019. It will build 55000 cabs per year and employ 790 people in three shifts. The cabs will not only support the new Actros range assembled in Russia but also the new Kamaz range of heavy-duty trucks. Enjoying the status of a local supplier according to Schulze, the company won a tender for delivery of 50 Setra ComfortClass 500 coaches to the city of Moscow.

20170904_093513 copy

Fuso Canter

Fuso Canter medium-duty trucks have been available in Russia since 2010. They are assembled at the Daimler Kamaz Rus joint venture plant at Naberezhnye Chelny from SKD kits sourced from Japan. At Comtrans 2017, Fuso premiered the Canter TF. Light in weight, and suitable for a wide application spectrum with an ability to consume less and carry more, the Canter TF is claimed to be the first truck in the world to feature a compact Duonic dual-clutch transmission that causes less wear to the auxiliary equipment, reduces the burden on the driver, and combines the convenience of an automatic transmission with the economy of a manual transmission. The Canter TF is available in 3.5-tonne and 7.5-tonne segments.

20170904_114743 copy

Ford Trucks

Ford Trucks launched new construction and tractor series in the form of 3542D tipper, 1848T and 3542T tractors. More powerful, efficient and technologically advanced, the new trucks are equipped with an all-new 330PS and 480PS Ecotorq engines that ensure up to 8.5 per cent fuel economy improvement according to Emrah Duman, International Markets Director, Ford Trucks. With service period extended to 90,000 km, and up to 1,000 hours, the new trucks are available with cold packs that include cold pack fluids, cab heater, heated windshield and power mirrors.

20170904_121849 copy

Hyundai Truck & Bus Rus

Hyundai premiered the HD35 City, which is intended to take the place of the legendary Porter for city operations. Offering high durability, economy and maneouvrability, the HD35 City features an increased wheelbase of 2810 mm when compared to the Porter. Displayed as a chassis and an isothermal van, the HD35 City is powered by a 130 hp, 2.5-litre D4CB engine. Hyundai also displayed the Mighty isothermal version apart from the HD350 LCV, HD78 food truck Naz, and a HD78 AGP-22T long chassis lift truck.

20170904_123406 copy 20170904_175754 copy 20170904_175721 copy 20170904_123345 copy 20170904_123105 copy 20170904_163133 copy


Volkswagen premiered the Crafter van. Available in a wide range of cargo and passenger versions, the Crafter van range, according to Volkswagen, is practical ad economical. Also displayed were a Transporter van, Amarok pick-up truck, Caddy ambulance aid van, Caddy refrigerated truck, Crafter35 mobile service van, Crafter35 cargo van, a highly customised version of Caravelle, and a much loved vintage Camper van.

20170904_113256 copy 20170904_113233 copy


Isuzu displayed a heavy-duty tractor on the GIGA chassis, a medium-duty ‘Forward’ 18.0 long chassis with a refrigerated van and a hydraulic lift, an all-wheel drive NM85 chassis, a NPR82 chassis with a CNG engine, and an ‘Artic’ version of the D-Max pick-up. Drawing attention to a sales growth of 43.8 per cent in January-July 2017 at 1766 units, Fabruz Horlie, CEO, Isuzu Rus said that production increased at the Ulyanovsk plant by 81 per cent during January-July 2017.

20170904_092820 copy

Renault Trucks

Renault Trucks displayed

T Series trucks in the form of a 520 hp T high 4×2 tractor, 430 hp T 4×2 tractor and a 460 hp K 8×4 dump truck. The T High rage is a luxury truck with a sleeper cabin and a flat floor for maximum driver comfort. Powered by a 13-litre engine, the truck is equipped with an automated 12-speed Optidriver gearbox and an Optibrake.

To ensure comfort, the driver’s seat is air-suspended and electro-heated. The T 4×2 tractor is powered by a Euro5 11-litre engine and a 12-speed Optidrive transmission.

The dump truck, at the other end, is equipped with a 20 cu. m. Weilton body, and is powered by a 11-litre engine. The transmission is a 14-speed manual unit. The dump truck also features an enhanced braking and a reinforced chassis.

20170904_090723 copy20170904_130451 copy 20170904_130522 copy 20170904_133142 copy

MAN Truck & Bus RUS

MAN Truck & Bus RUS LLC displayed the current range of trucks it offers in Russia. On display were six TGX trucks – 4×2 (19.440), 6×2 (28.360), 6×4 (33.360) and 8×4 (41.440) tractor and special superstructure guise. Also on display was a TGX33.540 6×4 tractor, and a D2066 (280-360 hp, 10.5-litre) and D2676 (400-520 hp, 12.4-litre) truck engine. The highlight was a TGX 18.640 4×2 LLS performance ‘collectors’ long-haul tractor with special trim and a MAN D3876LF09 640 hp engine mated to a ‘tipmatic’ auto transmission, and a 12 m inter-city rear engine Lion’s coach with LED headlamps and an aerodynamic structure. The coach is powered by a D26 EEV 440PS Euro5 SCR engine and a ‘tipmatic’ transmission. MAN also unveiled a range of services to address the needs of its customers.

20170904_092650 copy 20170904_135311 copy 20170904_135424 copy

Volvo Trucks

Illustrating superior design and cutting-edge technology in safety, fuel efficiency, and performance, Volvo Trucks displayed FH Viking powered by a 540 hp 13-litre engine; Volvo FH Ocean Race truck with Globetrotter XL sleeper cab; FH 6×2 powered by a 13-litre 500 hp engine; FMX 8×4 Tridem with 16 cu. m. Wielton Konish tipper body; FMX 6×6 with a reinforced 16 cu. m. Meiller tipper body; FM 6×4, and the speed record holder Iron Knight race truck that does 2400 hp and is equipped with I-Shift dual-clutch automated transmission. Also displayed were an I-Shift transmission with crawler gears; dynamic steering, D13 engine; Globetrotter cab cross-section, and a FH/FMX simulator.

20170904_092411 copy 20170904_092515 copy 20170905_105158 copy 20170905_153107 copy 20170904_150746 copy 20170905_150219 copy

GAZ Group

The GAZ Group displayed the legendary Ural Next heavy-duty trucks in the guise of a drop-side 6×6 rigid, a 6×4 T25.422 tractor, and a 6×4 C25.330 16-tonne tipper with a 14 cu. m. body. The highlight were the aspiration vehicles in the form of Sobol, an amphibious vehicle, and Vepr Next, an expedition vehicle and a pick-up truck based on GAZ-33088 Sadko platform with a body of Gazelle Next. Apart from an electric 20-seater minibus bus Vahtan based on Gazelle Next minibus platform, and an electrobus prototype, developed with the participation of the Bauman Moscow State Technical University based on the large class LiAZ-5292 low-floor bus, the GAZ Group displayed the Gazelle Next and Gazon Next range of pick-ups and vans. Also displayed were a Kursor 9.5 m long, two Vector Next midi-buses, and a Gazelle Next version that offers 700 m more space due to an increase in wheelbase and the rear overhang. An agreement for the distribution of GAZ vehicles in the Philippines was signed with Eastern Petroleum, which is engaged in the development of a system of environmentally friendly transport in the Philippines and actively participates in the state program of public transport renewal. Eastern Petroleum will market Gazelle Next 17-seater and Gazelle Next Cityline 20-seater minibus in the Phillipines.

20170904_092702 copy 20170904_092754 copy 20170904_174724 copy 20170904_092310 copy


Scania displayed the next generation truck that won the International truck of the Year 2017. Judged the 2017 Russian CV of the year, three models – S730 A4X2NA, R500 A4X2NA and G410 A6x2/4NB were displayed. Trucks with three types — base G, luxury cabin R and flagship cabin S with flat floor, were presented. Offering superior aerodynamic performance, which helps to reduce fuel consumption (by five per cent) and noise, the next generation trucks get new engines with renewed fuel injectors, a thermostat in the engine lubrication system and an optimised combustion process. Scania also displayed a G340 LA4x2HNA CNG tractor, G480 CA6x6 EHZ tractor, P400 CB6x4 HN2, P440 CB6x6 EHZ dump truck with a KH-Kipper body for non-metallic material, P440 CB6x4 EHZ truck with a KH-Kipper rock body, and a 12 m Touring 4×2 coach based on a K-Series bus chassis. The coach, powered by a 380-440 hp 12-litre engine mated to a revised 12-speed Opticruise automated transmission, is said to be built by Higer at its Suzhou plant in China.

20170904_092914 copy 20170904_152136 copy

DAF Trucks Rus

DAF premiered the XF480 FT 4×2 Super Space cab tractor. It is powered by the PACCAR MX-13 engine with high injection pressure of 2500 bar. Available in three versions, and doing 412 hp, 462 hp and 510 hp respectively, the engine is mated to an efficient automatic TraXon transmission. Claiming fuel saving of up to 7 per cent, the XF had another XF 4×2 tractor in yellow and a CF85.460 FTT 6×4 tractor for company. Said Ari Hendricks, DAF Trucks Rus, “We have presented models that set new quality standards, have low operating costs and high productivity. We are confident that they will be appreciated.”

20170904_144446 copy

Minsk Automobile Plant (MAZ)

MAZ displayed a 430 hp 643029-1420-012 6×4 tractor with ZF 16-speed transmission, and a 170 hp 4381CO 4×2 rigid truck with a ZF 6-speed transmission. The company also displayed a 231185 12 m long 18-tonne 47-seater city bus with an Allison auto transmission.

20170904_173056 copy 20170904_173113 copy 20170904_120646 copy

Iveco Russia

Displayed were an Evadys inter-city bus, which is aimed at a position between the Iveco Crossway and the Iveco Magelys. Available in 12 m and 13 m lengths, the Avedys can accommodate up to 57 people and is powered by a 400 hp cursor 9 Euro6 engine. Also on display were the medium-class VSN bus based on an Iveco chassis manufactured in Russia, and an Iveco Daily minibus with a unique Iveco Daily Business Up Application.

20170904_174210 copy 20170904_174309 copy

Schmitz Cargobull

Winning the Russian Trailer of the Year 2017 for its refrigerated S.KO Cool Complete reefer with telematics system, Schmitz Cargobull displayed a range of trailers it offers, including the celebrated S.KO cool trailer and the S.CS international trailer. Banking on the growth the Russian truck market has come to show, the company, celebrating 125th anniversary of its existence, is confident of doing good business.

20170904_091912 copy 20170904_091949 copy

Kogel Trailer Rus

Kogel displayed a variety of trailers it offers. The Kogel Cargo on display is the company’s best selling trailer. It is praised for its robust build and an extensive range of standard equipment. The Kogel three-axle tipper trailer features 27 cu. m. load volume and a five-mm-thick floor as well as a four-mm thick hydraulic tailgate.

The KTA Kogel trailer axle is a new standard feature for many variants of the Kögel Cargo, Kögel Lightplus, Kögel Cool – PurFerro quality, and Kögel Box product ranges, along with various chassis. It promises low-maintenance, and is designed to enhance driving properties thanks to its double suspension concept.

20170904_163650 copy 20170904_121529 copy


Displayed were a series of new generation trucks including the Foton Auman EST A BJ4189 4×2, designed to operate as part of a road train with a gross weight of up to 44-tonnes, and two Aumark M4 medium-duty trucks of 6 and 8-tonnes. Replacing the M3 series, and created in cooperation with Cummins, ZF, Bosch and many other leading companies, one of the Aumark M4 trucks on display was equipped with an isothermal superstructure.

The six-tonne Auman M4 is powered by a 150 hp 2.8-litre Cummins turbo diesel engine mated to a mechanical five-speed ZF gearbox. The 4200 mm wheelbase 8-tonne Auman M4 is powered by a 156 hp 3.8-litre turbo diesel Cummins ISF engine mated to a six-speed ZF gearbox. The Auman EST A 44-tonne tractor, at the other end, is a product of global alliance, which includes Cummins, ZF, Continental, WABCO, Knorr-Bremse, Baidu, and others. It is assembled at the Foton Daimler plant and has a 413 hp, 11.8-litre Cummins ISG1 engine mated to a ZF TraXon 12TX2420TD adaptive auto transmission. Equipped with disc brakes all-round, the Auman EST A comes with a a wide range of electronic security systems and assistance to the driver, including ABS, ASR, ESP, AEBS, LDWS. In Russia, Foton will also offer the 12-tonne S5 range in 2019.

20170904_094957 copy 20170904_095038 copy 20170904_094141 copy 20170904_094255 copy 20170904_093927 copy 20170904_093555 copy


Unveiling the new generation K5 cabin, which looked uncannily similar to the cabin of the new Mercedes-Benz Actros displayed at the Daimler Kamaz Rus stand, and will be produced at a cabin plant being erected by Daimler Kamaz Rus joint venture at Naberezhnye Chelny, Kamaz displayed a wide range of CVs it offers. If the rally Kamaz truck made for an exciting product display, also present were a Kamaz 5490 Neo tractor and its gas diesel version; Kamaz 54901; Kamaz 54909 with pluggable front hydraulic wheel drive, and the hybrid Kamaz 65208 with garbage superstructure. Kamaz also displayed an electric bus of the second generation with a new interior and exterior; a station for ultra-fast charging; an unmanned vehicle called Hamm, dump trucks and a wide range of special purpose vehicles. Kamaz also displayed the Cummins G-Series engine, Cummins L-Series engine, and its own Euro5 910.10-550 engine.

20170904_091624 copy 20170904_110532 copy


The UAZ Profi single-cab pick-up truck took the centre stage at the Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant stand. The 1.5-tonne Profi is about load capacity, power, efficiency, and comfort. Also interesting was the display of a cutaway Profi with what looked like a hybrid architecture. A new generation offering, the Profi is available in a double-cab four-wheel drive guise too. Aimed at diverse applications, the Profi could be also had with an hydraulic hoist mounted on a four-wheel drive chassis with a twin-cab, with a crane-manipulator installation on the all-wheel drive chassis, and as an isothermal van with nine-cubic meter capacity.

20170904_163727 copy 20170904_112521 copy 20170904_112504 copy 20170904_112439 copy


Taking part for the first time, Lada displayed the Vesta CNG; Largus, which is claimed to be a leader among SW cars designed for commercial use; 4×4 pick-up based on the Niva, and the Granta pick-up. Apart from the Vesta CNG cab, the pick-up and van line-up of Lada is aimed at serving the needs of different production targets.

20170904_110358 copy 20170904_110346 copy 20170904_091402 copy


JAC Motors displayed its entire range of CVs, including an isothermal truck based on the JAC N56 chassis, a truck with a full berth and a sandwich panel van with a multi-temperature partition based on the JAC N75 chassis, and a side tilt platform and fully sliding elements based on the JAC N120 chassis. What drew most attention was the 3.5-tonne JAC X200 light truck that boasts of high manoeuvrability, economy and a competitive price.

20170904_163347 copy 20170904_163308 copy 20170904_120316 copy


Two new buses — long-distance ‘Marathon’ and gas-engine powered ‘CityRithm-10CNG2’ – were displayed by Volgabus. Serial production of these buses is planned to start in early 2018 at Volzhsky, and in the Vladimir region. Engineered to offer high level of comfort and safety, the two buses, according to Anatoly Bakulin, the general director of Volgabas Volzhsky, will offer different options of engines (280 to 300 hp), suspension, gearbox and additional equipment starting with the base version. The ‘Marathon’ can seat up to 53 people. The ‘CityRithm-10CNG2’ can seat up to 65 people, and is also equipped with special equipment for the carriage of wheelchair users. It is a low-floor bus with low cost of ownership.

20170904_110155 copy 20170904_105640 copy


Displayed were vehicle connection systems, modules and components for trucks and trailers. These included fifth wheel couplings, trailer axle systems, telescopic landing gears, tipping hydraulics, and accessories for semi-trailers, etc.

20170904_094416 copy


Showcased were a range of innovative technologies that improve vehicle safety, efficiency and connectivity. These included Maxx single-piston Air Disc Brakes (ADB), modular Braking System Platform (mBSP), advanced driver assistance systems, and OptiLock security systems. Wabco also introduced the ProVia brand of safe and reliable budget aftermarket spare parts for CVs.


On display were a range of systems the company offers, including an hydraulic system for tipper superstructure.

20170904_094310 copy


Knorr-Bremse displayed a wide range of CV offerings in an interesting display.

20170904_091005 copy


Two inter-city buses were displayed, and follow on the heels of a Yutong electric bus starting trial in Moscow as part of a plan by the Russian capital city to have an all-electric bus fleet in the next three years.

20170904_094751 copy


ZF Friedrichshafen AG, which since 2005 has a joint venture ZF Kama with Kamaz at Naberezhnyeye Chelny, displayed the range of transmissions, disc brake modules and retarders/intarders. The range of transmissions included an automated and automatic version.

Golden Dragon Golden Dragon displayed two long-distance – XML6957 and XML6126JR — buses powered by 340 hp Dongfeng Cummins ISL8.9 engine.

20170904_144627 copy


Witnessing strong growth at home, and in Russia of about 50 per cent in the January-July 2017 period, FAW displayed two updated CA3310 and CA3250 dump trucks with Euro5 377 hp CA6DL2-37E5 and 390 hp CA6DM2-39E51 engine respectively. The trucks also get an improved J6 cockpit with LCD instrument panel and four-point suspension mount. In Russia since 2008, FAW according to Alexei Lazarev, Deputy Head of Marketing, is confident of growth, and in-line with the growth of CVs that offer superior price and quality equation. FAW also displayed the CA3250 chassis that allows the installation of a variety of superstructures.

20170905_103319 copy 20170905_103302 copy


Displayed were a refrigerated van, a tow truck with a sliding platform, and a refrigerated van with a load-carrying side. Also displayed was the Hino 500 dump truck. The refrigerated van with a 4×2 wheel-side loader is based on the Hino 300 XZU650L chassis (3.5-tonne.), and has a carrying capacity of 1278 kg. It is powered by a diesel engine mated to a 5-speed gearbox. The evacuator with a sliding platform is based on the Hino 300 XZU720L, and was developed in association with the SMARTEKO-NN company. The 500 dump truck is equipped with a 16 cu. m. Body, and powered by a six-cylinder engine. The refrigerated truck displayed was equipped with a diesel engine mated to a nine-speed Eaton gearbox.

20170905_135908 copy 20170904_113001 copy 20170904_093132 copy

Mercedes-Benz vans & pick-ups

The Mercedes-Benz X-Class pick-up truck premiered at Comtrans 2017. The exterior styling bears traditional Mercedes-Benz cues including a centrally positioned star and the twin-louvre radiator grille. Measuring 5,340 mm long, 1,920 mm wide and 1,819 mm tall, the X-Class has a wheelbase of 3,150 mm and a maximum payload capacity of 1,042 kg. Flaunting a premium interior, the pick-up truck shares the platform with Nissan Navara and Renault Alaskan. Built on a ladder-frame chassis, the X-Class is powered by a 163 hp 2.3-litre, and a 190 hp 2.3-litre diesel engine mated to either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed auto gearbox. AWD is optional. Also displayed on the stand were a wide range of Sprinter vans in panel and passenger guise. The Sprinter vans are made at the GAZ facility in Nizhny Novgorod, which also makes the Gazelle Next and Gazon range of light and medium CVs. The Vito vans were also displayed.

Reflecting Russian Truck markets



Sergey Alexandrov, General Manager of ITEMF Expo

The commercial vehicle market in Russia has faced intense pressure in the recent past. How is the market placed today, and how does it impact the Comtrans exhibition?

At the start of 2017, there were 8.09 million commercial vehicles registered in Russia. Since 2009, the number of commercial vehicles has increased by over 13 per cent (by approximately 1 million vehicles). Regarding the ‘age’ of those vehicles, it is estimated that over 50 per cent of them were manufactured until 2002. Thus, every second commercial vehicle in Russia is over 15 years old. Notably, over 70 per cent of the overall commercial vehicles in Russia are domestic brands. Of the 8 million commercial vehicles, around 50 per cent are LCVs, 45 per cent are Heavy-Duty (HD) trucks with buses and coaches constituting the remaining five per cent. After the historic peak of new commercial vehicle sales registered in 2012, the market suffered a dramatic downfall in subsequent years, reaching its bottom line in 2015, which was as low as in 2009. The gradual recovery of the economy and the deferred demand since 2015 brought at the end of last year and beginning of this year very promising figures of 40 per cent growth, in the first half year of 2017 compared to the same period, in the previous year.

This upwards trend also reflects at Comtrans 2017 to be held from September 05 to 09, 2017 in Moscow. Compared to 2015, companies have expanded their exhibition booths owing to increased levels of competition. For instance, foreign companies, lost their market share in the last three years compared to domestic Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) producers. The expansion of exhibition areas are on the rise not only due to the current market revival, but also due to the manufacturers’ expectations that the market will continue to grow. Companies which gave the exhibition a miss in 2015, like Volkswagen commercial vehicles, DAF and Hyundai Truck & Bus, are returning to Comtrans this year, a testimony to the revival. Subsidiaries and representation offices in Russia of the European ‘Big Seven’, as well as PJSC ‘Kamaz’, ‘Gaz Group’, ‘Uaz’ are back at the show again. For the first time in the history of Comtrans, PJSC “Avtovaz” will participate in the exhibition. In 2017, Comtrans will be the leading commercial vehicle show not only in Russia and CIS but also in Europe.

What is the medium and long-term outlook for the Russian market, concerning light, medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks?

Almost all analysts and our partners are optimistic of growth over the next three years. Most of that is based on revival of the economy coupled with the fleet renewal. Other reasons include preparation for mega sports events (for example 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia) among other state purchase support programs. A broad consensus has forecast a 20 per cent growth for LCVs, 40 per cent growth for HD trucks, and 30 per cent for bus/coach segment. I would not dare to look beyond 2020 owing to the possibility of many factors that hold the potential to disrupt the growth outlook.

How is the service sector around commercial vehicles developing in Russia, with emphasis on keywords like fleet management, telematics, service and maintenance contracts, and drivers training etc.?

The Commercial vehicle market is undergoing a major transformation. Service will be a major developing factor in the industry, influenced by increasing customer demand coupled with stronger competition in both cargo and passenger logistics. It is expected that all OEMs will be competing over the next few years in a bid to better their offerings for all the stakeholders alike: be it drivers, fleet operators or the end customer. We will definitely see more internet-driven solutions both for clients akin to ‘Uber’ like aggregators in the cargo transportation space. The objective will be to increase overall performance and efficiency levels. Russia, owing to its geographic framework is certain to be a great market place, for new and smarter technologies.

How will this development reflect at Comtrans?

The headwinds from commercial vehicle market have dropped with the bottom line in 2015-2016 (showing a 40-60 per cent decline in comparison to 2012). More so due to the strong relations with major market players like Kamaz, Gaz Group among other key international producers giving us the chance to make Comtrans 2017 a grand success. I would like to specially thank the Association of European Businesses in Russia, with a special mention of its CEO – Dr. Frank Schauff for the valuable support extended. As mentioned above, there are so many new trends and recent technological developments of great interest to professionals. It is for this reason that we launched for the first time, a flagship conference – Moscow Commercial Vehicle Summit which is certain to become a recognised platform for exchange of ideas and presentation of strategies among decision-makers and opinion leaders. Comtrans was established in 2000. However, this year for the first time, ITEMF Expo, a joint venture of ITE Group (Great Britain) and Messe Frankfurt GmbH (Germany), has organised the fair.

What are the key changes that one can expect in this edition of Comtrans?

It’s a fact that Comtrans is already a well-established brand known not only in Russia but world over. Therefore, my colleagues and I tried to preserve all achievements of the past, at the same time adding newer elements. Nonetheless, expanding the exhibition area is not an end in itself, equally important criteria for the exhibition to succeed is customer satisfaction. That is why ITEMF Expo always pays a great deal of attention to additional services offered to the exhibitors. From technical support issues on the venue, to cooperation with companies after the exhibition. Notably, in addition to the press-day for the first time ever, we plan to hold a summit on topical issues of the commercial vehicle industry development too.

Another important area of focus is the synergy achieved between exhibitions like MIMS Automechanika Moscow and Comtrans. Requests were received from across companies, for sending them an offer regarding the participation in both exhibitions. It was particularly the case with the companies associated with components and spare parts production both for cargo and passenger vehicles. MIMS Automechanika Moscow has its special section called Truck Competence aimed at promoting companies and their products in the commercial vehicle industry, and we would like such an idea to be developed within Comtrans. Last but not least, one of the factors that contribute to the success of Comtrans is the ‘The Best Commercial Vehicle of the Year in Russia’ contest. An official award ceremony for winners, traditionally held within the framework of the exhibitions Comtrans making it a one of its kind initiative.

Could you hint at the novelties and innovations that visitors of the Comtrans 2017 expect? 

It is often the case that companies prefer to keep a veil of secret ahead of the show when it comes to novelties and innovations. What we know already today is that major Russian OEMs (Kamaz, Gaz Group and Autovaz) will definitely present some new models coming to the market inclusive of some electric vehicles. Scania, MAN and Isuzu are expected to premier for the Russian market too. The press day, which will be on September 04, is complete with press-conferences of all major OEMs. First up will be a press-conference of Uaz, presenting a range of new models. I am confident that after this day, when our press colleagues, journalists and partners enjoy innovations, visitors will be inspired by many products and solutions from a wide number of other companies during the entire exhibition.

With exhibitors from 12 countries, Comtrans is an international show. Apart from Russia, which countries are most represented? 

In 2017, Comtrans will be the leading commercial vehicle show not only in Russia and CIS but also in Europe. Traditionally companies from Turkey, Europe, Germany with the official German pavilion this year are well represented. Exhibitors from Asia will be focusing not only on vehicles but also on spare parts and solutions for the commercial vehicle aftermarket this year.

With all the new technologies, internet and worldwide communication possibilities, don’t you think exhibitions in their current traditional format risk being outdated?

Holding exhibitions is one of the channels for product sales and promotion. Of course, our world is changing, and new technologies are being introduced at a fast pace in the exhibition business. In particular, it refers to interactive technologies which transform communication from the real world into a virtual one. This process certainly holds potential in the near term. At the same time, direct and immediate contact among people continues to be the most important channel given that we are all social beings to begin with. In my view, there isn’t any advanced technology, which can replace real-life communication between people. It is an exhibition, which provides an opportunity to get acquainted personally with all new products of the market under one roof, whereby one can gauge current market trends. That apart, one can get a touch and feel of the products in person apart form getting in to the driver’s and passenger’s shoes. This holds the potential to gain valuable insights on the products on display. Meeting opinion leaders at such a forum is always inspirational. Therefore, exhibitions will always have one undeniable advantage – the opportunity of direct, maximally wide and rapid communication between sellers and their customers, on issues which sometimes take weeks or even months to be settled.