Tatra Trucks produced more cars in 2022 than in the previous year and achieved higher sales than planned. Tatra produced and sold 1,326 cars last year. The automaker also continued to fulfill key contracts and began the development of new generations of cars in its core model lines as well as alternative drive systems.

These processes will have a fundamental impact on its production in the following years.

The company Tatra Trucks informed about it.

For the year 2022, the Kopřivnica automobile company Tatra Trucks achieved sales of 7.12 billion crowns, which is 10 percent more than it had planned. It delivered 1,326 cars to customers in various segments, which is more than in previous years, and this number confirms the trend of gradually increasing production volumes.

For the year 2023, Tatra Trucks is planning a further increase in production, if the plan succeeds, the car company will reach record numbers in modern history.

Tatra Trucks has long been developing its production for all sectors where all-wheel drive medium and heavy trucks are used, while trying to maintain a balance of production volumes for the civil and defense sectors. The largest part of the total of 1,326 trucks delivered last year went to the domestic market.

Less than half of the total production was made up of vehicles for civil segments such as construction, mining, utilities, agriculture, etc., as well as for fire and rescue customers. Last year, the production of trucks for the defense segment slightly prevailed, mainly due to the international security situation and the needs of the Czech army.

„The last few years have been successful for our company, and we want to continue this in 2023. Last year, we worked on a number of orders, the largest of which were in the defense and rescue sector. These were mainly logistics vehicles for the transport of goods and people for the Czech and Belgian armies, but also, for example, firefighting vehicles for the German market,“ explained Pavel Lazar, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Tatra Trucks.

Last year, Tatra Trucks, in cooperation with DAF Trucks and another company from Kopřivnica, Tatra Defense Vehicle (TDV), started supplying cars as part of an order for almost 900 logistics vehicles for the Belgian army. Three partner companies won this contract in a tender a year earlier.

The Belgian order represents a breakthrough project for both Tatra Trucks and TDV, as it is the first time that they have established themselves on such a large scale in the territory of Western European NATO members, where there is strong competition from local manufacturers.

In the second half of 2022, there were also very important orders for almost three hundred Tatra transport vehicles for the Czech army, which the Ministry of Defense of the Czech Republic ordered through the urgent procurement method in connection with the deteriorating security situation.

„We were able to respond very flexibly to the Ministry’s requirements and by the end of 2022 we delivered two hundred trucks in accordance with the August and September contracts. The fulfillment of contracts continues this year, we will deliver dozens more Tatra trucks to the army, as well as next year,“ explained Petr Hendrych, sales director and vice chairman of the board of Tatra Trucks.

Orders for firefighting specials intended for Germany are also very important from the point of view of penetrating the Western European markets. Last year, the car company completed the delivery of 46 Tatra firefighting vehicles with superstructures from the Czech manufacturer THT Polička for the firefighting units of the federal state of Brandenburg.

Last year, in cooperation with the company Rosenbauer, it also started the production of 77 Tatra fire trucks for the German Bundeswehr. Deliveries of these vehicles will continue this year as well. Last year, the company also produced the first Tatra vehicles intended for the new mobile 3D MADR radars of the Czech army, as well as for special STARKOM electronic jamming systems or 6×6 chassis intended for TITUS armored vehicles, which the Czech army also ordered.

Last year was also marked by important events. Tatra Trucks, for example, produced a jubilee truck with serial number 10,000 since the takeover of the car company by the current Czech owners in 2013. Its completion was accompanied by a ceremonial act with the participation of invited personalities and great media interest. The automaker also opened a new service and training center in Kopřivnice in September, which significantly helped improve the quality of services for customers and business partners of Tatra Trucks.

Tatra on hydrogen

But of course, the Kopřivnica company also thinks about the future. Last year, for example, a project to develop a truck with hydrogen fuel cells was launched.

„We are working with several of our partners on the project, while last year we prepared the concept of the car and this year we are working on building a prototype. It should be ready for the installation of fuel cells in the middle of this year,“ said Radomír Smolka, director of research and development at Tatra Trucks.

„We are also working on a hybrid car with a Tatra engine and a generator or on a battery vehicle with an internal combustion engine as a range extender, and in cooperation with the Czech Technical University also on a Tatra engine burning hydrogen,“ added Radomír Smolka.

New generation Tatra Force

Tatra Trucks also continues to develop new generations of its standard models. Last year, for example, tests of prototypes of the new generation of the Tatra Force model line already began. The automaker’s designers have also been working on a new generation of the Tatra Phoenix model line since last year. Both innovations could enter serial production in 2024 or 2025.

Due to the increasing number of projects and the volume of production, Tatra Trucks was looking for new employees last year, and it was successful in this field as well.

„Together with partner companies from the holding Czechoslovak Group and Promet Group, we launched a recruitment campaign Tatra is looking for 500 employees. In the course of it, it was possible to acquire more than 570 new employees for Tatra and other collaborating companies in the Kopřivnice industrial complex,“ said HR Director Natálie Linhartová.

But last year also brought complications and difficulties caused by external factors. On the one hand, there were echoes of the pandemic crisis at some subcontractors, but above all the deterioration of the security situation in connection with the conflict in Ukraine. This had a negative effect on the stability of some deliveries from business partners and component suppliers, but above all it was reflected in the increase in the prices of energy, materials and also individual input items of production processes.

Tatra and ESG

In addition to developing its business activities, last year Tatra Trucks also focused on the launch of the ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) project, i.e. on a modern way of operating and managing the company within the framework of sustainability and responsibility towards the environment and society.

„The recognition of this project is the inclusion of Tatra among the TOP 10 Czech companies within the framework of the ESG Rating compiled by the Association of Social Responsibility. Our company won two more social awards in November. They also reflect our social commitment and interest in our surroundings, as well as care for the historical heritage associated with our more than 170-year existence,“ informed the marketing director of the car company Kamil Košťál.

Specifically, it was the Award of the Director General of the National Monument Institute for the rescue of the Slovenská strela motor railway car and the Award of the Governor of the Moravian-Silesian Region for the activities of the automobile company for the benefit of the residents of the region and projects improving life in the region beyond the normal duties of business entities. (sfr)