Tatra Trucks increased production again in 2023 and plans further innovations.

Last year, the Kopřivnice-based Tatra Trucks, owned by shareholders from Czechoslovak Group and Promet Group, produced and sold 1,451 vehicles, fulfilled its plans and met its commitments to partners and customers. Last year it also introduced several new technological projects that will significantly influence its future, and this year it will introduce further innovations in its production.

Tatra Trucks focuses primarily on the development and production of fully powered medium and heavy trucks for a wide variety of applications and segments. This enables it to diversify its vehicle production and sales effectively, while at the same time striving to maintain a balance of production volumes for the civil and defence sectors.

All of this is having a positive effect on the company’s gradual growth, which aims to reach a production rate of up to 2,500 vehicles per year within a few years. In 2023, Tatra produced and delivered 1,451 cars to customers, which is more than 100 units more than the previous year.

Especially in the fourth quarter of last year, the production volume accelerated significantly and the carmaker is continuing this trend this year as well. Tatra also performed well in terms of sales and EBITDA, but its financial results will not be published until 2024, as is standard, together with the annual report.

“Last year, we delivered almost half of the vehicles sold to the civil sector, mostly to the fire and rescue services, then to the construction, mining, agriculture or municipal services, etc. More than half of the production consisted of vehicles and chassis for defence and security forces, including the Czech Army, for which Tatra Trucks is a long-term strategic partner. The importance of the domestic market for our company is underlined by the fact that about 40 percent of the vehicles produced were directed to Czech customers,“ said LUKÁŠ ANDRÝSEK, Managing Director of Tatra Trucks.

Among the largest customers abroad are also customers in India, Austria, Slovakia, Australia, Poland, Ukraine, Serbia and Germany, while smaller numbers of special vehicles also went to other interesting and highly competitive markets such as Switzerland, France, Hong Kong and South Korea.

Large orders for firefighting specials and logistics vehicles for the Czech Army

Among the most important orders from last year is the order for more than two hundred firefighting specials on Tatra chassis for the Fire Brigade of the Czech Republic.

„On the basis of this contract, since last September we have been working in cooperation with THT Polička and KOBIT-THZ on deliveries of up to 232 truck-mounted syringes to Czech firefighters. The framework agreement provides for the production of up to 100 CAS 20 vehicles, 45 CAS 30 vehicles and 87 CAS 30 large volume firefighting syringes, including optional firefighting accessories and communication equipment,“ said Petr Buršík, executive director of the automotive company.

This large-scale project follows a similar order from autumn 2022, under which Tatra and THT Polička last year supplied 100 CAS 20 tanker firefighters for the Czech Fire Service.

„Last spring we delivered the first pieces of Tatra Force 4×4 chassis for firefighting specials, which were developed in cooperation with Rosenbauer on the basis of an order from the German army. The latter ordered a total of 77 Tatra trucks with firefighting bodies and equipment from this Austrian manufacturer. Last year, Tatra also completed the contract for 209 Tatra Force 6×6 trucks for the Czech Army, when we handed over the last units to the soldiers in August,“ said Tomáš Mynarčík, Sales Director of the Kopřivnice automotive company.

Tatra then delivered 30 more Tatra Force 8×8 hook loaders to the army, and this year the production of another 50 examples of these vehicles will follow. The production of chassis for military logistics vehicles, which Tatra supplies to the Belgian army in cooperation with DAF Trucks, also continued.

Tatra Trucks is a manufacturer that is dedicated to customers with individual and specific requirements. Last year, for example, the company produced several chassis for motorhomes and expedition vehicles or the unique Tatra Phoenix special with a total weight of 62 tonnes, prepared with Australian dealer Offroad Trucks Australia for the local mining company Rio Tinto.

The Tatra to Schools project also continued, through which the carmaker, in cooperation with dealers and regional governments, is helping to develop Czech education in the automotive and service sectors. The project also supports the modernisation of equipment and technology of regional road administrations.

New projects and news for the future

The year 2023 was also marked by the celebration of 100 years of the Tatra chassis concept with a central carrier tube and swinging independently suspended semi-axles, which Hans Ledwinka first used in 1923 on the Tatra 11.

It was also the 10th year of successful operation of Tatra Trucks under the leadership of Czech shareholders from Czechoslovak Group and Promet Group. However, 2023 also brought new developments that will bring significant changes to Tatra’s product portfolio in the near future that will be of great benefit to customers.

„First of all, at PYROS 2023, we presented the third generation of the Tatra Force model series, in a civilian version for firefighters, which brings major electronicisation and digitalisation as well as new technical solutions and improved engines. In early autumn, we then showed the public a prototype of the new generation of the Tatra Force series with an automated driving system in its first stage of development. This vehicle can be driven by remote control and can thus find use, for example, in firefighting or rescue services, or in the mining industry. Further development will lead to a vehicle capable of fully autonomous driving,“ said Radomír Smolka, Director of Research and Development at Kopřivnice.

In October, Tatra, in cooperation with its partners, presented a prototype of the Tatra Force e-Drive with an electric traction engine in combination with hydrogen fuel cells. This year, this prototype, which is the brand’s first electric (and therefore locally emission-free) heavy-duty truck in history, will undergo further phases of demanding tests in real operating conditions.

For this year Tatra Trucks plans to increase the production volume again, which should be helped by restructuring steps gradually implemented since last year. Tatra is well positioned for this plan, as a large part of the planned production is already covered by customer orders.

Tatra also plans to introduce another major innovation in the first half of this year, namely the new generation of the Tatra Phoenix model series. Subsequently, in the middle of the year, it will also introduce military versions of the third generation of the Tatra Force model, thus completing the customer portfolio of this flagship series.

About Tatra Trucks a.s.

In 2013, the joint-stock company Tatra Trucks took over the world-famous brand and the Kopřivnice automotive company, which underwent a successful restructuring after a change in ownership structure. In addition to standardised model lines, the company also produces special trucks tailored to customer requirements.

The domestic markets in the Czech Republic and Slovakia are very important, and a large part of the carmaker’s production is intended for export to dozens of countries around the world. Tatra Trucks a.s. employs more than 1,400 people, and more than 700 more work in its subsidiary Tatra Metalurgie a.s., which focuses mainly on foundry and forging. The shareholders of Tatra Trucks are the industrial-technological holding Czechoslovak Group and the engineering group Promet Group.