The factory that made most of Soviet union's heavy trucks (KRAZ) is still fuctioning in Ukraine today. In 2013 PJSC "AutoKrAZ" started serial production of armored vehicles. PJSC “AutoKrAZ”, the only full cycle manufacturer of heavy-duty trucks, is a part of “Finances and Credit” financial and industrial group controlled by People’s Deputy of Ukraine Konstantin Zhevago.
Results of KrAZ group for the first half year of 2016 are very encouraging and optimistic. Despite disadvantages in industry, market, economy and the country compared to gale KrAZ group companies report increase in sales as may be seen in operation results for the first and second quarters of this year. Since 01 January 1 2016 Kremenchug Automobile Plant has made an unprecedented move amidst economic recession and political crisis and reduced prices of KrAZ trucks by 20 percent on the average for customers from foreign and former USSR countries. This despite the fact that KrAZ made previous reduction in price of major products in last November, cutting price by 10 percent.
In July 2016 Ukrainian armored vehicles developed for defence, law and security enforcement agencies of Ukraine came to “AutoKrAZ”. Another stage of testing of new armored vehicles developed to meet the needs of the Ministry of Interior, National Police, National Guard, State Border Service and Special Forces units was conducted by Ukrainian Ministry of Interior Research Institute on the proving ground of the automobile plant.
Performance of vehicles was assessed by expert panel consisting of military and scientists in accordance with program and test procedure developed by the Research Institute. The following vehicles came for testing: (NPO “Praktika”), Bars (GP “ASZ No 2” AK Bogdan Motors), Triton (PJSC “Lenin’s Smithy Plant”), Varta (“Ukrainian Armored Vehicles”). Host, PJSC “AutoKrAZ”, presented for testing its advanced vehicles: KrAZ-Shrek and KrAZ-Spartan.
This decision is quite logical because KrAZ’s proving ground with its unique concrete facilities for testing heavy wheeled vehicles is the only of its kind in Ukraine. Its feature is a small size: two test tracks 4 m wide each with 20 special obstacles are arranged on 2 ha area to conduct comparative tests, minimize time needed for driving from one obstacle to the next and watch obstacle course from comfortable viewing stand.
Test facilities built on the proving ground are used to assess off road performance, maneuverability, dynamic behavior and durability under extreme loads. Configuration and specifications of tests facilities meet those of worldwide renowned proving grounds such as IDEX (UAE), SOFEX (Jordan), NII21 (Bronnitsy, RF), NICIAMT (Dmitrov, RF).
The USSR People’s Commissariat of Railways approved Order No 831 on construction of Bridge Building Plant and Engineering Works in Kremenchug. In less than a year the first phase of the Bridge Building Plant was completed and the birth of the enterprise took place in 1945.
In 1956 Kremenchug Bridge Building Plant was reorganized to produce corn harvesters and other agricultural vehicles. The CPSU Central Committee and the Council of Ministers of the USSR issued a Decree in 1958 on transfer of production of heavy-duty trucks from Yaroslavl Automobile Plant to Kremenchug harvester Plant in Ukraine. First Ukrainian trucks were built in 1959. These were the KrAZ-222, 10-ton Dniepr dump trucks. A legendary conqueror of rugged terrains, all-wheel drive KrAZ-255 truck dubbed popularly Laptyojnik, entered mass production in 1967. The Minister of the Automotive Industry issued a Decree in 1968 on awarding an honorary title “Named after 50th anniversary of the Soviet Ukraine” to the automobile plant. The Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR issued a Decree in 1971 on decoration of Kremenchug Automobile Plant with Order of Lenin for early execution of the 8th five-year plan and mastering the production of new models of heavy-duty trucks.
To improve manufacturing process management, Production Association “AutoKrAZ” was established in 1976 that includes the following plants: Kremenchug Automobile Plant, Kremenchug Wheel Factory, Tokmak Press Forging Plant, Poltava and Kamenets-Podolsk Brake Components Plant, Zhdanov (Mariupol) Radiator factory, Simferopol Steering Wheel Factory. Sinelnikovo Spring Plant joined the association in 1983 and Kherson Propeller Shaft Plant – in 1986.
Production Association “AutoKrAZ” achieved the highest performance indicator: maximum output - 1,66 pieces of KrAZ trucks per employee in 1979. This performance indicator was the highest one even in subsequent years among the plants of the former Ministry of the Automotive Industry of the USSR, manufacturers of heavy-duty trucks. The same year the KrAZ-260 family trucks entered mass production, featuring all-steel cab, frame, powertrain and axles.
Kremenchug Automobile Plant is the only Soviet automaker decorated with a foreign government award, Order of Peoples’ Friendship of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, in 1980. This decoration was awarded to “KrAZ” as an expression of deep gratitude for aid to fraternal Vietnamese people “…in their fight against American aggressors, for the salvation of the country in the construction of socialism and Defence of Motherland”.
In 1986 Kremenchug Automobile Plant announced the highest result achieved for the whole period of its operation: 30655 trucks. “AutoKrAZ” left in dust all known western automotive brands and was the biggest European manufacturer of heavy-duty trucks. The number of plant employees totaled 19,259 persons. KrAZ trucks were exported to 58 countries.
The biggest contract for deliveries of the KrAZ trucks to Iraq was awarded in a 2004 ender. Over 2300 drop-side trucks, refuellers, workshop trucks and special trailers have been supplied to the country as part of Postwar Revival Program. That was the third order of such magnitude in the history of military technical cooperation between Ukraine and foreign countries and the biggest contract worth over US$110,000,000 in the history of the Kremenchug Automobile Plant.
The 800 000th truck rolled off the assembly line of Kremenchug Automobile Plant in 2006, this was the KrAZ-6446 fifth wheel tractor 6?6. This milestone truck was presented on behalf of stakeholders and staff of HC “AutoKrAZ” on the occasion of anniversary of Turkmenistan President Turkmenbashi Saparmourat Niyazov as a symbol of further development of cooperation between “KrAZ” and Turkmenistan enterprises.
In compliance with Joint-Stock Companies Act, in 2012 the shareholders at the meeting adopted a resolution to change the name from Holding Company “AutoKrAZ” in the form of Open Joint-Stock Company to Public Joint-Stock Company “AutoKrAZ”.
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