КАМАZ was established in 1969 as Kama River Complex of Heavy Duty Truck Production Plants (KamAZ Production Association).
The first truck rolled off the final assembly line on February 16-th 1976. Since then more than 2 mn. trucks have been made and approximately 2.8 mn. engines have been produced. Every third truck with gross vehicle weight (GVW) between 14 and 40 tons in Russia and in the CIS countries is a KAMAZ truck. KAMAZ trucks are in operation in more than 80 countries all over the world.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE COMPANY
In 1969, the Resolution of the Central Committee of the USSR Communist Party and the USSR Council of Ministers was approved which envisaged construction of a complex of heavy duty truck production plants. 70 potential sites to locate the facilities were investigated. Choice went in favor of Naberezhnye Chelny, then a small town on the Kama River. Its advantages were obvious. So far as its geographical situation was concerned, Naberezhnye Chelny was right in the center of the former Soviet Union. The navigable rivers – the Kama River and the Volga River – as well as proximity of the railway line, were central to meeting all the logistical needs of the construction site for materials, raw materials, equipment, components while, going forward, to meeting the need to ship ready made trucks to customers. The fact that the huge construction company “KamGESenergostroy” existed in the region allowed construction of plant buildings and apartment blocks for prospective KAMAZ employees to be completed.
Workers and engineers, representing more than 70 ethnicities, converged on Naberezhnye Chelny to fuse into a “melting pot” of the construction project personnel. Orders placed by KAMAZ to procure construction materials and equipment were filled by all the ministries and departments, a total of over 2000 enterprises. Over 100 thousand personnel were employed at the construction site itself. The would-be truck plant was being provided with the most state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment by the contemporary standards. More than 700 international firms were among equipment vendors for KAMAZ facilities, including such globally known corporations as Swindell-Dressler, Holcroft, CE-Cast, Ingersoll Rand, Ex-Cello (U.S.A.), Hueller-Hille, Liebherr (West Germany), Morando, Fata (Italy), Renault (France), Sandvik (Sweden), Kamatsu and Hitachi (Japan).
On December 13-th 1969, ground was broken and the first bucket of soil was excavated at the construction site of the Kama River Truck Plant which was rated for production of 150 thousand heavy duty trucks and 250 thousand engines a year. The Complex of Plants on the Kama River sprawled over a vast territory measuring 57 square km. Concurrent to construction of the truck plant, huge social challenges were tackled. Hundreds of thousands of people were provided by KAMAZ with comfortable housing, modern educational facilities, kindergartens and creches, hospitals and clinics, numerous cultural, sporting, recreational and leisure centers. KAMAZ was instrumental in transforming the Kama River Area into a powerful industrial and scientific research hub and developing the infrastructure for the suburban agricultural zone.
Every year the population of the city grew by another 30-40 thousand or so. Whereas before construction of KAMAZ got underway, 27 thousand residents had lived in Naberezhnye Chelny, the current population has now reached more than half a million.
MILESTONES FROM THE CHRONICLES OF KAMAZ CONSTRUCTION
December 13-th 1969 – on the construction site of the Kama River Truck Plant the first bucket of soil was excavated.
Autumn of 1970 – the first cubic meters of concrete were grouted into the foundation of the firstborn plant at KAMAZ, i.e. the Repair and Tooling Plant, as well as the Grey and Malleable Iron Foundry.
January 1971 – the first 12-storey apartment building to accommodate KAMAZ trail-blazers was commissioned in Naberezhnye Chelny.
1973 – the buildings of virtually all the facilities of the first phase of the complex were erected, the first city street car line was started up, the first power unit of the heat and power generating utility was put under load.
May 1974 – in the experimental shop of KAMAZ’s Chief Design Engineer’s Department the first engine was built.
1975 – at all the plants of the Complex, construction and erection was in progress, start-up and commissioning operations of the manufacturing equipment and test product runs were underway.
December 1975 – at the engine plant, the first power pack was assembled, using temporary (bypass) technology but still using in-house resources.
February 16-th 1976 – the first KAMAZ truck was produced on the final assembly line of the Truck Assembly Plant.
December 29-th 1976 – The Government Acceptance Commission headed by Victor N. Polyakov, USSR Minister of Automobile Industry signed off on the acceptance report officially putting the first phase of the Kama River Complex of Heavy Duty Truck Plants into operation.
Already by the time that the first phase of KAMAZ was accepted into operation, it had acquired enormous production assets. Those were double the assets on the books of VAZ and exceeded 3 times the industry benchmark for the Ministry of Automobile Industry. Production growth rates at KAMAZ were unheard-of:
October 1977 – КАМАZ completed the first annual plan ahead of time, having produced 15000 trucks. By the end of December, the output had reached 22 thousand units.
August 1978 – the 50-thousandth truck was produced.
June 1979 – truck under No.100000 rolled off the final assembly line.
April 1980 – 150-thousandth heavy duty truck was produced.
February 1981 – the second phase facilities of KAMAZ were accepted into operation.
FROM THE COMPANY’S SUBSEQUENT HISTORY
February 1983 – KAMAZautocenter Production Firm was set up to provide warranty service for all KAMAZ trucks and to supply spare parts for the entire service life of the truck. As early as the end of the first decade of its existence, KAMAZautocenter comprised 210 auto centers which enabled efficient response to customer’s requirements, effective conduct of marketing studies, maximally rapid performance of truck repairs and spare parts supplies.
1986 – KAMAZ trucks which then accounted for a quarter of the country’s truck fleet engaged in harvesting grain, carried 60 percent of the year 1986 crops.
1987 – OKA mini-car production operation was put in place. December 21-st of the same year saw the first OKA-VAZ-1111 mini-car roll off the assembly line. The year 1994 saw the commissioning of OKA mini-car production plant put into operation which was designed for output of 75000 mini-cars a year. In 2005, the Mini-Car Plant joined Severstal-Auto Group.
1988 – according to experts, since production of KAMAZ trucks began, nearly 8 bn. Rbls’ worth of transportation profit had been generated. Therefore, as early as by the expiry of the first ten years of KAMAZ’s operation, it had fully paid back all the government’s capital expenditures connected with its construction.
July 17-th 1988, the plant's KAMAZ-master racing team was formed who are many time winners of various rally raides.
June 25-th 1990, the Government approved the decision to establish KAMAZ Joint Stock Company on the basis of the Production Association’s property. In August 1990, KamAZ Production Association was reorganized into a joint stock company.
April 14-th 1993, fire which broke out at the engine plant in a matter of minutes engulfed the entire facility. The fire did not only gut out the production building almost completely but also its sophisticated manufacturing equipment was damaged by fire. From the very first days of liquidating the aftermath of the fire, work proceeded along the following two lines: rebuilding the production facilities sized for the capacity of 100 thousand engines and setting up a production facility for power packs based on the cutting edge manufacturing equipment. In an incredibly short period of time, thanks to the support of the governments of Russia and Tatarstan, the KAMAZ personnel succeeded in literally resurrecting the company from the ashes. As early as December 1993, the engine plant resumed manufacturing the products.
In 1996, KAMAZ-6520 dump truck prototype was created which was the basic vehicle of the new range.
On September 3-rd 1996, by the resolution of the Shareholders' General Meeting KAMAZ JSC was reorganized into KAMAZ OJSC.
November 1998 – КАМАZ proceeded to fulfill the first order for the new KAMAZ-65115 dump truck.
In December 2000, presentation of the new NefAZ-5299 bus based on KAMAZ-5297 cab and chassis unit took place.
November 2003 – At KAMAZ Truck Assembly Plant, presentation of the new series city delivery truck KAMAZ-4308 took place.
On July 29-th 2004 – Master Kama Industrial Park OJSC was established.
March 2004 – The 1 700 000-th KAMAZ truck was produced on the final assembly line.
On November 23-rd 2005, ZF KAMA Limited Liability Company, a joint venture company of the German concern ZF Friedrichshafen AG and KAMAZ OJSC, was inaugurated.
August 2005, in Kokshetau, production operation was started up at KAMAZ-Engineering Russian-Khazakh JV.
In January 2006, documents were signed between KAMAZ OJSC and Cummins Inc., U.S, on the setting-up of CUMMINS KAMA Joint Venture Company.
On December 12-th 2006 – KAMAZ Press and Stamping Plant had produced the two-millionth cab since the cab for KAMAZ trucks began to be manufactured.
December 2007, KAMAZ OJSC signed the agreement with Knorr-Bremse Systeme für Nutzfahrzeuge GmbH on the setting-up of KNORR-BREMSE KAMA Joint Venture Company.
On March 10-th 2008, incorporation documents were signed relating to the joint venture company Federal Mogul Naberezhnye Chelny to produce cylinder and piston related parts with Federal Mogul Corporation (USA).
In December 2008, the German concern Daimler AG acquired 10% in the charter capital of KAMAZ OJSC. Today, Daimler’s stake in the Russian truck maker comprises 15%.
In November 2009, KAMAZ OJSC and Daimler AG signed agreements on the setting-up of two joint venture companies: Fuso KAMAZ Trucks Rus and Mercedes-Benz Trucks Vostok.
In January 2010, KAMAZ OJSC embarked on mass production of trucks with face-lift cabs.
February 2010, KAMAZ Vectra Motors Limited, joint venture company, in India was inaugurated.
AT THE PRESENT TIME
In September 2011, KAMAZ OJSC and Marcopolo S.A. entered into the agreement relating to the setting up of the joint venture company to produce and sell Marcopolo buses.
In November 2011, KAMAZ OJSC was re-awarded the «Five Star» level in the competition of the European Quality Management Fund per EFQM model «Recognized Excellence».
On February 15-th 2012, the final assembly line of KAMAZ released the two millionth truck.
In June 2012, Daimler Trucks and KAMAZ OJSC signed the License Agreement aimed at strengthening cooperation in the area of cab production. In accordance with this Agreement, Mercedes-Benz was to provide to KAMAZ the Axor cab production technology for medium duty trucks which KAMAZ contemplated installing on its new generation trucks.
March 2013 – KAMAZ OJSC and the concern PALFINGER AG entered into the Cooperation Agreement.