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 16th 1976. Since then more than 2.25 mn. trucks have been made and approximately 2.85 mn. engines have been produced. Every third truck with gross vehicle weight (GVW) between 14 and 40 tonnes 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 2,000 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 (U.S.A.), Busch, Hüller Hille, Liebherr (Germany), Morando, Excella, Fata (Italy), Renault (France), Sandvik (Sweden), Kamatsu and Hitachi (Japan).
On December 13th 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 13th 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 16th 1976 – the first KAMAZ truck was produced on the final assembly line of the Truck Assembly Plant.
December 29th 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 15,000 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 – the 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 21st 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 75,000 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 17th 1988, the plant's KAMAZ-master racing team was formed who are many time winners of various rally raides.
June 25th 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 14th 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 3rd 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 29th 2004 – Master Kama Industrial Park OJSC was established.
March 2004 – The 1,700,000th KAMAZ truck was produced on the final assembly line.
On November 23rd 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 12th 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 10th 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 15th 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.
On October 16th 2013, at KAMAZ Truck Assembly Plant, the ten-thousandth bus chassis was assembled.
In December 2013, serial production of the KAMAZ-5490 long-haul truck tractor – the core of the new KAMAZ lineup – was commenced.
On August 19th 2014, KAMAZ signed Agreements with PALFINGER AG (Austria) on the setup of two joint ventures: the new facility manufacturing hydraulic and telescope cylinders and the installation center.
In 2015, KAMAZ put into mass production two new truck models – the KAMAZ-65206 truck tractor and the KAMAZ-65207 high-sided long-haul vehicle, and also electric buses developed jointly with the Russian engineering company Drive Electro.
On April 22nd 2015, KAMAZ officially opened a facility to produce KAMAZ trucks and bus chassis powered with gas engines.
In June 2015, KAMAZ started the first test drives of a pilotless vehicle designed in cooperation with JSC VIST Group and Cognitive Technologies.
On June 26th 2015, to meet the decision of the Annual General Meeting, KAMAZ OJSC was renamed into KAMAZ Publicly Traded Company.
In September 2015, KAMAZ presented a concept of the breakthrough KAMAZ-2020 cab at the 2015 COMTRANS show. In the same month, KAMAZ PTC and HAWTAI Motor Group Co signed an agreement on a bilateral joint venture project under which both sides were to establish through joint venture a KAMAZ heavy truck production base in China and to build a joint venture for Hawtai-branded passenger vehicles in Tartarstan.
In 2016, the company celebrated the 40th anniversary of the first vehicle produced. The first KAMAZ-6580 and KAMAZ-65802 dump trucks from the new lineup rolled off the conveyor.
In March 2016, KAMAZ PTC and Daimler AG started building a plant for joint cab production (cab frame production and painting) in Naberezhnye Chelny. This joint venture is another step under the strategy of Rostec State Corporation to attract "smart" investments which give acces to know-how, help win new markets and get additional finances.
In August 2016, within the framework of the Moscow International Motor Show, there has taken place a presentation of the exclusive concept of the urban transport system using driverless buses in the development of which KAMAZ PTC has been taking part. The project is code named SHUTTLE. Underlying the promising idea is the launch into the city avenues of several 12 seater buses using autonomous driving system. Autonomous driving vehicles are considered to be an alternative to conventional multiple seat buses driven by drivers and plying strictly pre-set routes.
On September 1st 2016, the Multifunctional Center for Applied Qualifications in the Machine Building projected by KAMAZ PTC and the Ministry of Education and Science of Tatarstan started operating.
In 2017, more than 100 complete sets of trucks and chassis, including 5 new models of the K-4 generation: KAMAZ-5490 NEO truck tractor, KAMAZ-6580 (6x4), KAMAZ-65801 (8x4), KAMAZ-65802 (6x6) dump trucks, KAMAZ 5325 chassis. The next generation of KAMAZ vehicles (K5) is under development. The first sample, the KAMAZ-54901 long-haul tractor, was presented at the COMTRANS-2017 exhibition.
In April 2017, KAMAZ-5490 NEO vehicles were put into serial production at the KAMAZ automobile plant.
KAMAZ became the first Russian manufacturer who mastered and brought to the Russian market a unique model of passenger transport – the KAMAZ-6282 electric bus charged from an ultra-fast charging station for 8-12 minutes (the charge lasts up to 70 km).
In October 2017, KAMAZ handed over to its strategic partner the building of a new cab frame plant. The production site was built in just a year and a half. Daimler has started to install the equipment. The produced cab frames will be supplied both to the KAMAZ assembly line and to the Mercedes-Benz truck assembly.
In November 2017, the 1,000th heavy-duty truck running on compressed natural gas was produced in the building of gas vehicles of the automobile plant.
In December 2017, the first samples of the new in-line six-cylinder KAMAZ R6 engine for K5 trucks were assembled at the engine plant.
In 2018, KAMAZ was the first company which entered Moscow's market with electric passenger transport. Under the contract, the Russian capital is to receive 100 electric buses and 31 charging stations from the company. The unique innovative transport was created according to the customer's most complex technical assignment and recharges from ultra-fast charging stations within only 10-20 minutes. KAMAZ guarantees to service all these vehicles for 15 years, and this is the first time when they work under a life-cycle contract.
Since 2018, KAMAZ owns United Automotive Technologies JSC, a large vehicle components producer. The company holds 12 production facilities located in five regions of the Russian Federation (Vladimir, Samara, Ryazan, Penza and Ulyanovsk regions), the number of personnel reaches 10.5 thousand people, the revenue is more than 18 billion rubles. The holding is Russia's major manufacturer of automotive components. KAMAZ PTC Group plans to continue integrating this company. This acquisition will allow to greatly expand KAMAZ's automotive components business, which will trigger the development of competencies and technologies for the benefit of the whole Russian automobile industry.
In May 2018, a new cab frame plant was launched. The production site was built in just a year and a half. Cabin frames produced there for the new K-5 generation of KAMAZ trucks will also go to the Mercedes-Benz truck assembly plant.
In 2018, KAMAZ entered Uzbekistan's market. KAMAZ and Uzavtosanoat JSC State Corporation etsblished a new joint venture JV KAMAZ ASIA CENTER LLC for the production, sale and after-sales service of cargo KAMAZ-branded vehicles.
In 2019, K5 generation vehicles and K4 generation LNG vehicles are to be in production.
In 2019, KAMAZ Weichai LLC and the Chinese corporation Weichai Power Ltd plan to fully register their joint venture for the production of industrial diesel engines with a volume of more than 17 liters, with a capacity from 520 to 2000 kW. The joint venture will occupy vacant premises of KAMAZ's subsidiary of in Yaroslavl Region – Tutaev Motor Plant JSC.
In 2019, the company is going on developing its project in Uzbekistan without failures. The facilities of the joint venture with Uzavtosanoat JSC State Corporation started producing KAMAZ vehicles, and their sales and after-sales service was organized in the Uzbek market.
In early 2020, KAMAZ provided its premises for MTS PJSC and Ericsson, which deployed Russia's first industrial 5G zone of a private LTE network, with the support of the government of the Republic of Tatarstan. The enterprise hopes to optimize its production and gain a competitive edge thanks to 5G and LTE wireless access technologies.
In 2020, KAMAZ received a patent for an electric unmanned truck without a driver's cabin named Shuttle. A mobile roof module for autonomous vehicle control has been developed at KAMAZ. The project was named Avatar. The KAMAZ R&D Center has developed and manufactured KAMAZ-65805, the first vehicle in a new line of mining dump trucks, intended for operation in medium and small quarries.
On December 10, 2020, KAMAZ PTC and Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) presented their joint development – an electric vehicle – at the VII annual national exhibition VUZPROMEXPO-2020.
In 2021, KAMAZ introduced to market new models of K5 generation vehicles – the KAMAZ65659 freight truck and two dump trucks – the KAMAZ-65951 (8x4) and the KAMAZ-65952 (6x6) designed for transportation of various bulk cargoes. To add to this, the company presented the biggest Russian mining truck KAMAZ-65807 with GWV of 95 t, payload of 65 t.
In 2021, KAMAZ presented novelties in the line of urban passenger electric transport means: the extra-large low-floor articulated electric bus (accordeon) and the KAMAZ-65825 trolley-bus with a longer run up to 20 km.
In April 2021, an assembly (final) production of KAMAZ electric buses at the Sokolniki Car Repair and Construction Plant (SVARZ) in Moscow. Already in June, the first buses assembled at SVARZ started running on Moscow's routes.
In June 2021, the press and stamping plant launched the new production of frames. The facility will host the frame production for K5 trucks, after 2021 – for K4 trucks, and later the new technology will be applied for K3. The production capacity is 65,000 frames per year.
In 2021, KAMAZ engineers started developing hydrogen-powered vehicles: in September KAMAZ introduced its first hydrogen fuel-cell bus KAMAZ-6290.