By Nikolay Smirnov
Comtrans is the largest exhibition of commercial motor transport not only in Russia, but also in the whole of Eastern Europe. It is held on alternate years, alternating with Cargo Autosalon Hannover, and is the main event of the year for the world’s motor-car manufacturers. Leading automobile companies from Germany, Sweden, France, Italy, USA, Korea, the Netherlands, China and many other countries took part in the Moscow event. Belarusian vehicles were also on display at this show.
50 percent of MAZ production is delivered to the Russian market. In the past seven months of this year the plant has delivered 6.5 thousand units of machinery to Russia. According to Sergey Zakharevich, MAZ’s Deputy Marketing Director, during the same time they sold 13 thousand units in total, 80 percent of which were exported.
Their share of the markets of more distant countries has increased recently. In particular, for the first time the company made deliveries to India, South Africa and other countries. This is partly thanks to the active modernisation and development of vehicle production. Last year alone, about $35 million were spent on production development.
At the exhibition the Minsk Automobile Works presented its 10 latest products, including the MAZ-203965 bus which runs on a methane powered engine. The pre-production model of the bus presented at the exhibition, is the first step towards the creation of a range of MAZ vehicles powered by natural gas. The vehicle is based around the MAZ-203 low-floor city bus which is popular in Belarus, Russia and other countries.
Another vehicle which aroused the interest of visitors to the exhibition was the MAZ-6501В5-481-000 dump truck in which experts of a building complex took a great interest. In the first quarter of this year MAZ shipped the first batches of this model to clients in Russia. The customer feedback has been extremely positive.
The company also showcased the (MAZ-SPORTauto) МАЗ-5309RR, the competitive racing vehicle of the Minsk Automobile Works sports team and a technical support vehicle — the MAZ-6302В5 — both of which participated in the international competitions 2013 Silk Way Rally, with the two Belarusian crews taking 3rd and 6th places.