Debut of Euro-4

Minsk Automobile Plant (MAZ) presents three new road-trains and a new city bus
The new products of one of Belarus’ leading companies are unique. The road-trains are the first products of the kind in the CIS that meet euro-4 requirements. MAZ managed right in time: on October 1 the European Union introduces new ecological norms, and all Belarusian carriers wishing to work in Europe will have to abide by new ecological laws. Two new models are ready to work in Europe. As for the third one, it has been made especially for Russia.

A very nice-looking truck compatible with euro-3 requirements has already been tested in Russia, which will launch the euro-3 standard in 2008. All MAZ trucks have top-of-the-line equipment and accessories.

Anyways, trucks may be tested and evaluated only by professionals involved in the business, first of all, forwarders and drivers, whereas the 25-seat MAZ-206 bus can be appreciated by everyone, as we all act as passengers once in a while.

The bus took a group of reporters on a short ride around the city. The vehicle is spacious, with a large platform to stand and 25 seats, and runs very smoothly. The press was certainly impressed by the cute and fashionable bus.

— The bus caters for those who travel around the city between the rush hours. Normally large buses are almost empty, while our model is small enough, but can seat many passengers. So we believe this model has certain economic advantages, the deputy chief constructor of the plant, Vasily Vladytsky, told reporters.

According to him, Moscow passenger carriers have been quite interested in the bus, and some 200 new vehicles may soon leave for the Russian capital city. Carriers from other large cities (in Ukraine and Eastern Europe) are also willing to renew their bus fleets using the Belarusian MAZ.

After MAZ-206 passes the certification routine it can be exported to Romania, Poland, Montenegro and even Hungary, which makes “Ikarus” buses that are being replaced by domestic MAZ in Belarus.

The new model looks like its big brother MAZ-203, which was presented last year, Vasily Vladytsky says. One of the key peculiarities of that bus is a special bridge for wheelchair-users and people with foot problems. Besides, there are special seats for the disadvantaged citizens. Also, MAZ-203 is a low-floor bus, as its floor is just 34 centimeters above the road. A MAZ-203 traveled to Russia’s Norisk not long ago, and reached the destination without emergencies and malfunctions. MAZ specialists are absolutely certain their products are as reliable as ever.

— As for the prices MAZ offers, they may pleasantly surprise potential clients, says Alexander Khamitsevich, the head of the passenger vehicles sales department.

A MAZ-206 bus costs $80,000, whereas imported buses of the kind cost at least $90,000 to $100,000.

by Alexander Sokolovsky
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