This week Diesel News brings you more Moscow Motors from the Comtrans truck show, held every other year in Moscow’s Crocus Expo Centre in Russia. According to our European Correspondent Brian Weatherley, it is truly is something out of the ordinary. With the economic opening up of Eastern Europe and Russia the world’s transport equipment producers have seen a massive sales opportunity. And for good reason too. The size of the market is enormous. With the end of the old Soviet Union, the previously state-run truck makers have also enjoyed a renaissance, not least by striking-up commercial partnerships with Western European truck makers.
With more than 20,500 visitors and 217 exhibitors from 17 countries, Comtrans remains the leading truck show for Eastern Europe, clearly supporting the organiser’s claims that it’s now the second most important international road transport show after the IAA in Hanover. After a marked slump in the sector in 2015, the Russian transport market has since come roaring back – with Comtrans being the perfect venue for local truck and bus manufacturers to unveil new products.
Here are some of the the highlights from the show:
Ford Otosan wants to catch up with the ‘Big Seven’ CV manufacturers in Russia. Its latest 3542D tipper has been specially configured for the local market with a ‘cold climate’ package, which includes extreme cold engine fluids, powerful cabin heating and a heated windscreen.
Asian truck manufacturers had a strong presence at Comtrans. Chinese company Foton presented its Auman EST – short for Energy Super Trucks – for the first time in Russia, following its world debut last year. EST is based on Mercedes’ Actros (Foton has a joint venture with Daimler), but with an 11.8-litre Euro-5 Cummins ISG engine coupled to a ZF TraXon auto.
Tatra’s double-tough Phoenix 4×4, 6×6, 8×8 and 8×6 construction, mining and forestry chassis use DAF’s CF cab and Euro-6 Paccar MX engines, but with the famous Czech manufacturer’s own unique, centre-spine frame with independently-suspended axles. Buyers can spec a 16-speed Ecosplit manual or AS-Tronic auto, both from ZF, or Allison transmissions with a hydrodynamic torque converter replacing the regular clutch.
Chinese truck maker FAW showed the latest versions of its ‘J6’ CA3310 and CA3250 dump trucks (the latter capable of taking a body up to 20m³) at Comtrans, with Euro-5 engines rated between 380 and 390hp. Inside, there’s a revised LCD instrumented dashboard while the cabs gain a new four-point suspension to absorb the bumps and shocks off-road.
The Japanese manufacturer was also at Comtrans, with Isuzu showing off this left-hand-drive Euro-5 14.2-litre engine EXZ Giga 3340 6×4 heavy-duty prime mover chassis at the Moscow show. It has a gross combination weight of 60 tonnes.
The Russian light commercial market is experiencing significant growth – up by almost 23 per cent during the first half of 2017. Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant (UAZ), Russia’s second-largest LCV manufacturer, premiered its all-new Profi 1.5-tonne payload pickup range with flatbed, box or special bodies for tradesmen and municipal buyers. Power comes from a ZMZ petrol engine delivering up to 160hp.
Russian LCV market leader Gaz showed off this Gazon Next chassis cab with dropside body. The chunky 8.7-tonne chassis/crew cab can carry a hefty four-tonne body/payload. It comes with a choice of 4.4-litre 150hp gas or 135hp diesel engines. Gaz also unveiled its transporter Gazelle Next 4.6, which offers 1.5 to 2.62 tonnes more payload than its current 3.5-tonne models. It has a new rear axle and all-round disc brakes.
Lada’s sleek-looking ‘Largus Wagon’ compact van, built under licence from the Nissan Renault alliance, is based on the Largus Universal MPV – hence the retained rear doors – and was one of four models shown at Comtrans. The Largus Wagon van is powered by a 64hp or 78hp 1.6-litre petrol engine coupled to a five-speed box. Load volume is around 2.54m³ (a high-roof version is optional), and payload is a nominal half tonne.