In the second half of the 80s, AvtoKrAZ was the largest manufacturer of heavy trucks and dump trucks in Europe. But the design, unchanged for decades, multiplied by home-grown marketing, led to the loss of export markets that provided the main demand during the late Soviet Union.
The domestic market does not really need hundreds of trucks of such tonnage and obsolescence: all their few advantages are nullified by the crazy fuel consumption. And after the activity in the ATO zone subsided and army orders dried up, a private joint-stock company owned by Kostyantyn Zhevago practically stopped production.
Roman Chernyak, CEO of AvtoKrAZ, sees the way out of the stalemate in the "electrification" of trucks. And he emphasizes that this is a prospect, not distant plans.
"Everything is heading towards electric traction," Mr. Chernyak comments on a possible reorientation of production. "Traction is already used in the army, commercial vehicles, and we are working on it. This concept includes electric trucks, electric buses, and economy class electric commercial vehicles. We have never produced electric cars, but now we are working with designers on this. In the plans of the shareholders and the management of the plant, this is a big step forward and our great hope."