TATRA special vehicles gaining in popularity in Western Europe
The volume of TATRA TRUCKS production and its profits keeps growing year after year. In addition to traditional markets, TATRA vehicles are becoming increasingly popular in Western Europe, even though the market has always been dominated by strong local brands.
In 2016, TATRA TRUCKS produced 1,326 vehicles, with production rising by more than 50 percent year on year, with an even larger number of vehicles expected to leave the production line this year. In addition to standard models of individual product ranges, TATRA TRUCKS produces specialized vehicles or chasses based on the requirements of customers, meeting their expectations and parameters to a T. It is not without interest that eighty percent of the production is intended for export. And the share of TATRA exports to Western Europe continues to grow, despite a strong competitive environment in the territory. The main product for Western European customers is the TATRA PHOENIX Euro 6 series. These are highly efficient heavy-duty trucks with low operating costs. These vehicles are especially suitable for owners, operators and drivers who use their trucks for so-called mixed or off-road operations.
Based on the TATRA PHOENIX Euro 6 range, TATRA also offers special vehicles for specific applications, which are often the only ones able to meet the customer’s requirements, or their use is more economical and efficient than the products of the competition. That’s why Tatra trucks, with the help of local dealers, are becoming increasingly popular in Western Europe among customers demanding high-quality European trucks that also offer sophisticated and special solutions or capabilities. The fact that the TATRA PHOENIX Euro 6 range offers top-of-the-line vehicles meeting demanding standards is evidenced by more than 1,500 vehicles sold in this range in a variety of versions.
The German market is the domain of local manufacturers with a long tradition, where TATRA had only limited access for decades. However, since last year, the federal service THW – Technisches Hilfswerk under the Ministry of the Interior has been using heavy technical and rescue vehicles TATRA PHOENIX Euro 6 on the 8×8 chassis. Moreover, many fire brigade units in various parts of Germany have the latest TATRA firefighting specials in their fleets.
Even in such a demanding market as Switzerland, Tatra products have proven successful. With the help of Wirag AG Nutzfahrzeuge, TATRA TRUCKS supplied a local customer with special TATRA PHOENIX vehicles on a 6×6 chassis with a reduced wheelbase and a steerable rear axle, as well as 8×8 vehicles with a rear-wheel steering. TATRA’s truly unique product is the four-axle TATRA PHOENIX Euro 6 with a combined mechanical (TatraTON) and Hydraulic (Mobile Electronic) wheel steering system of all axles for the Swiss company HODEL. This special steering system allows for various turns of the wheels of the front and rear axles in relation to one another, or even their completely independent steering, directly from the driver’s cabin.
In another Alpine country, Austria, Tatra trucks have found their customers as well, thanks to their high performance and unique features. In cooperation with the Tschann dealership, TATRA PHOENIX Euro 6 was delivered to Austrian customers in a three-axle version with a steerable rear axle and a hydraulic crane placed between the cabin and the loading area. Tatra trucks can also be found in Austrian skiing resorts, where they are used for maintenance and reconstruction of slopes and their technical equipment including lifts.
Modern TATRA trucks are also used in agriculture in Western Europe. Special versions of the PHOENIX, homologated as a farm tractor (also popularly known as Tatraktor) in the 8×8 version, were delivered to Dutch farmers through the dealer company of Frans Beckers. Scandinavia is also home to Tatra customers. Heavy-duty four-axle PHOENIX vehicles, designed for the construction industry, have been supplied to the Swedish Cordestam Maskin AB through the Norwegian dealer Tatra Norge AS. These are special vehicles with a total weight of 50 metric tons, which can carry non-standard equipment based on the customer’s requirements. They can have, for example, an extended “sleeping cabin”, which is not common in trucks designed for construction work. In addition, the drivers have equipment at their disposal that enhances their comfort and convenience at work. The Kopřivnice automaker thus proves that it is also able to produce vehicles to unusual requirements.
The sale of vehicles to Western Europe is an important reference for TATRA TRUCKS as well as proof of its qualities. TATRA TRUCKS also focuses on special vehicles and technologies with high added value. Thanks to its manufacturing, technological and design flexibility, the company can offer customers solutions that the competitors simply can’t. This doesn’t go unnoticed among customers in countries west of the Czech borders.