GAZ GROUP CONSOLIDATES ITS POSITION ON THE RUSSIAN BUS MARKET
Due to the continued shrinking of the Russian bus market in 2015, the sale of new vehicles fell below the psychological mark of 10,000 vehicles. The good news, on the other hand, is that the bus manufacturers not only avoided losses last year, but some of them also managed to update their model ranges.
Judging by the sales figures, the implementation of the government programme of subsidising the purchase of natural gas fuelled buses, has played an important role in this achievement. It’s not without reason that CNG modifications appeared in the products of all leading bus manufacturers.
The GAZ Group, which incorporates five automobile plants: GAZ, PAZ, KAVZ, LIAZ, Ural, maintained in 2015 its position as the largest bus manufacturer in Russia. The main volume of sales in bus production was achieved with the microbuses, manufactured at Gorky Car Factory
The Pavlovski Bus Factory (PAZ) specialises in the production of small and medium size buses. The 7-metre PAZ-3205, developed in 1979, is the flagship model of the
factory. The sales volume of PAZ-3205 is more than double the total sales figure of all the remaining models manufactured at the factory. According to available data, some 4000 vehicles have been assembled last year. The key factors of the market success of this model are its reliability in bad road conditions, simplicity of structure and economic price. Despite having a maximum capacity of 42 passengers, the price of PAZ-3205 is comparable to microbuses, which carry less than half that number of passengers. Gazelle Next is the new brand name for the LCV range of GAZ.
New model of PAZ is the Vector 4, which come in four different body lengths: 7.1m, 7.6m, 8.5m and 8.8m. The production figures are modest - approximately 1200 vehicles were manufactured in 2015.
The LIAZ plant in the city of Likino-Dulyovo near Moscow, is specialised in city buses, though in 2014 the coach production of the Golitsyn Bus Plant has been transferred to LIAZ. A total of 894 buses has been manufactured in 2015.
The 4292 model, which is the most contemporary urban vehicle manufactured by LIAZ, it can be supplied in a version with multiplex wiring and CAN bus, full self-diagnosis system and VDO instrument panel. The model complies with the European standards, with regard to the working conditions of drivers in public transport. In total,
three pilot samples of LIAZ-4292 have been produced over the past year.
Other Russian bus manufacturers are Krona-NN and Rus Comtrans from Nizhny-Novgorod manufacturing shift buses with 15-20 passenger capacity on the chassis of GAZ trucks. Others are Promavto, UZST and Avtofurgon, which have no option but to use 4-wheel-drive KAMAZ, URAL and GAZ chassis. UralSpecTrans manufactures the largest shift buses on URAL 8x8 chassis, A relatively new trend in the market
is the production of shift buses for oil and gas complexes, on the chassis of allwheel-
drive European brands. AMZ uses Mercedes-Benz Zetros and IVECO-AMT
Eurocargo chassis, Ruscomtrans builds on Scania and MAN, and Promavto on MAN.
Sollers is the main competitor of GAZ Group in the microbus and minibus segment manufacturing these vehicles in its UAZ factory in Ulyanovsk, and the Ford Sollers Holding in Elabuga. UAZ manufactures a family of utility 4x4 light commercial ehicles with cab-over layout. In 2015 2,262 microbuses UAZ-2206 and around 7,000 commercial vehicles UAZ-3962 were registered in Russia.
LIAZ factory faces serious competition from NEFAZ, based in Neftekamsk. Being one of the subsidiaries of KAMAZ, it’s only natural that almost all of NEFAZ
products, including buses, are based on KAMAZ chassis. A minimum number of 400 large capacity (12m) NEFAZ-5299 buses have been manufactured in Neftekamsk in 2015, in ten versions. The gas engine version formed the largest share of production, using Mercedes-Bens CNG engines.
The production of the 8-metre, 45-50 passenger capacity Bravis buses, manufactured at NEFAZ as a joint-venture with the Brazilian company Marcopolo, stands out amongst other models. During the development of Bravis buses, the Brazilian side was responsible for the body and the Russian side for the chassis
(supplied by KAMAZ, equipped with Daimler axles and ZF gearboxes). Initially, the buses were manufactured with Cummins diesel engines only, however, since the end of 2014, the gas version is also available with Chinese Yuchai engines.
Volgabus company, from the city of Volzhsky, offers a wide range of bus models, from medium to extra large capacity, including coaches. The 12m semi-low floor city bus Volgabus CityRhythm 12, with a Chinese CNG engine by YuChai, reached a production of 107 units in 2015.
Powered by a CNG engine is also the Volgabus Rhythmix family (length: 8.2m), hich are manufactured on Indian Ashok-Leyland chassis. The buses are equipped with a183 hp YuChai engine and ZF manual gearboxes and can carry 48 to 55 passengers.
ST Nizhegorodets builds the Serbian Fenix FBI 83 buses, based on IVECO Daily 70C chassis with a locally-built body. Earlier, Intech from Nizhny-Novgorod has started the small-scale production of Fox buses with fiberglass bodies on IVECO Daily 70C chassis. These buses are primarily aimed for long-distance intercity and tourist transportation.
BAW-RUS Motor Corporation from Ulyanovsk has been idle since the end of 2013. The plant has been established as a joint venture by the Russian AMS-GROUP and BAIC Corporation of China, mainly specialised in the production of low and medium weight trucks. However, a small capacity bus, developed independently on the chassis of BAW Fenix trucks, has been added to the product range in 2009. The licenced Chinese diesel engine Deutz has been converted to diesel-CNG dual-fuel by Russian engineers, in cooperation with experts from the Italian company Lovato. us
The Volgabus Serpentine CNG buses are completely low-floor citybuses, based on ZF chassis components. Further, Volgabus has demonstrated recently the prototype of the 47-seater intercity bus Serpentine. I is fitted with a 260 hp Chinese spark ignition YuChai engine, ZF front axle and Raba rear axle. A battery of eight 123 lt metal-composite CNG cylinders is also fitted on the roof.
Source: Komtrans Magazine