The Tatra Trucks truckmaker succeeded in 2022, which was reflected in the number of 1,326 vehicles produced and sold and exceeding the expected sales. Last year, the Tatra Trucks also continued to fulfill key contracts and started a development of new generations of core model lines and alternative propulsion systems. These processes will have a fundamental impact on its production in the following years.
For the year 2022, the company Tatra Trucks achieved sales of 7.12 billion crowns, which is 10 percent more than it had planned. Tatra Trucks delivered 1,326 vehicles to customers in various segments, which is more than in previous years and this number confirms the trend of gradually increasing production volume. For this year, Tatra Trucks is planning a further increase in production, if the plan succeeds, Tatra Trucks will reach record numbers in modern history.
Tatra Trucks has long been developing its production for all sectors where all-wheel drive medium and heavy trucks are used, while trying to maintain volume for the civil and defence sectors. The largest part of the total of 1,326 trucks delivered last year went to the domestic market. Less than half of production was made for civilian segments such as construction, mining, urban and road service, agriculture, etc., as well as for fire and rescue customers. Last year, the production of trucks for the defence segment slightly prevailed, mainly due to the international security situation and the needs of the Czech army.
"The last few years have been successful for our company, and we want to continue this in 2023. Last year, we worked on a number of orders, the largest of which were in the defence and rescue sector. These were mainly logistics vehicles for the transport of goods and people for the Czech and Belgian armies, but also, for example, firefighting vehicles for the German market," explained Pavel Lazar, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Tatra Trucks.
Last year, Tatra Trucks, in cooperation with DAF Trucks and Tatra Defense Vehicle (TDV), started supplying the first trucks as part of an order for almost 900 logistics vehicles for the Belgian army. Three partner companies won this contract a year earlier. The Belgian order represents a breakthrough project for both Tatra Trucks and TDV, as it is the first time that they have established themselves on such a large scale in the territory of Western European NATO members, where there is strong competition from local manufacturers.
In the second half of 2022, there were also very important orders for almost three hundred Tatra logistic vehicles for the Czech army, which the Ministry of Defense of the Czech Republic ordered through the urgent procurement method in connection with the international security situation. "We were able to respond very flexibly to the Ministry's requirements and by the end of 2022 we delivered two hundred trucks in accordance with contracts. The fulfillment of contracts continues this year, we will deliver dozens more Tatra trucks to the army, as well as next year," explained Petr Hendrych, sales director, and vice chairman of the board of Tatra Trucks.
Orders for firefighting special trucks intended for Germany are also very important from the point of view of penetrating the Western European markets. Last year, the Tatra Trucks completed the delivery of 46 Tatra firefighting vehicles with superstructures by the Czech manufacturer THT Polička for the firefighting units of the federal state of Brandenburg. Last year, in cooperation with the company Rosenbauer, it also started the production of 77 Tatra firefighting trucks for the German Bundeswehr. Deliveries of these vehicles will continue this year as well. Last year, the company also produced the first Tatra vehicles intended for the new mobile 3D MADR radars of the Czech army, as well as for special STARKOM electronic jamming systems or 6x6 chassis intended for TITUS armoured vehicles, which the Czech army also ordered.
Last year was also marked by important events. Tatra Trucks, for example, produced a jubilee truck with serial number 10,000 since the takeover of the company by the current Czech owners in 2013. Its completion was accompanied by a ceremonial act with the participation of invited personalities and great media interest. The truckmaker also opened a new service and training centre in Kopřivnice in September, which significantly helped improve the quality of services for customers and business partners of Tatra Trucks.
But of course, Tatra Trucks also thinks about the future. Last year, for example, a project to develop a truck with hydrogen fuel cells was launched. "We are working with several of our partners on the project, while last year we prepared the concept of the truck and this year we are building a prototype. It should be ready for the installation of fuel cells in the middle of this year," said Radomír Smolka, director of research and development at Tatra Trucks.
"We are also working on a hybrid truck with a Tatra engine and a generator or on a battery vehicle with an internal combustion engine as a range extender, and in cooperation with the Czech Technical University also on a Tatra engine burning hydrogen," added Radomír Smolka. Tatra Trucks also continues to develop new generations of its standard models. Last year, for example, tests of prototypes of the new generation of the Tatra Force model line already began. The Tatra's designers have also been working on a new generation of the Tatra Phoenix model line since last year. Both innovations could enter serial production in 2024 or 2025.
Due to the increasing number of projects and the volume of production, Tatra Trucks was looking for new employees last year, and it was successful in this field as well. "Together with partner companies from the holding Czechoslovak Group and Promet Group, we launched a recruitment campaign Tatra is looking for 500 employees. In the course of it, it was possible to acquire more than 570 new employees for Tatra and other collaborating companies in the Kopřivnice industrial complex," said HR Director Natálie Linhartová. But last year also brought complications and difficulties caused by external factors. On the one hand, there were echoes of the pandemic crisis at some subcontractors, but above all the deterioration of the security situation in connection with the conflict in Ukraine. This had a negative effect on the stability of some deliveries from business partners and component suppliers, but above all it was reflected in the increase of the prices of energy, materials, and also individual input items of production processes.
In addition to developing its business activities, last year Tatra Trucks also focused on the launch of the ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) project, i.e. on a modern way of operating and managing the company within the framework of sustainability and responsibility towards the environment and society. "The recognition of this project is the inclusion of our company among the TOP 10 Czech companies within the framework of the ESG Rating compiled by the Association of Social Responsibility. Our company won two more social awards in November 2022. They also reflect our social commitment and interest in our surroundings, as well as care for the historical heritage associated with our more than 170-year existence," informed the marketing director of the company Kamil Košťál. Specifically, it was the Award of the Director General of the National Monument Institute for the rescue of the Slovenská strela motor railway vehicle and the Award of the Governor of the Moravian-Silesian Region for the activities of the company for the benefit of the residents of the region and projects improving life in the region beyond the normal duties of business entities.