Earth is the cradle of mind,
but one cannot live in a cradle forever
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky

Karl Benz is credited with inventing the first gasoline-fueled automobile in 1886 in Germany. But the Russians weren’t too far behind. In July 1896, Russian engineers Yakovlev and Frese amazed the public with a two-seater vehicle that weighed about 300 pounds and could reach speeds of 20 km/h.

This car made by Freze and Yakovlev, was first presented at the Nizhniy Novgorod exhibition of 1896. It could drive for 10 hours non-stop, but it could only move forward as it had no reverse gear.

More than a century later, Russia has produced over 82 million vehicles, their looks nothing, of course, like those unveiled in 1896. The progress and achievement come from the work of engineers, designers and production experts who now work for the most part for Rostec Corporation.

Today, Russia’s re-energized automotive industry is actively expanding internationally. The push is made easier by growing global recognition for Russian automotive brands.

For instance, it’s hard to find a racing fan who doesn’t know Kamaz. In 2015, Kamaz trucks won their 13th victory in the Dakar marathon rally.

Having been tested by unbearable heat, high altitude thin air, land surfaces covered with sharp tire-puncturing rocks and dense dust suspension, Team KAMAZ-Master won yet again, proving the superiority of Russian vehicles and their crews.

For many years, Team KAMAZ-Master has been successfully using various modifications of its acclaimed KAMAZ-4326 truck to compete in rallies.

The truck is a great match for the crew’s spirit. In the course of a grueling, multi-day Dakar rally, Russian athletes demonstrated not only their professionalism and a winning drive, but also the highest levels of sportsmanship. During the final leg of the 2014 rally, the Chinese team’s truck rolled over. Without thinking twice, the Russian team stopped and helped to flip it back upright. Such a spectacular example of true sportsmanship earned the team a diploma by the International Fair Play Committee.

The first truck was assembled at the factory on February 16, 1976. Since then, over 2.1 million vehicles and over 2.8 million engines were made here. Every day, over 200 KAMAZ trucks leave its main assembly line. One in three trucks with the gross weight from 14 to 40 tonnes used in Russia and the CIS countries is a KAMAZ. The products of the factory are successfully exported to over 40 countries. At year-end 2014, KAMAZ held the 15th place in the rating of the international manufacturers of heavy duty trucks with the weight over 16 tonnes (according to The Global Truck Industry).

The history of KAMAZ is a history of long standing, successful partnerships of the manufacturer with the foreign automotive companies. On November 23, 2005, a joint venture company (JVC) was formed by the German concern ZF Friedrichshafen AG and KAMAZ OJSC — ZF KAMA Limited Liability Company. It was the first manufacturing at KAMAZ producing capacities that was created with the participation of a foreign company and that makes products under the foreign company’s trademark. Here is the first example of organising mass production of world-class hi-tech goods in Russia: the JVC has been producing 27,000 gear boxes annually; an agreement has been signed to increase the JVC’s manufacturing capability to 40 thousand gear boxes per year.

Today, JSC KAMAZ encompasses a complete technological cycle of truck production, from design, manufacturing and assembly to marketing of finished units and service maintenance.
To do all of that, Kamaz runs 12 large automotive factories, all part of the KAMAZ production chain.
Their model range – that consists of over 40 trucks – is not limited to just civil engineering. This is KAMAZ-63968 Typhoon, a multi-functional, armoured vehicle with increased safety.

In 2006, KAMAZ and American company Cummins Inc. Agreed on the creation of CUMMINS KAMA Joint Venture Company. The production facilities of CUMMINS KAMA JVC are situated in the city of Naberezhnye Chelny, on the territory of KAMAZ and take up space of 2 thousand square meters. The engines produced by the JVC are distinguished by their increased motor capacity in combination with the high fuel economy. At the same time, the use of these engines allows to reduce noise levels and lower the unladen weight of the vehicle by 200 kg, while the quality of the engines made in Naberezhnye Chelny is highly competitive with the American ones. In December of 2007, KAMAZ OJSC signed an agreement with Knorr-Bremse Systeme für Nutzfahrzeuge GmbH to set-up in Naberezhnye Chelny KNORR-BREMSE KAMA Joint Venture Company to produce braking mechanisms. The two companies hold equal shares of its authorised capital.

The engines of Cummins-KAMA have a longer service life and at the same time, boast lower fuel consumption without compromising on quality.
“KAMAZ”, Naberezhnye Chelny

On March 10, 2008, Federal Mogul Corporation (USA) and KAMAZ OJSC signed incorporation documents to create Federal Mogul Naberezhnye Chelny joint venture company with equal shares of the two parties in its authorized capital, to produce cylinder and piston related parts.

In December of 2008, a German concern Daimler AG acquired 10 % of the authorized capital of KAMAZ OJSC, which marked the start of a new mutually beneficial strategic partnership between the two vehicle manufacturers. In February of 2010, Daimler AG increased its share in the joint stock capital of KAMAZ OJSC to 11 %. Later on, Daimler acquired additional 4 % shares of the Russian company.

The result of the strategic partnership with the German company was a real technological breakthrough: the creation of a fundamentally new model of the freight truck KAMAZ-5490. Its engineering took its creators several years. The vehicle’s cabin configuration is unusual for the local vehicles; the truck is equipped with a powerful and economical engine, as well as with a steering mechanism that was previously tested on “Dakar” cars.

While designing the truck, engineers realized that today, power and reliability are just as important as driver comfort. They spared no effort in designing a vast, stylish cab complete with built-in bunk beds. They also streamlined the cab’s design to make it more aerodynamic.

Just a few years ago, Kamaz drivers would have never imagined a domestically produced truck with air suspension seats and cruise control. Now they have that, along with some of the best tires in the world, which come from another thriving Rostec company.

The ideal tire, any driving enthusiast knows, has an optimal ratio of performance, strength, durability and reliability. Contemporary tire plants innovate tirelessly to improve on these qualities. Rostec’s tire subsidiary is based in the city of Voronezh.

Although it nearly went bankrupt a few years ago, the factory got a second wind after Rostec purchased it in 2012 and formed a joint venture with the well-known Italian tire company, Pirelli. As a result, the company’s debts were restructured, the competitiveness of the enterprise and jobs were preserved, and a large-scale renovation of old buildings was started. Today, Rostec’s Voronezh Plant is not only one of the most advanced tire plants in Russia, but also is a large logistics center, supplying tires to neighboring markets in the CIS countries, the European Union and the Scandinavian countries.

Factory shopfloor “Voronezh-2” has the full production cycle: all technical operations involved in tyre making are performed under one roof. This is the most modern tyre manufacturing facility in Russia, capable of producing up to 2 million tyres a year.
VShZ, «Pirelli»

In addition to trucks, the Voronezh Plant makes winter and summer tires for passenger cars and SUVs. With a complete production cycle under one roof, the plant was able to significantly reduce time to manufacture tires and increased its efficiency.

Pirelli tires are well known internationally. They are traditionally associated with race car and other elite segments of automobile owners. The Italian company ranks fifth in the world in terms of sales and tops the premium segment. With its vast experience in making tires for Formula 1 cars, the company successfully applies its best knowledge to tire manufacturing for the mass market. New technologies are widely implemented at all 19 Pirelli factories around the world, including the one in Voronezh.

The process of a tyre creation is divided into five steps. The first of them is rubber mixing.
To give the tyre durability, rigidity and a strong skeleton, special reinforcement materials are used in its production, such as cord fabric made of synthetic fiber, as well as steel wire and metal cord.
Assembly is the next stage of production. All tire components are put together. Almost all of these operations are performed by a machine without human help.

After the curing, the nearly ready tyre is travelling on the conveyor belt to the section where the final operations are conducted.

Here, the tyre that is still warm from the curing gets in the experienced hands of the quality controllers. If no defects are found during the visual inspection, the tyre is sent to undergo a series of tests.

Its weight is one of the key parameters of the control. If it is above the standard, it will lead to the increased use of fuel, if it’s below — the tyre will wear out much quicker. To avoid it, every tyre is weighed.

The machine inspection of the finished tyres is conducted, among other things, by using a machine that imitates a tyre’s contact with the road. After the inspection, defective tyres are disposed of and the good ones are transported to the warehouse.
VShZ, «Pirelli»

The machine inspection consists of three stages. During the first one, the tyre uniformity measuring machine imitates the contact of the tyre with the road and checks the tyre balance, its geometry and conicity. During the second, the quality of the layers’ positioning inside the tyre is inspected by X-ray. The use of the laser scanner, shearograph, helps detect the smallest air pockets inside the tyre — this is the third stage of the inspection.

The tires that clear Voronezh quality control then make a long trip to the city of Togliatti, which is located on the banks of the Volga River. At the Volga Automobile Plant (AvtoVAZ), another Rostec company, the tires are put onto the latest LADA models such as LADA Granta and Datsun on-DO.

AvtoVAZ is one of the leaders of the Russian automotive industry. It has factories in Togliatti and Izhevsk. Annually, AvtoVAZ is capable of producing 1 million cars. The group today has a 20 percent share of the Russian market. Looking ahead, the domestic auto giant has set an ambitious target of increasing exports by improving production efficiency along with the quality and stability of its vehicles. It is also planning to start production of new car models.

AvtoVAZ today is the largest employer in the Togliatti and Samara regions.
AvtoVAZ is the largest engineering company in Russia, and one of the 20 largest companies overall.
Since 2012, AvtoVAZ has been a multi-brand manufacturer and one of the biggest production platforms of Renault-Nissan alliance — the strategic partnership between the French Renault and the Japanese Nissan, that produce one in ten cars sold around the world.

AvtoVAZ’s cooperation with the world’s leading automobile companies benefits everyone. It creates an opportunity to use a single platform for all car models, using the same standards and quality controls. At the same time, all participants use the same technical and engineering pool and the same suppliers.

This is a panoramic video. Press and hold the right mouse button to move the camera. Plunge into the work of the assembly line and watch a robot prepare a wind shield for installation.
“AvtoVAZ”, Tolyatti

Going forward, however, AvtoVAZ faces a difficult task as it tries to diversify its line-up, find its own unique style and give a face-lift to its famous domestic brand.

The first on this path are two promising models: LADA XRAY Concept 2 and LADA Vesta, that had their presentation in August of 2014 as part of the Moscow International Automobile Salon. Nowadays, LADA Vesta and LADA XRAY leave the assembly line to be equal competitors to any European car of the same class.

LADA XRAY is a spacious hatchback with a high road clearance (over 180 mm), perfectly adapted to Russian driving conditions. Apart from being equipped with a starting preheater, it also has such comfort features as the lift of the driver’s seat that can be adjusted for height and lumbar support, as well as heating of the windshield, of the steering wheel, seats and the outside mirrors.

Lada XRAY’s look was designed under the leadership of Steve Mattin, who designed the Mercedes ML-Class and GL-Class vehicles. The new Lada XRAY is intended as just the first in a whole family of vehicles.

LADA XRAY is based on the B0 platform, which is Renault-Nissan’s backbone for its B-Class of cars The platform allows AvtoVaz to produce a wide range of models — from small passenger cars to commercial vehicles and SUVs — in a shorter timeframe, using the highly technical solutions that had been successful for the Alliance. The partnership has allowed AvtoVaz to draw on the best technical achievements of the Alliance and provide top European quality at the lowest price to consumers.

LADA Vesta Sedan has already gained popularity on the Russian market thanks to the combination of its winning design, European quality and low operating cost.

LADA Vesta is a new model based on a new, Russian B/C platform, which was developed by AvtoVAZ engineers in collaboration with experts of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Starting in the fall of 2015, LADA Vesta is made in Izhevsk, where the production facilities are prepared to manufacture up to 100,000 vehicles a year. The car design complies with the current European requirements for ergonomics. The model will embody the new face of AvtoVAZ, and with this model Russian manufacturers hope to increase exports to the CIS countries. LADA Vesta is Russia’s native creation. It is well adapted to Russian conditions and has a relatively low cost of operation.

The variety of models at AvtoVAZ is not limited to mass-production cars. LADA Sport, an AvtoVAZ subsidiary, makes street-legal sports variants of LADA Granta and LADA Kalina in Togliatti.

In addition, LADA Sport designs and produces sports cars based on serial-production LADA sedans. From 2009, LADA Sport’s team is a regular participant at the World Touring Cars Championship (WTCC), where it successfully competes with professional factory teams of the world’s largest automakers. Throughout the current season, the team races on a loaded version of LADA Granta.

The WTCC is one of three most prestigious international competitions, which in 2005 was held under the auspices of the International Automobile Federation, or FIA, along with Formula 1 and the World Rally Championship (WRC). In 2013, the event attracted 557 million TV viewers in 188 countries. Six automotive brands — BMW, Chevrolet, Citroen, Honda, LADA and Seat — take part in the competition with 25 drivers from 14 countries representing the brands behind the wheel.

In August of 2014, British driver Rob Huff raced under the Russian flag in a LADA Granta at a WTCC event in Argentina. He finished second and brought LADA Sport its first-ever world championship podium spot.

On Oct. 5, 2014, Rob Huff won the first race in LADA Sport’s history at the ninth stage of the WTCC World Touring Championship in Beijing. Starting from a pole position, the Englishman had a brilliant race, scoring a first-ever, first place win for the LADA team. For the first time, the Russian national anthem was performed during the awards ceremony.

On Nov. 16, 2014, during the final stage of the WTCC, Huff was again first at the finish line and showed the fastest lap time.

The team of “LADA Sport”. Its production was launched in 2013; thus far, over 7,000 cars have left its assembly line.
“AvtoVAZ”, Tolyatti

2015 season marked a debut for the new LADA Vesta car. In 2015 season, LADA Sport boasted two podiums and several finishes in the top 5, which can be considered a successful debut for a completely new racer, LADA Vesta.

The team enters 2016 with the revamped and more competitive car LADA Vesta and a new pilot crew, which raises high hopes for a successful season.

Not even five years ago Russian cars and motor racing were, for the most part, considered incompatible. Now even the naysayers have to admit that AvtoVAZ can not only compete in auto racing, but can also defeat the most glorified champions.

Thus Rostec continues to design and manufacture automobiles that are moving innovation forward.

Care for environment and safety is one of the main priorities of Rostec’s Development Strategy until 2025. The State Corporation aims to launch and establish its energy- and resource-saving equipment and production operations on the global market.

Innovations of KAMAZ are a part of this important process. Together with Russian software developer, Cognitive Technologies, they have launched a trial project of creating an unmanned truck.

Freight truck KAMAZ-5490. Its main innovation is a spacious and comfortable cabin. Its modern design and streamlined forms have significantly improved not only its aerodynamic characteristics but also its consumer appeal.
“KAMAZ”, Naberezhnye Chelny

In October, 2015, the new vehicle passed its first test-drive in Naberezhnye Chelny. The smart vehicle received commands from the control panel and independently performed slalom driving, turns, stopped before pedestrians and recognized street signs. The vehicle’s maximum speed is 60 km/h. It can go into production as soon as in 2022, and appear on general use roads in 2025–2027.

By 2020, KAMAZ is planning to produce a city truck with a hybrid engine. In comparison with conventional cars, electric cars boast such undeniable advantages as environmental friendliness, practically noiseless operation, economy in use and a longer exploitation term.