Exactly 47 years ago, on February 16, 1976, the first KAMAZ truck rolled off the main assembly line of the truck assembly plant.
The construction of a new plant in Naberezhnye Chelny started on December 13, 1969. The Kama auto giant was built in record time. And already on February 16, 1976, the first truck, KAMAZ-5320, rolled off the main assembly line of the truck assembly plant. Its release was timed to coincide with the XXV Congress of the CPSU. And as a sign of the successful implementation of the party’s plans, the first truck arrived on Red Square in Moscow under its own power. Test driver Valery Peretolchin was driving the truck with serial number 0000001.
The first-born of KAMAZ operated in Bashkortostan for many years, then it was bought out, restored and is now a valuable museum exhibit of the auto giant.
From 1976 to 1978, the truck assembly plant produced three basic models: a KAMAZ-5320 truck with a payload capacity of 8 tonnes, a KAMAZ-5511 construction dump truck with a payload capacity of 10 tonnes, and a KAMAZ-5410 truck tractor with a gross weight of 26 tonnes. Then a 10-tonne KAMAZ-53212 truck was developed with a wheelbase increased to 3690 mm, a 7-tonne KAMAZ-55102 agricultural dump truck, as well as a truck tractor for a 33-tonne KAMAZ-54112 road train.
At the same time, the growth rates of production at KAMAZ were record-breaking: already in June 1979, the hundred thousandth truck rolled off the main conveyor. By April 1980, 150 thousand heavy trucks had already been produced. The growth of production at KAMAZ was unprecedented for the USSR and beat world records. It is noteworthy that the first generation of trucks was in demand among consumers for many more years: models based on KAMAZ-5320 left the assembly line only in 2000.
Today, the company has already produced more than 2 million 400 thousand vehicles. The product portfolio of KAMAZ includes over 60 basic models and 1,500 vehicle configurations. At the same time, the engineers of the Scientific and Technical Center of the company do not stop at the achieved results and continue to develop innovative types of vehicles. Thus, earlier the company presented the sixth generation truck KAMAZ-54907 (Continent), the self-driving dump truck KAMAZ-6559 Jupiter 30, the hydrogen fuel cell truck KAMAZ-6290, the high-sided electric garbage truck KAMAZ-53199 Chistogor, and other high-tech novelties.
Having successfully overcome the consequences of powerful sanctions pressure, today KAMAZ, in tandem with other Russian enterprises, continues to work under the sign of strengthening the country’s technological sovereignty and industrial development. The stable production of vehicles for the needs of the country continues. For example, every effort was made, large-scale work was carried out to find alternative suppliers and localize auto components in order to restart the production of the latest generation of KAMAZ freight trucks on the new base. This is one of the strategically important projects for the country. Successful work in this and other areas confirms the high potential of the Russian automotive industry, the ability to withstand serious challenges with honor.