Photos of the T 57K during the war days are rare, as are films. Extremely rare are colour films. In Hermann Pölking’s documentary “Wer war Hitler?” (Who was Hiler?) there is however a rare shot of a T 57K with a driver and officer on board. It shows the German Wehrmacht retreating after their unsuccessful Ardennes counteroffensive in 1944-1945
Background info on Ardennes counteroffensive: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Bulge
Tatra wants to fill the niches of the world market. Her current boss focuses mainly on discipline
15. 2. 2019
Last year probably will not belong to the most successful trips of Koprivnice car manufacturer Tatra Trucks, admitted in the program ČT24 Business by its interim CEO Petr Karasek. Some major project assignments for different countries have failed or have been postponed to this year.
Last year there was a drop in manufactured cars, said Karasek, but added that it is also worth adding value. He reminded that the company produces many variants and the difference between the simplest and the most complex car is up to twelve times.
The Interim Director also mentioned the era since 2013, when the new owners entered the car, the Czech owners (Jaroslav Strnad and René Matera won it at auction). Since then, the company has been trying to find a new position on the world market. “He has a lot to invest in technical development and aftermarket development.” The result should be finding “niche markets” next to big players. They produce large-scale, are based on economies of scale, while Tatra in smaller series or even specials.
After the entry of new owners and restructuring, production was stabilized to 800, 900 cars per year to increase to 1200 or 1300, said Karasek.
While Karasek was originally a crisis manager, he now sees his role differently as a substitute. It has been operating for two and a half months – he is behind the CEO, who did not follow the original plan. A few months in this role will continue until the owners find a new CEO.
In his second mission, Karas uses the knowledge of the previous one. “I’m trying to get Tatra into a process where it was a few years ago, because with some pressure to grow volumes, some mistakes have happened,” he said. He mentioned in particular a decrease in discipline in compliance with the rules set up five years ago. “Discipline is first and with colleagues, we get it back. We are mentors. We are trying to get the Tatars to find a way to follow discipline, “said Karasek. He considers his managerial style as fair, even strenuous.
The Interim Director emphasized the role of the domestic market. “We most appreciate the fact that we are a stable partner for the Czech army, for Czech firefighters, for the Czech rescue integrated system.” According to him, references from the domestic market also occupy the world.
Tatras customers often appreciate the ability of cars to cope in complex terrain. The army has special requirements – for example, the Czech Ministry of Defense plans to buy about 60 Tatra trucks for container transport. The Danish army wants to use the Tatra chassis for fifteen self-propelled howitzers. The world is also targeting freight wagons tailored to construction, forestry or agriculture.
“The biggest segment of exports is now the Middle East and India,” added Karasek.
Last year the company had 1,200 employees, now it’s just 1100. “We’d like to keep it between a thousand and eleven hundred. We want to focus on productivity, “said the interim director. He pointed out that the company would be employed in the workers’ professions, while technicians and administrators would experience natural fluctuations and reductions. “The bureaucracy has grown more than we need,” he said.
Czech truck maker Tatra produced less than half of its cars last year than it did in 2017. The crisis manager also returned to the company, and Tatra talks about blasts. Lidové noviny reported today.
Spokeswoman Andrej Čírtek explained the concern of employees:
“Indicatively, the number of employees should correspond to the number of vehicles produced per year.”
Thus, he confirmed that the number of workers is likely to decrease. The company currently employs about 1,200 people, and the speaker’s statement shows that hundreds of them are virtually redundant.
The portal also writes that the crisis manager Petr Karásek returned to the company. He took over the management of the company in 2013, when Tatra was experiencing an economic crisis. After two years of restructuring, Karassk managed to improve the situation and left the company. At present, however, it is still in charge of solving internal problems, which are connected not only with the decline of truck production by up to half, but also with the possible departure of Radomír Smolka, the chief director and support of the company.
On February 25, 2019, TATRA TRUCKS has introduced the new vehicle of the model range TATRA TACTIC at the fair IDEX 2019 taking place in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates.
The new vehicle is a logistics and security military vehicle with a ready-made framework chassis and genuine portal axle tree TATRA RIGID. The company introduced a 4×4 vehicle at the fair; however, it will offer also the 6×6 version.
From Czechoslovakia came the sad news that Bohumir Suchy has passed away. 82 years old, he closed his eyes on February 7. A former Skoda dealer and former mayor of the village Novy Saldorf near Znojmo, in southern Moravia, he organised rallies in the Znojmo area but also attended the Tatra Freunde International rallies frequently. With his camper and a T5 7sport on the trailer, he travelled far and even attended rallies in the Netherlands on several occasions. During the last years, he used his two-tone green T 87 more.
Andrej Babiš, the Prime Minister of Czech Republic, who is in India on a two- days visit, has asked India to remove the ban on Tarta-a Czech truck manufacturer from the list of the Ministry of Defence’s banned defence companies.
In an exclusive chat with BW Businessworld, PM Babiš said that he has discussed with PM Modi about the removal of Tatra from the list. Highlighting the defence cooperation with India, PM Babiš categorically said: “we are ready for the defence cooperation but Tatra trucks need to be cancelled from the banned list of MoD.” He also said: There is a long story and that does not concern the active shareholders and I have asked Prime Minister (Modi) must help us so that we will have more customers than today.”
Back in 2012, Tatra was at the center of controversy-as common thread in most of the defence deals and procurement in India- that there were middlemen based in London who brokered the deal with MoD’s officials. That led to the inflated price to the tune of more than 100 percent of the actual cost of the factory-assembled Tratra trucks.
The scam created flurry in the corridors of ministry of defence as it was alleged that a sum of Rs 750 crores were siphoned off in collusion with the officials of ministry of defence and officials from India’s defence public sector unit-Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML).
Later the then Army chief Gen V K Singh sent ripples across, naming a senior army officer Lt. Gen (Rtd) Tejinder Singh that he had tried to bribe him Rs 14 crore to clear the ‘substandard’ Tatra trucks.
And so as usual in such a case, after ‘further investigation’ a dying declaration of ‘closure report’ was filed by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in 2014 sighting the lack of evidence.
PM Andrej Babiš also led the Czech delegation at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2019, with Czech Republic as a partner country. PM Modi and PM Babis held a bilateral meeting on 18 January on the sidelines of the Summit. They discussed the bilateral relations including important global and regional issues of mutual interest.
The bilateral trade is limited to USD 1.5 billion. “But there is big potential especially in the defence industry,” PM said, adding “India wants more investment from Czech. Today, Skoda (Czech car maker) has launched new technology centre.”
Czech Republic has cutting edge manufacturing technologies in heavy machinery and precision engineering. PM Modi invited Czech companies to take advantage of huge opportunities that the Indian market offered for manufacturing in India especially in defense, automotive and railway sectors.
“WHEN WE RETURNED WE WERE AMAZED HOW POPULAR WE WERE”: LEGENDARY TRAVELLER MIROSLAV ZIKMUND TURNS 100
The great traveller Miroslav Zikmund turned 100 on Thursday. For Czechoslovaks unable to travel much under communism, the books and radio reports produced by Zikmund and his friend Jiří Hanzelka served as a window to exotic parts of the world. However, the pair were barred from public life following the Soviet invasion.
Miroslav Zikmund and Jiří Hanzelka, who began visiting all corners of the world in the late 1940s, shared their exotic travels with the nation via the airwaves of Czechoslovak Radio.
Given the limited technology of the time, the progammes featured actors reading scripts mailed to Prague by the pair.
Miroslav Zikmund – a remarkable 100 years old on Thursday – recalled their first major trips in an interview I recorded with him in 2005.
“I was travelling with my friend George Hanzelka, or Jiří Hanzelka, for almost nine years. The first trip was through Africa and Latin America, 1947 to 1950.
“That was three and a half years, continuously, non-stop. And then Asia, which was between 1959 and 64, and lasted five and a half years.”
As well as doing radio shows, the pair – who drove distinctive, Czech-made Tatra vehicles – wrote articles for magazines and took photographs.
They also produced books that together sold over 6.5 million copies and were translated into 11 languages.
“When we returned in 1950 we were amazed how popular we were, because we didn’t know, actually. Because the stories were broadcast, everybody wanted printed versions.
“The popularity was so big that the first edition of Africa Dream and Reality was published in 50,000 copies and disappeared in two, three days.
“And what was very interesting – more than two million were exported to the Soviet Union, so when we travelled from the East, from Vladivostok to Moscow, almost every day we had to sign some of our books in Russian.”
Miroslav Zikmund said there was one chief explanation for their enormous success.
“I would say there was some hunger for adventure at that time. When we returned it was two years after the Communist coup d’etat in 1948, and people couldn’t travel out.
“So I think it was not just about popularity, but the closed nature of Czechoslovakia at that time.”
When the normalisation era began Zikmund and Hanzelka were no longer allowed to travel, or even to play a role in public life.
However, the Communists couldn’t excise them from the national consciousness and they again became well-known faces in the 1990s.
Jiří Hanzelka passed away seven years ago at the age of 82. Miroslav Zikmund continues to live in his long-term home of Zlín in Moravia.
Starting like a canon ball with two stage victories to commence his defence of the title on the Dakar, in the end Eduard Nikoalev had somewhat of a fright. Although it was thought that the Kamaz driver would again be untouchable, the Russian was put under serious pressure by his rivals, in particular his team-mates Andrey Karginov and Dmitry Sotnikov, to such an extent that he lost the lead of the rally to Sotnikov two days from the finish. However, the three-time winner of the event finally reacted flawlessly with a splendid victory on stage 9 to regain the lead and drive his truck onto the highest step of the podium in Lima, for the fourth time. Sotnikov will therefore have to wait another year to hope to obtain his holy grail, a success which Gerard de Rooy, on the third step of the podium, has tasted twice. The Iveco driver was expected to be the main rival of the Kamaz team, but finally he was never a genuine threat.
The Tatra Jamal piloted by Aleš Loprais, Ferran Marco Alcayna and Petr Pokora reached the finish of the Dakar Rally 2019 with fifth overall rank in the truck category. Thus the small family team not only overcame all obstacles of the extremely demanding 41st edition of the famous race but also managed to successfully compete with the strong and large factory teams taking part.
The organizers had to confine this edition of Dakar to Peru only. That is why the Rally was shorter in terms of mileages and racing days. And yet most participants speak about a “long” Dakar. That is because the organizers managed to build a route testing the physical and psychic conditions of the participants and their technologies down to the very bottom. Everybody had problems in the course of the ten stages. Only one third of the 41 trucks starting from Lima on 6 January returned to the Peruvian capital eleven days later.
“For me this was perhaps the most difficult Dakar, leaving aside those where we had an accident and withdrew prematurely. As for the demand and performance this was one of the toughest editions. It was kind of return to the past marathon rallying. I think this is what might be beneficial for us in future,” guesses Aleš Loprais.
Before the final stage Aleš, Ferran and Petr promised to try to attack the interim fourth rank held by Federico Villagra. Although they achieved the second time of the last special stage, which was 112 kilometres long, it was not enough to wipe off the whole deficit. In the finish the Queen, as Aleš Loprais nicknames his Tatra, was mere 11 minutes late after the Argentine pilot´s Iveco.
“We wanted that a lot, but we needed this Dakar to be a little longer to achieve it. Our destiny is given and we must be glad for where we rank in the end. We are a small family team without factory support and yet we have succeeded among the big factory teams,” reminds the Czech trucker of the fact that the remaining nine ranks in the Top Ten ranking of the final classification were only occupied by factory-supported crews.
“So joy and joy overall and I would mainly like to express my sincere thanks to the boys, the whole team, our families, fans and sponsors, for without them we would never have managed this. Even though we only enjoyed two problem-free stages, they counted for all and filled us with hopes for the future. To try to defeat factory teams is a big challenge and I believe we will successfully continue in that,” concludes Loprais.
Muchas gracias, Perú! Adiós!
Final results of Dakar Rally 2019 – trucks:
1. Nikolaev / Iakovlev / Rybakov (Kamaz) 41:01:35 hrs
2. Sotnikov / Nikitin / Mustafin (Kamaz) +25:36 min
3. De Rooy / Rodewald / Terrallardona (Iveco) +1:34:44 hrs
4. Villagra / Yacopini / Torlaschi (Iveco) +5:49:08 hrs
5. Loprais / Marco Alcayna / Pokora (Tatra) +5:59:51 hrs
6. Viazovich / Haranin / Zhihulin (Maz) + 6:39:29 hrs