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Ural automobile

Ural automobile

The Urals Automotive Plant, an Open Stock Company Uralskiy Avtomobilnyi Zavod, UralAZ is a major Russian manufacturer of off-road trucks under the Ural (Cyrillic: "Урал") brand. Located in the city of Miass, Chelyabinsk Oblast in the Ural Mountains. The plant was established in 1941;

Founded by decision of the USSR State Defense Committee. Until 1991, it was a state-owned enterprise within the USSR Ministry of the Automotive Industry. In 2001, it was completely privatized and became part of the RusPromAvto engineering holding.History of the Automobile Plant URAL

The Automobile Plant URAL dates back to November 30, 1941 when the USSR State Defense Committee ordered to establish new automobile and foundry facilities in Miass based on the evacuated Moscow Automobile Plant named after I.V. Stalin (ZIS). On July 8, 1944, the new automobile plant assembled and released its first ZiS-5V truck.

October 16, 1941 the decision was made to evacuate the Moscow Automobile Plant named after I.V. Stalin (ZIS). And three days later, the first convoy of factory trucks and buses loaded with machines and equipment, with their headlights disguised and hardly illuminating wet dirty snow, set off from Simonovskaya Sloboda to Ulyanovsk, the Volga Region.

On November 30, 1941 the State Defense Committee ordered to relocate urgently the workers of the foundries, as well as the engine, stamping, and mechanical workshops and their supplementary divisions from Ulyanovsk to Miass, a small town in the Ural region. The chassis workshops which were intended to become the basis for the new plant remained in Ulyanovsk. In addition to car assembly, Ulyanovsk was supposed to produce

ammunition and gas generators ZIS-21.

In fact, the construction of military plant No. 316 in Miass began in 1939. In th winter of 1941, day and night, lots of workers were unloading and mounting this equipment right in the open air, and by the middle of the summer, the construction site and the working village were ready.

Post-war period

The last UralZIS-355M was released on October 16, 1965. Thus, the basic layout of ZIS-5, though transforming over the years, was used in the production of trucks for 34 years.

The fifties saw the beginning of the auto racing history of the Automobile Plant URAL. In October 1957, the all-Union motor sport competition was held in Rostov-on-Don. The event saw 98 vehicles ZIL-150, GAZ-63, and GAZ-51, including six vehicles UralZIS-355V. Though pilots from the Ural Automobile Plant didn't have much experience in such competitions back then, they managed to compete successfully even with the most seasoned drivers. The Ural team took all the first places. In the individual championship, the first place and the title of USSR champion were awarded to the crew of driver P. Terentyev and his mechanic.

In 1962, the Automobile Plant URAL named after I.V. Stalin (UralZiS) was renamed to UralAZ. In 1965, two-axle cars, which had been produced at the plant for more than 20 years, were discontinued. As a result, the legacy conveyor had to be replaced with a newer one. At the end of the same year, the plant launched into production a completely new vehicle called Ural-375 without any interruptions to the manufacturing process. In 1966, the plant was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor — a high government award for the successful production development and improvement.

In 1962, the Automobile Plant URAL named after I.V. Stalin (UralZiS) was renamed to UralAZ. In 1965, two-axle cars, which had been produced at the plant for more than 20 years, were discontinued. As a result, the legacy conveyor had to be replaced with a newer one. At the end of the same year, the plant launched into production a completely new vehicle called Ural-375 without any interruptions to the manufacturing process. In 1966, the plant was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor — a high government award for the successful production development and improvement.

In the mid-60s, the Automobile Plant URAL entered the international market with the new truck Ural-375. The first batch sold to Mongolia was followed by two batches of vehicles purchased by the German Democratic Republic.

In 1969, Ural-375D was demonstrated at the International Leipzig Fair and got the gold medal and the 1st degree diploma. In 1972, this vehicle was promoted to the highest quality category and in 1973 the truck got the State Quality Mark which symbolized the technological excellence back then.

In January 1970, the Main Exhibition Committee of VDNKh of the USSR awarded the Automobile Plant URAL with the first degree diploma for the design and production of the cross-country trucks Ural-375Yu for the tropical climate and Ural-377K for the severe climate of the Russian Far North.

In 1976, the Ural Association for the production of trucks was established on the basis of the Automobile Plant URAL. In addition to the head enterprise, it included the Chelyabinsk Forging and Pressing Plant, the Chelyabinsk Machine-Building Plant of Tractor Trailers and the Posevninsky Plant of Spare Parts.

At the end of 1976, the first prototypes of the snow and swamp-going vehicle Ural-5920 were manufactured. In 1981, the first production batch of this vehicles was produced for the Ministry of the Oil Industry. Snow and swamp-going vehicles demonstrate high off-road capabilities in extreme conditions and serve as year-round vehicles for field operations. In 1977, the Automobile Plant URAL launched the production of the first diesel model called Ural-4320, which opened a new era of diesel trucks at the plant. The plant also developed a number of vehicle modifications: Ural-4320 with the carrying capacity of 7 tons, the tractor unit Ural-43202 for towing semi-trailers with a total weight up to 18.5 tons, and the tractor unit Ural-4320 for towing semi-trailers with a total weight of 15 tons in southern regions and in the harsh climate of the Russian Far North.

In 1978, the experimental workshop prepared prototypes of tractors for the timber hauler Ural-6002. By the beginning of 1979, the plant introduced prototypes of the new vehicle Ural-43201 for the Russian Far North. The truck used tires produced by the Omsk plant for operation in the harsh climate with temperatures down to -60 degrees. In 1983, the vehicle Ural-4320 and its modifications were awarded the State Quality Mark. Today, Ural-4320-01 is the basic model of the numerous “Ural” family, with a wide range of special attachments used in various areas of the national economy. In recent years, crew buses, cranes, tank trucks, fuel tankers, fire trucks, mobile repair shops, and lots of other special-purpose vehicles based on the Ural chassis for the timber industry and oil and gas production have become very popular among customers. The plant also produces snowblowers Troika-2000 and other sophisticated utility machines, which help road workers and utility services perform 10+ operations to repair roads and improve adjacent territories.

In 1983, the plant started the small-scale production of Ural-5557. In 1985, the Automobile Plant URAL was awarded the Order of the October Revolution for the successful fulfilment of government assignments in the automotive production. By February 21, 1986, the plant released 1,000,000 Ural vehicles in total. In 1989, the plant manufactured the first four-axle vehicle Ural-5323 with the unified cabin from KamAZ.

In the 90s, the plant experienced severe difficulties due to a sharp decline in the vehicle production. The most dramatic period in the history of the plant lasted from 1992 to 1998. The plant reduced its output down to 2,489 vehicles in 1998 — by 12.6 times compared to 31,371 vehicles in 1991! The automobile plant had to master the production of non-core products. The plant spent 938.5 million rubles on its re-construction and re-equipment. The situation began to improve: the plant managed to recover its production completely, increase its volume by 2.4 times and increase the total production of vehicles by 4 times, showing the 130% average annual growth (5,470 vehicles in 1999, 8,500 vehicles in 2000, and 10,010 vehicles in 2001). To preserve the unique production facilities, a new enterprise Automobile Plant URAL JSC was established on the basis of the plant.

In 1999–2000, the engineers developed and put into production a new model range of transport all-wheel drive cabover trucks with the carrying capacity of 10-12 tons and a range of multi-purpose vehicles with the carrying capacity of 6 and 10 tons. The engineers developed and launched the the serial production of 3 types of new crew buses: Ural-3255, Ural-32551, and Ural-32552. In 2000, their total production volume reached 28 vehicles.

Since 2003, the plant began to grow its annual output again by 30% on average. In 2004, the vehicle builders started the implementation of the lean manufacturing principles. This allowed the plant to create reference areas for assembling of vehicles, cabins, etc. The new system made it possible to increase labor productivity by 2 times, reduce costs by 3 times and reduce waste by 4 times.

In November 2005, the plant released the first road truck of the new model range — the dump truck Ural-63685. In 2005, the plant developed special railroad cars with built-in repair shops for the Russian Railways. The plant also developed and manufactured the special crew buses for the oil and gas industry, and a pilot batch of unified metal platforms.

In 2005–2007, the company mastered the production of passenger and utility vehicles equipped with hydraulic manipulators. In 2006, the plant developed a special platform with the 8x8 chassis configuration for the installation of oil rigs.

Ural vehicles with box bodies were demonstrated at multiple exhibitions across Russia: in Surgut, Novokuznetsk, Moscow, and Khanty-Mansiysk. In terms of their consumer properties, the Ural crew buses simply had no competitors on the market in this class of off-road vehicles. In 2007, the plant released 987 crew buses, including shorter buses with 24 seats and longer buses with 28 seats.

n 2008, the total annual production of vehicles at the Automobile Plant URAL reached 15,158 vehicles.

In 2009, the plant introduced a pilot batch of the new off-road vehicles Ural-4320-58 equipped with the three-seater comfortable cabover and the sprung driver's seat. Be default, these cars are equipped with YaMZ-236NE2 engines (230 hp), which can be replaced with YaMZ-7601 engines. The car is also compatible with special-purpose attachments. In 2010, the new core machine Laempe and the new biochemical absorption station were presented at the core production area of Foundry No.4. The newly implemented manufacturing process made it possible to produce rods of any complexity for steel, iron and non-ferrous casting.

In 2009, the plant introduced a pilot batch of the new off-road vehicles Ural-4320-58 equipped with the three-seater comfortable cabover and the sprung driver's seat. Be default, these cars are equipped with YaMZ-236NE2 engines (230 hp), which can be replaced with YaMZ-7601 engines. The car is also compatible with special-purpose attachments. In 2010, the new core machine Laempe and the new biochemical absorption station were presented at the core production area of Foundry No.4. The newly implemented manufacturing process made it possible to produce rods of any complexity for steel, iron and non-ferrous casting.

In 2010, the plant launched the serial production of the all-wheel drive vehicle Ural-32552-3011-59 with a 4x4 chassis configuration. The vehicle can be produced in several versions: a crew bus, a high-sided truck, and a chassis for various attachments. Since 2010, the automatic hydraulic pipe bending machine operates at the section of workpieces of the universal technology workshop. The machine is designed for bending various exhaust pipe workpieces at a wide range of bending angles.

In 2016, Ural NEXT was awarded the Truck of the Year title following the results of the most prestigious competition in the commercial vehicle production: the 16th annual competition “The Best Commercial Vehicle of the Year in Russia”.

In 2018, the Automobile Plant URAL announced the mass production and the start of sales of the brand new road trucks. Ural NEXT 6х4 can be used on both public and industrial roads.The model range includes dump trucks with the carrying capacity up to 15.6 tons for bulk cargoes, tractor units with the gross train weight up to 62 tons, and the chassis for various special-purpose vehicles and attachments.

The plant is going to produce a large variety of special-purpose vehicles based on the Ural NEXT 6x4 chassis, including truck cranes, vans, garbage trucks, tank trucks, fuel tankers, combined road vehicles, and more. Ural NEXT 6x4 vehicles can work in any conditions, on any roads and any surface, and, what's more important, they take care of the comfort for the driver and passengers. In addition, low cost of ownership, long time to maintenance (up to 30,000 kilometers), and one of the best warranty conditions for trucks (36 months, or 150,000 kilometers) make these vehicles especially attractive to customers.

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