|Founder(s)||Miroslav Hajn and Pavel Beneš|
|Headquarters||, Czech Republic|
Ashok Leyland |
(formerly Škoda Auto)
The company was founded by Miroslav Hajn and Pavel Beneš in 1919 and became part of Škoda in 1928. During the 1930s the factory became the biggest aircraft producer in Czechoslovakia and moved to Letňany. During World War, II Avia produced aircraft for the German Luftwaffe. After the war the company was ationalized] and became involved in the automotive industry. It manufactured aircraft up to 1963, then continued to make aircraft engines (producing only propellers from 1988) and targeted truck production. The company was split in 1992 into propeller and truck sections, both using the Avia brand.
- Main article: [Avia in wikipedia]
Soon after the War, the manufacture of fuel injection pumps, jets and roller bearings for freight vehicle transport was implemented in AVIA. The factory also provided repair of trucks. In frame of the Czechoslovak industry post-war reorganization it was subsequently decided that AVIA would be fully transformed into the manufacture of new trucks. As early as 1946 a prototype of the Škoda R-706 vehicle was developed, and the first vehicle and bus series was manufactured in 1947. These products were successfully exported to many countries
First of all, the enterprise concentrated on assembling T-805 vehicles. In 1961, it switched to the manufacture of Praga V3S/ S5T, the medium duty truck. The legendary three-tone off-road V3S was maintained in AVIA's manufacturing program until 1988. The vehicle was manufactured not only as a platform car but with different types of bodies as well. It fully utilised its construction designed for extraordinarily heavy use in the army, on site, in forest as well as in any other operation demanding a high performance under the heaviest conditions. The modifications of the Praga S5T model also included a semitrailer truck, S5T-TN model with a “ trambus” cabin. In 1963, manufacture of chassis units for the OT 64 (SKOT) armoured carrier was launched. Praga and Tatra enterprises, but also some Polish manufacturers participated on the manufacture.
In 1965, structural changes of demand concerning a small tonnage lorry appeared both in national and international market. At the AVIA enterprise, they were considering two ways ahead, i.e. own development and/or use of a suitable licence strategy. As a conclusion, the French Renault-Saviem manufacturer’s offer for two types of trucks was accepted. In the autumn of 1968, the first products started to leave the assembly line. The larger vehicle was named Renault-Saviem SG 4 Super Galion (later AVIA A30), and the smaller was named SG 2 Super Goelette (later AVIA A15). The new manufacture as well as its scope required new buildings as well as modernization of existing enterprise’s premises. New big buildings containing advanced equipment were constructed and thus AVIA was included among the largest Czechoslovak car manufacturers. The yearly production reached 17,000 vehicles. During the years, the manufacture of the AVIA vehicles was continuously modernized. The volume of the Diesel engine increased from original 3.32 up to 3.61, and practically all vehicle units were adapted. In 1983, the AVIA A31 developed from the AVIA A30 model, while the AVIA A15 (later A20) furgon was transferred to the AVIA A 21 model. From 1974 to 1978, modernization of A20, 30, and 40 models was prepared, bringing small wheels, redesigned axles, new dashboard, enhanced cab interior, etc.
In 1986, the AVIA National Concern comprising also affiliates in Brno, Ivančice and Žilina was incorporated in a so-called “Industry Economical Unit” together with Praga, BSS, Metaz and Kutná Hora enterprises. As per 1st July 1988, a new state enterprise, AVIA Concern, comprising Avia, Praga, BSS, and Dačické strojírny concern enterprises was established in accordance with the State Enterprise Act. AVIA Letňany as the parent factory manufactured engines and cabs and assembled all of the chassis. A part of the chassis was fitted with a platform-type superstructure and also vehicles with a furgon-type body were manufactured here. The Brno, Ivančice and Žilina factories purpose superstructures were assembled on the chassis. The Kutná Hora factory manufactured all types of axles for AVIA vehicles. The key assortment of Praga Concern Enterprise included truck and bus gear units and a number of other parts for the automotive field. The Dačické strojírny Concern Enterprise produced parts for our car manufacturers. The body assortment was still growing: box bodies, isothermic box bodies, bodies including a cooling unit, assembly platforms, container bodies, dumpers, towing trucks, and other different bodies were manufactured. The AVIA chassis also served as a base for the small buses manufactured in Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Hungary.
In 1989, the concern split in single businesses. In the same year, AVIA Letňany launched assembly of A21 FC furgons by use of pressed parts. In 1993, manufacture of AVIA vehicles equipped with turbo engines designated as A21T and A31T was launched. At the same time, the engine power of these vehicles was increased up to 65 kW, which met the EURO I Standard. Subsequently, an engine with the power increased up to 76 kW (or 85 kW) and intercooler meeting the EURO II Standard was developed. The enhancements also included a modified chassis, strengthened drive unit, power steering system, modified braking system, improved cab interior and enhanced technical parameters of the vehicle.
In 1992, AVIA was transformed into a stock company, and also Avia - Hamilton Standard, a new company with AVIA's equity share manufacturing aircraft propeller was established. One year later, the propeller manufacture was moved from the Letňany factory to the new premises near Stará Boleslav. This definitively terminated the aircraft production in Letňany.
66% of the AVIA Company was privatized by Czech entities in two waves. To ensure the further development of the Company, the Government began to seek for a foreign investor. The relevant discussions were led with several parties concerned. In the first line, it was Renault, the French car manufacturing company, with which AVIA already had good long-term experience; followed by the German Mercedes-Benz company. However, the 1995 public tender was won by a consortium formed by the South Korean Daewoo Motors and Austrian Steyr Trucks company. The consortium bought 50.2% of AVIA's shares, thus becoming the majority owner of the Company. The year after, the trade name of the Company was changed to DAEWOO AVIA, a.s. In the same year, the Company became the exclusive importer and distributor of DAEWOO vehicles for the Czech Republic.
In 1997, the AVIA A Series was modernized for the last time. AVIA A 60/ 65/ 75/ 80 models entered the market. The vehicles had a completely new chassis fitted with a riveted frame, fixed front axle, front disk brakes, lesser wheels 205/75 - 17,50" and EURO II engines with the power of 76 kW and/or 85 kW. The vehicles were fitted with a five-speed/six-speed gear-box. The cabs had a new interior, advanced design and they were tilt cabs in the first line. Generally, 250,000 AVIA A Series vehicles, which can be seen in high numbers on our roads even today, left the assembly line of the Letňany car factory in the period between launching the production in 1968 up to its termination, which took place on 13th November 2000. From 1997 to 1999, the Letňany car factory was also assembling LUBLIN and LUBLIN II, the light commercial vehicles imported disassembled from the DAEWOO MOTOR POLAND company.
Simultaneously, preparation work on a completely new product continued. The DAEWOO AVIA´s new management team staked a demanding goal comprising of development and implementation of a completely new medium duty truck, which would cover the 6 to 9 tonnes weight class and would be fully competitive in the western markets in terms of design. The vehicle cab, which got a completely new design and provided a maximum comfort both to driver and crew, was the most significant component of the vehicle. The English DAEWOO designers took a part in the development of the new cab and its interior, while DAEWOO AVIA specialist designers were responsible for the project co-ordination, and engine/chassis development. The new vehicle known as AVIA D Series had its debut in the Czech market in the end of 2000. The major change that came along with the AVIA D 60/90 Series vehicles was mounting of new driving units meeting the legal requirements of EEC R49-03 without a need to re-circulate the exhaust gases. The units included a self-constructed and self-produced engine titled as AVIA D432.100, and CUMMINS ISBe 150 30 engine (England). The Cummins engine, with its more even speed-torque characteristic, has applied its advantage namely in more distant transports. Since 2002, the manufacturer has been offering two German ZF company’s gear-box types with the vehicles. Specifically, it comprises the ZF S5-42 five-speed gear-box or ZF S6-850 six-speed gear-box.
However, by the middle of this decade, the operations shrank and volumes dwindled, to reach 650 in 2006, though sales demand remained strong in the home market and in the UK, Spain, Hungary and Ireland – in the latter, Avia had a 16% market share of its segment in 2006. In 2007, a leading commercial vehicle manufacturer from India, Ashok Leyland, took over AVIA. The company has since been renamed Avia Ashok Leyland Motors (AALM).
Soon thereafter, Euro 4-compliant models were introduced in the market. And the strengthening of the marketing infrastructure is on, to support the ramp up of volumes at AALM.
AALM’s range today spans the gross vehicle weight range from 6 tones to 12 tones. Dependent upon model the gross combination weight with a drawbar trailer can be as high as 22 tones, providing for highly economical operation.
Ashok Leyland ownershipEdit
Ashok Leyland heralded a new era for the Avia factory and a new company "Avia Ashok Leyland Motors SRO (AALM)" was formed. Sales in 2006 reached 650 units. Sales demand remained strong in the home market and in the UK, Spain, Hungary and Ireland – in the latter, Avia had a 16% market share of its segment in 2006. In 2006 the new 160 and 185 hp Cummins powered Euro 4 models and the D120 were launched, the latter with gcw of up to 22000 kg for drawbar operation.
In 2007, a collaboration with the Tanfield Group of the UK saw the introduction of an "electric Avia", with AALM providing chassis cabs less engines, gearboxes and other diesel truck components to Tanfield subsidiary Smith Electric Vehicles for inclusion in the Smith's Newton all electric truck. This proved to be a highly successful collaboration with the shipment of engineless trucks forming a large proportion of Avia's sales. In the U.S. runs hundreds of Smith Electric electric cars with chassis and cabs from Prague.
Euro 5 launch in 2009 saw a further increase in power outputs—with 185 and 207 hp variants of the four-cylinder Cummins ISBe Euro 5 available. The weight range continued to span from 6 to 12 tonnes gvw.
Years 2010 and 2011 are period of success for the brand both domestically and in foreign markets. Ashok Leyland helped Avia not only overcome the crisis in 2008-2009, but in joint projects opens up a whole new markets. Thanks to this cooperation, from the local truck manufacturer for Central and Eastern Europe, Avia become a global brand. Sales rising in whole Europe, USA, Middle East, Asia, Argentina and Russia.
Avia fares rather well in Russia with a joint production project of small buses with Volgabus company. The Russian version called "Ritmiks" was introduced in 2011, the first prototype of eight-metre long bus in design for the European Union should be unveiled later.
End of production in Czech RepublicEdit
In 2013 Ashok Leyand closed production in the Czech Republic and moved it to India.
As a truck maker, Czech Avia should not be confused with the Spanish Avia.
- AVIA D75
- AVIA D90
- AVIA D120
- AVIA D120 4x4
- Avia Trucks official website
- Avia Trucks official website Czech version
- Avia Propeller official website
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