Promising mix of international and local bus & coach manufacturers at Busworld in Kazakhstan
June 4, 2019
The first edition of Busworld Central Asia will be held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, from 25 to 27 June 2019 in the Atakent International Exhibition Center. Almaty is the largest city in this vast country. Kazakhstan is the hub of other neighbouring “stan” countries such as Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan and the link between China and Europe via the ‘Silk Road’ connection.
Kazakhstan was formerly part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and its public transport systems were closely modelled on those of Russia. The country relied heavily on Russia for buses and that continued for several years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Kazakhstan is a huge country and has large reserves of oil and gas. The country is larger than Western Europe in territory and is land-locked. That creates a challenge in exporting oil and gas but demand is strong from countries like its neighbour, China.
Bus manufacturers from outside the former USSR have been making steady inroads to the Kazakh market. There is demand for low floor layouts and also alternative fuels like CNG. There is some local assembly of buses, but the potential to increase is quite considerable.
It is estimated that 50% of the population of around 18.5 million people live in urban centres. Alternative means of public transport are very limited, so that will stimulate demand for better and more frequent bus services.
There are banking, financial and legal systems in place to support the import of vehicles, components and services. It is estimated that more than $40 billion worth of foreign investment has been pumped into Kazakhstan in the oil, natural gas and mineral industries in the last fifteen years or so. These industries will also require transport, principally for employees.
At the exhibition, a vast range of buses and coaches will be presented by: Anadolu Isuzu, Arobus, Astana Motors (Hyundai), Autocapital (Mercedes-Benz), Belkommunmash, JV MAN Auto, KAMAZ Trading Company, Otokar, Saktagan, Samauto and Saryarka Avto Prom (Ankai Buses).
Anadolu Isuzu is one of the leading medium-sized bus and coach manufacturing companies in Europe, and produces both city, intercity and coaches in its plant in Kocaeli, Turkey. Production according to Japanese quality management systems and European quality standards and regulations leads to an excellent, globally recognized product. As a result the first midi-bus was exported in 2003. Today, customers and passengers from 26 different countries are enjoying Anadolu Isuzu buses and coaches.
A nice example of this global recognition was the Busworld Award for most comfortable and ergonomic bus in 2015 which was won by the Isuzu Citiport.
Arobus, headquartered in Tuzla, Istanbul has a leading position in the field of vehicle conversions and adaptions. Among their product range, Arobus builds various minibus and bus models in different plants around Turkey. Approximately 30% of all small and minibuses sold by authorized dealers in Turkey are produced by Arobus. But they are not only a strong player on the local market, a big amount is also being exported to many countries across Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.
Important investments in the company during the past 10 years have made them into a leading approved partner company in Europe for different OEMs and fleet owners. On average around 8,000 units of commercial vehicles are being conversed.
Hyundai Com Trans Kazakhstan was founded in August 2005 and is part of the KMC Astana Motors. The company sells commercial vehicles of the Hyundai brand (trucks, buses, special equipment) and is the official distributor of the Korean company Hyundai Motor Company in Kazakhstan.
Autocapital is the general distributor of Mercedes-Benz in Central Asia.
The company provides car sales and after-sales services for passenger cars, commercial vehicles and buses through an official dealer network. They will be presenting a Mercedes-Benz Tourismo in the exhibition.
Belkommunmash is the leading Belarusian manufacturer of urban electric transport: electric buses, trolleybuses and tramways. Only cutting edge technologies of mechanical engineering, supplements and components are used in the production. Vehicles of Belkommunmash have proved themselves well in more than 40 cities of Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, etc.
The joint Uzbek-German enterprise JV MAN Auto-Uzbekistan was established on August 9, 2009. From the Uzbek side, the founder of the enterprise is the joint-stock company Uzavtosanoat, from the German side MAN Truck & Bus AG, one of the leading international suppliers of buses and services in the field of motor transport. You can buy finished products of the plant and get high-quality technical maintenance of MAN trucks at 14 dealer and service centers located in Uzbekistan. Furthermore the company plans to continue to develop the dealer and service network.
KAMAZ Trading Company is the official distributor of KAMAZ in Kazakhstan, representing the KAMAZ brands in sales, after sales, spare parts, service and financial services.
Last in line to confirm its participation was Otokar. They have been manufacturing buses for public transportation with their own technology, design and applications since 1963. Being a leader in the bus industry in Turkey, it is operating with over 2,000 employees at the factory built on a surface of 552,000 m2 in Sakarya. As a loyal exhibitor of Busworld Turkey, Europe and even Latin America, Otokar is exploring export opportunities around the world. The huge potential in both Kazakhstan, with big tenders coming up announced by the Ministry of Transport, as well as a in Central Asia in general convinced Otokar to participate in Almaty.
Saktagan is a Kazakh company whose main activity is the production and assembly of commercial vehicles, as well as calibration, repair and installation of tachographs, technical inspection of motor vehicles, restoration of car treads and delivery of auto parts and tires directly from manufacturers. Saktagan produces a range of city buses and intercity buses of the Almabus brand.
Samarkand Automobile Factory or SamAuto is a well-known city and intercity bus body builder from Uzbekistan. The company’s dream is to become the leader in bus and truck body building among the CIS countries. Construction of the manufacturing plant started in 1997 and merely two years later the first two bus models rolled of the production lines. SamAuto has evolved into one of the biggest body building companies in the region with dealerships in all regions of Uzbekistan, but also in Kazakhstan, Georgia and Russia.
Kazakhstan’s largest automotive manufacturer, Saryarka AvtoProm, has reached an investment agreement with China National Machinery Import and Export Corporation (CMC). It became the official manufacturer and distributor of Chinese brands like Ankai buses.
300 Ankai buses will go to Kazakhstan again
Recently, 300 Ankai buses will be exported to Kazakhstan. This is another big order that was seized after 70 Ankai buses were exported to Kazakhstan in 2018. The model to be exported is Ankai 8.5m bus, which will be put into operation in several cities in Kazakhstan soon.
Busworld Academy will hold its inaugural session in Central Asia with a conference entitled “Futuristic Transportation Solutions for Central Asia” which will be all about shaping tomorrow’s public transport in Central Asian countries. The Academy will host presentations by a number of experts with knowledge of the Kazakhstan and regional markets. The event is supported by the Ministry of Industry and Infrastructural development of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Mayorate of Almaty. The conference is organised in association with UNCRD (United Nations Center for Regional Development), KAO (Union of Auto Transport of Kazakhstan), Atamekeh and UITP (Union Internationale des Transports Publics).
Almaty in Kazakhstan may seem a long distance away, but the country is nearer to Europe compared to China. There are regular flights and visitors from most countries can obtain short-term visa-free entry. Kazakhstan is the hub at the centre of a region that is growing rapidly in importance and Busworld Central Asia promises to be a leading event in the area.