Tatra is a Czech vehicle manufacturer in Kopřivnice. It is owned by the ''Tatra Trucks'' company, based in Ostrava, and is the third oldest company in the world producing cars with an unbroken history. The company was founded in 1850 as ''Ignatz Schustala & Comp.'', in 1890 renamed ''Nesselsdorfer Wagenbau-Fabriksgesellschaft'' when it became a wagon and carriage manufacturer. In 1897, Tatra produced the first motor car in
central Europe Central Europe is the central region of Europe. Central Europe includes contiguous territories that are sometimes also considered parts of Western Europe, Southern Europe and Eastern Europe. The concept of Central Europe is based on a common histo ...
, the Präsident automobile. In 1918, it changed its name to ''Kopřivnická vozovka a.s.'', and in 1919 changed from the Nesselsdorfer marque to the ''Tatra'' badge, named after the nearby
Tatra Mountains The Tatra Mountains (), Tatras, or Tatra (''Tatry'' either in Slovak () or in Polish () - '' plurale tantum''), is a mountain range that forms a natural border between Slovakia Slovakia (; sk, Slovensko ), officially the Slovak Repu ...
on the
Czechoslovak , , yi, טשעכאסלאוואקיי, , common_name = Czechoslovakia , life_span = 1918–19391945–1992 , p1 = Austria-Hungary , flag_p1 = Flag of Austria-Hungary 1869-1918.svg , s1 = Czech Republic , flag_s1 = Flag of the Czech Republic.s ...

- Polish border (now on the Polish- Slovak border). During
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved World War II by country, the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great ...
Tatra was instrumental in the production of trucks and tank engines for the German war effort. Production of passenger cars ceased in 1999, but the company still produces a range of primarily all-wheel-drive trucks, from 4×4 to 18×18. The brand is also known as a result of Czech truck racer
Karel Loprais
Karel Loprais
: in 1988–2001 he won the off-road race
Dakar Rally The Dakar Rally (or simply "The Dakar"; formerly known as the "Paris–Dakar Rally") is an annual rally raid organised by the Amaury Sport Organisation. Most events since the inception in 1978 were staged from Paris, France, to Dakar, Senegal, ...
six times with a
Tatra 815
Tatra 815

Early years

Ignaz Schustala (1822–1891), founder of the company "''Ignatz Schustala & Comp''" in Kopřivnice,
Moravia Moravia ( , also , ; cs, Morava ; german: link=no, Mähren ; pl, Morawy ; szl, Morawijo; la, Moravia) is a historical region in the east of the Czech Republic The Czech Republic (; cs, Česká republika ), also known by its short ...

, started the production of
horse-drawn vehicle A horse-drawn vehicle is a mechanized piece of equipment pulled by one horse The horse (''Equus ferus caballus'') is a domesticated odd-toed ungulate mammal. It belongs to the taxonomic family Equidae and is one of two Extant taxon, extant sub ...
s in 1850. In 1891 it branched out into
railroad car A railroad car, railcar ( American and Canadian English), railway wagon, railway carriage, railway truck, railwagon, railcarriage or railtruck (British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language ...

railroad car
manufacture, naming the company "''Nesselsdorfer Wagenbau-Fabriksgesellschaft''", and employed Hugo Fischer von Röslerstamm as technical director in 1890. After the death of Schustala, von Röslerstamm took over running the company and in 1897 he bought a Benz automobile. Using this for inspiration, the company made its first car, the Präsident, under the direction of engineers Hans Ledwinka and Edmund Rumpler, which was exhibited in 1897 in Vienna. Orders were obtained for more cars, and until 1900, nine improved cars based on Präsident were made. The first car to be totally designed by Ledwinka came in 1900 with the Type A with rear-mounted 2714 cc engine and top speed of , 22 units were built. This was followed by the NW B, Type B with central engine in 1902 but then Ledwinka left the company to concentrate on steam engine development. He returned in 1905 and designed a completely new car, the NW S, Type S with 3308 cc 4-cylinder engine. Production was badly hit in 1912 with a 23-week strike and Hugo Fischer von Röslerstamm left the company.

Tatra concept

In 1921 the company was renamed to "''Kopřivnická vozovka''", and in 1919 the name Tatra was given to the car range. Leopold Pasching took over control and in 1921 Hans Ledwinka returned again to develop the revolutionary Tatra 11. The new car, launched in 1923 featured a rigid backbone tube with swinging semi-axles at the rear giving independent suspension. The engine, front-mounted, was an air-cooled two-cylinder unit of 1056 cc. In 1924 the company was renamed to "''Závody Tatra''". The Tatra 11 was replaced in 1926 by the similar Tatra 12 which had four-wheel brakes. A further development was the 1926 Tatra 17 with a 1,930 cc water-cooled six-cylinder engine and fully independent suspension. In 1927 the company was renamed "''Ringhoffer-Tatra''".

Streamlined Tatras *Tatra V570 ''1931, 1933'' *Tatra 77 ''1934–1938'' *Tatra 87 ''1936–1950'' *Tatra 97 ''1936–1939'' *Tatra 600 Tatraplan ''1946–1952'' *Tatra 603 ''1956–1975''

Prewar streamliners

Tatra's specialty was luxury cars of a technically advanced nature, going from air cooling, air-cooled flat-twin engine, flat-twins to fours and sixes, culminating (briefly) with the Overhead camshaft, OHC 6-litre V12 engine, V12 in 1931. In the 1930s, under the supervision of Austrian engineer Hans Ledwinka, his son Erich and German engineer Erich Übelacker, and protected by high tariffs and absence of foreign assemblers, Tatra began building advanced, streamlined cars after obtaining licences from Paul Jaray, which started in 1934 with the large Tatra 77, the world's first production aerodynamics, aerodynamic car. The average drag coefficient of a 1:5 model of the fastback Tatra 77 was recorded as 0.2455. It featured (as did almost all subsequent big Tatras) a rear-engine design, rear-mounted, air cooling, air-cooled V8 engine, which was in technical terms very sophisticated for the time.

Tatra and the conception of the Volkswagen Beetle

Both Adolf Hitler and Ferdinand Porsche were influenced by the Tatras.Willson, Quentin ''The Ultimate Classic Car Book''. New Your, New York: DK Publishing Inc., 1995. . Pages 214-215 Hitler was a keen automotive enthusiast, and had ridden in Tatras during political tours of Czechoslovakia. He had also dined numerous times with Ledwinka. After one of these dinners Hitler remarked to Porsche, "This is the car for my roads".Car Wars, Jonathan Mantle, Arcade Publishing, 1997 From 1933 onwards, Ledwinka and Porsche met regularly to discuss their designs, and Porsche admitted "Well, sometimes I looked over his shoulder and sometimes he looked over mine" while designing the Volkswagen. There is no doubt that the Beetle bore a striking resemblance to the Tatras, particularly the Tatra V570. The Tatra 97 of 1936 had a rear-located, rear-wheel drive, air-cooled four-cylinder boxer engine accommodating four passengers and providing luggage storage under the front bonnet and behind the rear seat. Another similarity between this Tatra and the Beetle is the central structural tunnel. Tatra launched a lawsuit against VW, but this was stopped when Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia, Germany invaded Czechoslovakia. At the same time, Tatra was forced to stop producing the T97. The matter was re-opened after World War II and in 1965 Volkswagen paid Tatra 1,000,000 Deutsche Mark, DM in an out of court settlement. However Tatra's works preceding Volkswagen are themselves preceded by designs of Hungarian automotive engineer Béla Barényi, Bela Barenyi, whose sketches resembling Volkswagen date back to the 1920s.

War years

After the 1938 invasion of Czechoslovakia by Nazi Germany, Tatras were kept in production, largely because Germans liked the cars. Many German officers died in car accidents caused by driving the heavy, Rear-engine design, rear-engined Tatras faster around corners than they could Car handling, handle. At the time, as an anecdote, Tatra became known as the 'Czech Secret Weapon' for the scores of officers who died behind the wheel; at one point official orders were issued forbidding German officers from driving Tatras. Tatra was instrumental in the production of trucks and tank engines for the German war effort.

Postwar management

The factory was nationalised in 1945 almost three years before the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, Communist Party 1948 Czechoslovak coup d'état, came to power and in January 1946 was renamed "Tatra Národní Podnik". Although production of prewar models continued, a new model, the Tatra 600 Tatraplan was designed—the name celebrating the new Communist planned economy and the aeroplane inspiration (Colloq. Czech: aeroplán). It went into production in 1948. In 1951, the state planning department decided that the Tatraplan should henceforth be built at the Škoda Auto, Škoda plant in Mladá Boleslav, leaving Tatra free to concentrate on trucks, buses and railway equipment.

The Tatra 603

In 1953, amid much dissatisfaction among Communist party leaders with the poor-quality official cars imported from Russia, Tatra was again given permission to produce a luxury car, the Tatra 603. Much like Tatra's prewar cars, it was driven by a rear-mounted, air-cooled V8 and had the company's trademark aerodynamic styling. The Tatra 603 initially featured three headlights and the first prototypes had a central rear stabilising fin, though this feature was lost on production vehicles. It was also fitted with almost Passenger vehicles in the United States, American-style thick Chrome plating, chrome Bumper (automobile), bumpers with bullets (a.k.a. Dagmar bumpers). Almost entirely hand-built, Tatras were not available for normal citizens as they were not permitted to buy them. The cars were reserved for the Communist Party elite, industrial officials, as well as being exported to most other communist nations as official state cars. Notably, Cuban President Fidel Castro had a white Tatra 603, custom-fitted with air conditioning. Tatra 603s were built until 1975, a twenty-year reign as one of Communism's finest cars. Numerous improvements were made during its production run, although not all vehicles built were actually new but rather reconditioned. In exchange for a newer model year car, the older vehicle was returned to the factory. There, it was upgraded to current model year specifications, refinished, and sent out again as a putatively new vehicle to replace another older T603. This makes it difficult to trace the history of surviving vehicles.

1970s makeover—the Tatra 613

In 1968 a replacement was developed; the Tatra 613. It was styled by the Italy, Italian styling house of Vignale and was a more modern, less rounded shape. It was not until 1973 that the car went into production, and volume production did not begin until the following year. Although the layout remained the same, the body was all new, as was the engine, being equipped with four overhead camshafts, a higher capacity motor (3495 cc) and an output close to . In addition, it had been moved somewhat forward for improved balance. These cars were built in five series and went through several modifications until production ceased in 1996. It is a tribute to Vignale's styling that they did not look dated until rather late in that time period. Over 11,000 cars were built, and sales slowed to a trickle of just a few dozen per year towards the end of production as Tatras began to seem more and more outdated.

1990s Tatra 700

The Tatra 700 was a large luxury car released in 1996 by Tatra. Essentially a heavily restyled version of the Tatra 613 model it replaced, with updated body panels and detailing. The T700 was offered as both a saloon and coupé with either a 3.5 or 4.4 litre 90° air-cooled V8 petrol engine. The model was neither successful nor produced in large numbers, having produced a total of 69-72 cars. The T700 was the last passenger car made by Tatra with production halting in 1999. At this point, Tatra abandoned automobile manufacturing in order to concentrate on truck design and manufacture.

1990s Tatra MTX V8

The MTX Tatra V8, Tatra MTX V8 was the fastest Czech car of all time. Production started in 1991 in Kopřivnice. It has a Tatra 623 V8 engine with inlet manifold injection producing 225 kW at 6500 rpm. It accelerates from 0– in 5.6 seconds. The top speed is . The Czech designer Václav Král designed this vehicle, with only 5 ever produced.


In February 2008, Tatra announced the world's first and only air-cooled engine meeting the then forthcoming Euro 5 emissions standards. The press release claims 7.5 times lower emissions of Atmospheric particulate matter, particulates and 3.5 times lower emission of nitrogen oxides compared to the previous engine. Further, production of air-cooled engines should significantly reduce the production of greenhouse gases due to the absence of liquid cooling systems. All Tatra vehicles from February 2008 onwards should use the new engine.
A month later, Tatra CEO Ronald Adams told The Prague Post Tatra could return to producing passenger cars, saying: 'We would not come back to compete with the large automobile mass producers such as Volkswagen, Škoda, Toyota etc. But we might come back with a replica of the old Tatra cars using a current undercarriage and driveline from one of the major automotive producers.' The company has launched a feasibility study, hoping to produce one thousand replicas of their legendary Tatraplan and 603 cars in 2010. In July 2008 pictures of a fuel cell concept car designed by Mike Jelinek, the Tatra 903, were shown.

Tatra in the West

Unlike most Eastern Bloc manufacturers, Tatra enjoyed modest sales success in Western Europe, where its truck line had a reputation for simplicity and durability. No effort was made to distribute Tatra's unusual automobiles in the West, though a small number did find their way to collectors in Western Europe, and even to the United States. The end of the Cold War did not help Tatra's fortunes, as the company made no inroads in Western Europe's already crowded automobile market. Worse, the introduction of competitors, such as Mercedes-Benz and Peugeot into the Czech Republic, further eroded Tatra's sales. Production of the passenger cars ended in 1999. Among Western collectors, Tatra automobiles remain largely unknown. The largest display of Tatra vehicles in the United States is at the Lane Motor Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. The museum's eclectic automobile collection contains 12 Tatra models, including a T-613 ambulance. When talk show host and car collector Jay Leno visited the museum, the founder picked him up in a 1947 Tatra 87, prompting Leno to purchase one himself. Leno soon became an advocate for the brand. In the United States, the few Tatra clubs are closely associated with Citroen, Citroën clubs, as many Tatra collectors also collect Citroën DS series cars. A Tatra 87 is on exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.


1898–1914 beginning

NW First Truck, The first truck manufactured at Kopřivnice in 1898 was a flatbed with 2 liquid-cooled side-by-side-mounted two-cylinder Benz engines each at 2.7 L capacity with total power output of 8.8 kW (12 hp) placed after the rear axle and cargo capacity of 2.5 ton. The unique feature of the engines setup was that the engines could be operated sequentially depending on the load requirements. No 1 engine was started via a cranking handle and had a flywheel attached and No 2 engine without the flywheel was connected via a gear clutch and started by the first engine already running. The second truck manufactured was once again a flatbed R type of 2.5 ton cargo capacity built in 1909. Powered by liquid-cooled petrol four-cylinder engine of 4.1 L capacity and power output of 18.4 kW (25 hp) with the engine placed above front axle which is the conventional design to this day. The vehicle featured solid rubber tyres and semi-elliptic leaf spring suspension. In 1910 Tatra manufactured its first bus the Omnibus type SO with total production of 5 units.

1914–1922 serial production

The first true serial truck production at Tatra was instigated by the beginning of World War I. In the year 1914 there were only two trucks made, type T 14/40 HP; however by 1915's end the production jumped to a total of 105 TL-2 units, and the following year, 1916, the numbers rose to a total of 196 TL-2 and 30 TL-4. Production peaked in 1917 with 19 TL-2 and 303 TL-4 models, but then production declined, and a similar number of vehicles of one type manufactured in a year was not achieved or surpassed until 1936 with the T 27 model. Technically models TL-2 and TL-4 were almost identically designed; in fact TL-4 evolved from TL-2 where both had liquid-cooled OHC engines of max power output of . The TL-2 had a Gross vehicle mass, GVM and Gross Combination Mass, GCM, TL-4 had GVM and GCM respectively. Both types remained in production in small series until 1927. The TL-4 is considered the first truck to come out of NW (Nesselsdorfer Wagen-bau) to carry the name Tatra in 1919.

1923–1938 Tatra concept

After the introduction of Tatra 11 and Tatra 12 cars with their distinctive backbone tube design and swing axles, Tatra introduced its first truck on the same basis, the light utility Tatra 13 powered by 2-cylinder air-cooled petrol engine with power output 8.8 kW (12 hp) and cargo capacity. Further models followed, and in 1926, T23 and T24 were introduced, nicknamed "bulldogs", which could be considered Tatra's precursors to Cab Over Engine, COE designed trucks. Improved version T13 was introduced as T26 with a more powerful 4-cylinder flat air-cooled engine and in six-wheeler chassis created capable offroad light utility truck which later evolved into T72 model which was heavily used by Czechoslovakian army at the time and was also manufactured under license by the France, French company Lorraine-Dietrich. In 1933 Tatra built a limited series of T25 heavy artillery hauler with 4 and 6-cylinder petrol engines. The most popular Tatra truck before
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved World War II by country, the vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great ...
was type T27 powered by 4-cylinder petrol or diesel engines, which remained in production for nearly 17 years (1930–1947) with total production of 7,620 units, by adding an extra axle to the rear the type T28 was created however, it was not successful and only limited production resulted in a mainly bus chassis. In the period from 1931 to 1938 Tatra also built a small utility truck based on the chassis from T30 named Tatra T43 which remain popular with small business owners. T72 model successfully continued the line to Tatra 82, T82 built mainly for military in cargo and personnel transport between 1935 and 1938 and further to T92 and T93 built for the Romanian army from 1938 to 1941 which were identical except T93 had also a driven front axle.

1939–1956 World War II and beyond

Following the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia the production at Kopřivnice was annexed by the Germans for the supply of trucks needed by the Wehrmacht. Apart from the existing line up of T27, T92/92 a new heavy truck the T81 commenced production featuring liquid-cooled 12.5 L V8 diesel engine with a power output of , in 6×4 axle configuration. This vehicle evolved in 1942 into the legendary T111 which continued in production until 1962, with the total of 33,690 units made. The T111 also featured Tatra's first air-cooled diesel engine, a massive V12 originally designed for the armoured Sd.Kfz. 234 Puma. In the latter stages of World War II Tatra was instrumental in the development of air-cooled diesel engines for German tanks. In late 1944 General Heinz Guderian ordered that production of the Type 38(t) Hetzer tank be modified to incorporate a Tatra Type 928 V-8 air-cooled diesel engine, though this order was delayed so production could continue uninterrupted. After the war the T111 contributed heavily to the rebuilding effort in Central Europe, Central and Eastern Europe and a memorial was built at Magadan, Siberia for its exploits in the Far Eastern Federal District, Far East of the USSR.

1957–1982 moving forward

The decision to replace the reliable but ageing T111 was taken in 1952 based on Central planning, central planning economy of socialist government where directive was made to Tatra N.P. that it should concentrate on the manufacture of 7 to 10 ton capacity commercial vehicles and in 1956 first T137 and T138 trucks were exhibited at the Czechoslovak machinery trade fair, expo in Brno. Production of the T111 continued alongside the T138 series until 1962. The T138 itself continued in production until 1969 when it was replaced by the improved T148, which provided an increase in power output, reliability and product improvements. In 1967 Tatra began production of one of its famous off-road trucks the T813 using its modular construction technology; the model incorporated the latest trends in commercial vehicle design such as cab-over-engine (COE) and wide profile tyres. It featured a new V12 engine and all military versions had a central tyre inflation/deflation system as standard equipment. The T813 was designed to tow loads up to 100 ton Gross Combination Mass, GCM and it was a familiar sight on the roads in Czechoslovakia hauling large often over-sized loads.

1982–2008 T815 and beyond

The Tatra 815 was designed for extreme off-road conditions, and its road versions are derived from the off-road original. After the 53rd session of the Comecon, Council for Mutual Economic Assistance, a directive was issued that Tatra N.P. would be the sole supplier of off-road commercial vehicles of <12 ton capacity for Eastern Bloc countries, leading to a modernization of the company and its production models. Following extensive testing at different sites, including Siberia, the type T815 was introduced in 1982 with production starting in 1983. The T815 was made of 142 main assembly components as opposed to the 219 main assembly components of its predecessor. The engine's power output was increased by up to 45% and a new COE tiltable cabin was introduced. Modular engine designs resulted in offerings of V8, V10 or V12 engines with or without turbocharger. T815 was upgraded to T815-2 with minor cosmetic changes and improved ergonomics and safety - the biggest change was the engine emissions accordance with the "Euro0" limits and to Euro 1 limits in 1993 (turbocharged V8 engine only since this time for the full legislation. As alternative was offered also the Deutz AG, Deutz 513 air-cooled V8 engine). The TerrNo1, a new model introduced in 1997, featured a redesigned cabin as well as better sound and heat insulation than the previous models. The TerrNo1 was based on the same frame as the previous models, so it's cabin could be retrofitted to all type T815s built since 1993. In 2000, the TerrNo1 cabin was again redesigned, and for the first time there was an option to fit liquid-cooled engines. The TerrNo1 model introduced the "KingFrame" rear axle suspension setup. Another step in evolution for the T3B engine came with the Euro 2 emission limits. Following further improvements in 2003, the T815 had the new Euro 3 T3C V8 engine mated to all new 14-speed range+split gearbox as well as an option for engines from other suppliers such as Caterpillar Inc, Caterpillar, Cummins, Detroit Diesel, Deutz AG, Deutz and MTU Friedrichshafen, MTU to be fitted. In September 2006, Tatra introduced its Euro 4 compliant turbocharged T3D engine with the Selective catalytic reduction, SCR exhaust technology and in February 2008 the company introduced the world's first Euro 5-compliant air-cooled diesel engine based on the T3D engine. The evolution of Tatra 815 would not be complete without mentioning its derivatives; the T816 (T815-6) Armax and Force series which were introduced in 1993 after Tatra participated in the tender process to supply heavy duty off-road trucks to the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces, UAE armed forces. After two years of bidding, the company was successful in securing a contract worth $180 million. The resulting model became known as T816 "LIWA" (Arabic language, Arabic for "desert"). The latest model intended for military customers is the T817 (T815-7), marketed primarily toward the armed services of NATO member countries as a high-mobility heavy-duty tactical truck with a low profile cabin for C-130 Hercules transportability. During the 1990s, Tatra decided to produce a bonneted CBE heavy duty off-road truck to continue the successful line started with the T111. This resulted in the Tatra 163, T163 Jamal, which was put into full production in 1999 after the first prototypes were built in 1997 and following extensive testing. The T163 was purpose-built to be a heavy duty dump truck due to demand, and was based on Tatra's signature backbone tube chassis construction with its cabin being designed by Jiří Španihel. The truck is used mainly on construction sites and in quarries. Tatra was also a successful bidder for the Military of the Czech Republic, Czech Army replacement of aging Praga V3S (with the Tatra I6 air-cooled engine – one half of the T111 V12 one) medium off-road truck with Tatra 810, T810 which technically is not a "genuine" Tatra as its origin goes back to when former Czech company ROSS, in partnership with Renault Trucks, obtained a contract to supply the army with medium size off-road trucks, the "ROSS R210 6×6". The company however went bankrupt in 1998 and Tatra bought full rights to the design, then modernized and reintroduced it as Tatra 810, T810 while continuing cooperation with Renault. Under the deal Renault supplies the cabins and the engines and Praga Hostivar, Praga supplied axles and transmissions for the prototypes; however, the whole project has been dogged by controversy due to the way Tatra had obtained the contract, its relationship with supplier Praga and the subsequent court case brought against it by Praga. The serial Tatra 810, T810 vehicles are equipped with the new design Tatra rigid axles with the Westinghouse Air Brake Company, WABCO disc brakes, with the ZF Friedrichshafen, ZF Ecolite transmission and Steyr drop box.

Navistar & Tatra

Tatra and Navistar Defence introduced at Eurosatory Exposition in Paris, France (Jun 14–18 2010), the results of their strategic alliance since October 2009, the models ATX6 (universal container carrier) and ATX8 (troop carrier). The vehicles appear to be based on Tatra 815-7 (T817) 6×6, 8×8 chassis, suspension and cabins while using Navistar engines and other components. Under the deal Navistar Defence and Tatra A.S. will market the vehicles in North America, which includes sales to the United States military and foreign military sales financed by the United States government. Tatra will source parts and components through Navistar's global parts and support network for Tatra trucks delivered in markets outside of North America as well as market Navistar-Tatra vehicles around the world in their primary markets.


The Terex Corporation, an American company, acquired the majority ownership (71%) of Tatra in late 2003. As of late 2006, however, majority ownership (80.51%) was in the hands of Tatra Holdings s.r.o., an international consortium comprising Vectra Limited of UK, Sam Eyde of the U.S., KBC Private Equity of Belgium, Meadowhill s.r.o. of Czech Republic and Ronald Adams of the U.S. On 15 December 2006, a contract was signed between Tatra and the Czech Republic for 556 trucks at roughly $130 million, or 2.6 billion Czech crowns. This contract was signed in lieu of replacement of older military vehicles. In April 2007, Tatra announced that it had already matched its production in 2006 and produced 1,600 vehicles. In 2007, Tatra planned to produce between 2,300 and 2,500 vehicles. In contrast to previous years, Tatra has increased employment by the hundreds within the past two quarters, has reversed previous errors, and was growing again. In August 2011, DAF Trucks announced it had built up a 19% stake in Tatra, which was to use DAF cabs and Paccar engines. DAF dealers were to sell Tatra off-road trucks. In March 2013, Tatra was sold in auction for 176 mil CZK (c. 7 mil euro) due to its debts to Truck Development company (renamed to Tatra Trucks) based in Ostrava, Czech Republic. Production continues. In 2013 Tatra sold 722 trucks, the most since 2008. Approximately two-thirds of units were exported. In 2016, Tatra increased production by 56% and sold 1326 vehicles, all produced vehicles were sold.

Current truck models

Tatra does not rely just on serial production, but also supplies even individual, highly specialized custom-made vehicles. The company also sells its own chassis. The current serial production models are: * Tatra 810 (Tactic) – army or civilian medium truck * Tatra 815-7 (Force) – army or civilian logistics vehicle * Tatra 815, Tatra TerrN°1 – civilian heavy truck * Tatra 158 Phoenix – civilian heavy truck (available in European emission standards, Euro 6) File:Brno, Autotec 2008, armádní Tatra.jpg, Tatra 810 File:Tatra-T815 780R59 PICT0028.jpg, Tatra 815-7 File:Tatra T815 TERRno2.JPG, Tatra 815, Tatra TerrN°1 File:Tatra-158-Phoenix-Euro6 M-Silnice-1099.jpg, Tatra 158 Phoenix


Tatra had a truck-building joint venture in India called Tatra Vectra Motors Ltd, formerly called Tatra Trucks India Ltd. It is a joint venture between Tatra and the Vectra Group from England. In 2009, Vectra Group, Vectra announced a new joint venture with Russia's Kamaz to form Kamaz Vectra Motors Limited to manufacture Kamaz trucks in India. This joint venture replaced the former Tatra Vectra venture. The manufacturing plant is located in Hosur, Tamil Nadu. The fully integrated manufacturing facility includes an engine assembly and testing plant, a cabin welding shop, a frame fabrication shop and a test track. Most Tatra trucks for sale in India are manufactured in collaboration with Bharat Earth Movers Limited. In 2002, the company received a 1,070 trucks order from the Government of India. Tatra's growing involvement in India's defense industry is often cited as an example of growing relations between Czech Republic and India. File:Know Your Army Jalandhar 2009-83.jpg, Tatra Recovery Vehicle of the Indian Army File:Tatra truck.jpg, A Tatra Truck at India Gate, New Delhi on India Republic Day on 26 January File:Smerch 30MM hemant rawat (11).jpg, Indian Army Tatra truck carrying BM-30 Smerch rocket


Reportedly following one of the Israeli-Arab conflicts, Israel tested some Tatras captured from the Egyptian armed forces. The Israel Defense Forces' command was apparently quite impressed with their performance, independent air cooling, and their capabilities as military trucks in long-range raiding operations in desert terrain, and became interested in including these trucks in their arsenal. As direct purchase from Czechoslovakia was impossible due to its alignment with Israeli foes, the lore has it that Israelis used the well-paid services of Nicolae Ceauşescu-led Romania, in cooperation with an American Company called ATC (American Truck Company) to purchase military trucks, including desert-equipped Tatras, leading to jokes that "Romania has a new desert". Current photos of various Israeli weapon systems, including SPYDER slated for India, show new Tatras as the carrier vehicles. A number of Tatra trucks entered service in the Israeli Army's various sectors, with the brand mark of "American Truck Company", under which Tatras were sold from the U.S. market and exported to Israel.

United States

''American Truck Company'' was a quasi-independent company set up by Terex, when they controlled Tatra, to import Tatra vehicles in both knock down kits or fully built and carry out assembly operations, repair and service, body building on chassis in the United States. These trucks were offered to the military and other government organizations and were badged and sold in the United States under the ATC brand. ATC badged Tatras were fitted with American Cummins turbodiesel engines in place of the Tatra's air-cooled diesel.

Tatra aircraft

The Ringhoffer-Tatra Works ltd. produced several aircraft and aero-engines in the 1930s and 1940s before annexation by Germany, and after under the orders of the Ministry of Aviation (Germany), RLM. Among the aircraft produced were the following:* Grey, C.G. & Bridgman, Leonard. Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1938. Sampson Low, Marston & company, ltd.. London. 1938-

Built under licence

* Avro 626, Tatra T.126 (Avro 626 Avian) * Bücker Bü 131, Tatra T.131 (Bücker Bü 131 Jungmann)

Tatra designed and built

* Tatra T.001 * Tatra T.002 * Tatra T.003 * Tatra T.101 * Tatra T.201 * Tatra T.301 ** Tatra T.401


Passenger cars

Before the company was renamed to Tatra

* Präsident, NW Präsident * NW A * NW B * NW C * NW D * NW E * NW Elektromobil * NW F * NW J * NW L * NW S * Tatra 20, NW T * Tatra 10, NW U

After the name Tatra was adopted

* Tatra 10 * Tatra 11 * Tatra 12 * Tatra 17 * Tatra 20 * Tatra 26 * Tatra 30 * Tatra 52 * Tatra 54 * Tatra 57: Tatra 57 A and Tatra 57 B * Tatra 70 * Tatra 75 * Tatra 77 * Tatra 77A * Tatra 80 * Tatra 87 * Tatra 97 * Tatra 600, Tatra 600 Tatraplan * Tatra 603 * Tatra 613 * Tatra 623 * Tatra 700


* NW First Truck * NW TL-2 * NW TL-4 * Tatra 13 * Tatra 22 * Tatra 23 * Tatra 24 * Tatra 25 * Tatra 26 * Tatra 27 * Tatra 28 * Tatra 29 * Tatra 43 * Tatra 49 * Tatra 52 * Tatra 72 * Tatra 74 * Tatra 79 * Tatra 81 * Tatra 82 * Tatra 85 * Tatra 92 * Tatra 92, Tatra 93 * Tatra 111 * Tatra 114 * Tatra 115 * Tatra 128 * Tatra 138 ** OT-64 SKOT Tatra engine powered Eight-wheel drive, 8×8 armored personnel carrier * Tatra 141 * Tatra 147 * Tatra 148 * Tatra 158, Tatra 158 ''Phoenix'' * Tatra 163, Tatra 163 ''Jamal'' * Tatra 700 (truck), Tatra 700 * Tatra 805 * Tatra 810, Tatra 810 ''ANTS'' * Tatra 813 ** RM-70 Eight-wheel drive, 8×8 armored multiple rocket launcher based on Tatra T813 * Tatra 815, Tatra 815, 815-2 and ''TerrNo1'' ** Tatrapan six-wheel drive, 6×6 Armored vehicle based on the Tatra 815 chassis. * Tatra 816 ** Armax Trucks 4×4, six-wheel drive, 6×6 and eight-wheel drive, 8×8 with air-cooled Tatra engines and transmissions by Tatra ** Force Special trucks with water-cooled engines and automatic transmissions * Tatra 817


* Tatra 24 * Tatra 27 * Tatra 43 * Tatra 72 * Tatra 114 * Tatra 500


* Tatra T86 (1936–38) * Tatra T400 (1949–55) * Tatra T401 (1958; only 1 built)

Prototypes and racing cars

* NW Rennzweier (1900) * Tatra 12, Tatra 12 Targa Florio (1925) * Tatra 30, Tatra 30 Sport (1926) * Tatra 84 (1935) * Tatra 90 (1935) * Tatra 600, Tatra 107 (1946) * Tatra 116, Tatra 116/117/120 (1948) * Tatra 118, Tatra 118/119/122 (1948) * Tatra 128, Tatra 130 (1951) * Tatra 128, Tatra 131 (1951) * Tatra 138, Tatra 137 (1956) * Tatra 815#History, Tatra 157 (1972) * Tatra 600, Tatra 201 (1947) * Tatra 600, Tatra 600 Diesel (1952) * Tatra 601, Tatra 601 Convertible (1951) * Tatra 601, Tatra 601 Monte Carlo (1949) * Tatra 602, Tatra 602 Tatraplan Sports * Tatra 603, Tatra 603 A (1964) * Tatra 603, Tatra 603 B5 (1966) * Tatra 603, Tatra 603 B6 (1967) * Tatra 603, Tatra 603 MB (1961) * Tatra 603, Tatra 603 Monte Carlo * Tatra 603, Tatra 603 X (1966) * Tatra 604 (1954) * Tatra 605 (1957) * Tatra 607 (1950) * Tatra 607, Tatra 607-2 (1953) * Tatra 625 (1986) * Tatra 803 (1950) * Tatra 804 (1951) * Tatra 805, Tatra 806 (1951) * Tatra 809 (1953) * Tatra Baghira (1973) * Tatra Delfín (1963) * Tatra JK 2500 (1956) * MTX Tatra V8 (1991) * Tatra 700, Tatra Prezident (1994) * Tatra V570 (1931) * Tatra V855 (1942) * Tatra 163, Tatra 163 Jamal Evo (2003)

Related development

* Volkswagen Beetle

Similar automobiles

* Chevrolet Corvair * Citroen DS * Porsche 356 * Renault Dauphine * Tucker Torpedo

See also

* List of automobile manufacturers * Paul Jaray * Hans Ledwinka * Julius Mackerle * Erich Übelacker * František Kardaus * Flat engine * V8 engine * Austro-Tatra * Škoda Auto * Avia * List of Czech automobiles



Tatra company profile, Retrieved 2008-11-29

Present Tatra military trucks (T810, T815, T816, T817)

* Grey, C.G. & Bridgman, Leonard. Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1938. Sampson Low, Marston & company, ltd.. London. 1938 * Willson, Quentin ''The Ultimate Classic Car Book''. New Your, New York: DK Publishing Inc., 1995. . Pages 214-215

Further reading

* * * ''Tatra Automobiles - Luxury Cars from Koprivnice 1920–1940'' by Miroslav Gomola, AGM publisher Czech republic

External links

Tatra Official site


Tatra India

Tatra and Tatraplan cars site

Tatra Cars Services

Tatra Portal - Biggest website about Tatra cars and Trucks

International Streamlined Tatra Site

Tatra Aircraft History

Tatra Museum

"Tatra’s Long Twilight Is Explored at a Tennessee Museum"
at NY Times, July 20, 2011

- history and pictures (English)

- history and pictures (English) {{DEFAULTSORT:Tatra (Company) Tatra (company), Czech brands Rear-engined vehicles Luxury motor vehicle manufacturers Motor vehicle manufacturers of Czechoslovakia Aircraft manufacturers of the Czech Republic and Czechoslovakia Aircraft engine manufacturers of the Czech Republic Truck manufacturers of the Czech Republic Trolleybus manufacturers Vehicle manufacturing companies established in 1850 Vehicle manufacturing companies established in 1897 Defence companies of the Czech Republic Bus manufacturers of the Czech Republic Diesel engine manufacturers