GAZ sees export opportunities in eastern European countries, Asia and Africa for its new Next truck

GAZ sees export opportunities in eastern European countries, Asia and Africa for its new Next truck

GAZ Group's Gorky automobile plant has begun production of a new, medium-duty truck called the GAZon Next.

Russian president Vladimir Putin together joined parent company Basic Element's supervisory board chief Oleg Deripaska and GAZ Group president Vadim Sorokin to announce the launch through a televised session with plant workers.

The Next is the third GAZ vehicle released in 2014 after a 19-seat bus and a double-row cargo and passenger 'combi' version of GAZelle's Next light commercial vehicle. An off-roader will be released in 2015.

Total spend for developing the new truck line was US$60m.

The Next is built using systems and components from leading suppliers: ZF steering, Tenneco shock absorbers, Wabco braking, CSA Castellon adjustable steering column, ZF clutch, Takata safety belts and Delphi HVAC. The engine is a 149hp YMZ-534 diesel.

Payload is five tonnes, 500 kg more compared to previous GAZ models.

Load area is up 20% and load volume (under canopy) 42%. The wider cargo platform can hold nine (standard wheelbase) or 12 (long-wheelbase) standard cargo pallets in one layer compared with 6/10 pallets in older models. The double-row cabin has seven seats while the single-row model can accommodate three.

The truck has modernised front and rear suspension and new hydraulic power steering. Anti-lock brakes and an anti-slip system improve safety and manoeuvrability.

To make the Next, the GAZ auto plant has upgraded facilities including new welding lines and over 100 moulding tools.

GAZ sees strong export potential, particularly to eastern European countries, Asia and Africa.