Popular Post kscarbel2 Posted June 13, 2016 Popular Post Share Posted June 13, 2016 At the same time that Mack Trucks was achieving major sales success in Europe, the Middle East and Iran, the opening up of the Soviet Union presented a major opportunity for the company. And in June 1971, legendary Mack Trucks President and CEO Zenon C.R. Hansen made national news when he announced the biggest truck deal in history. Zenon had negotiated a tentative US$725 million agreement with the Soviet Union to help in equipping the world’s largest truck factory, the Kama River Complex. Construction on the facility had already begun, on December 13, 1969. Under the agreement, Mack Trucks and other U.S. companies would supply machinery and technology valued at US$700 million to the new plant, plus 100 Mack off-highway M-Series mining trucks valued at US$25 million. To elaborate, Mack was being contracted to design the plant, decide on systems operations and equipment, arrange for procurement and provide production assistance. President Richard M. Nixon in 1971 had launched his détente campaign, seeking to ease tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States by normalizing diplomatic relations and increasing trade. The deal initially had the Nixon Adminstration’s full backing. But conservatives against the deal caused Nixon to worry about his upcoming re-election campaign. Zenon Hansen argued that trading was the best way to improve relations. Both Zenon and Nixon saw the deal as a vast opportunity that could lead to many other things. Sadly, the visionaries lost to the political tides anchored in the past, and the cold war went on for another 20 years. Summary The Kama River (KamAZ) truck plant was built. The project was financed by Chase Manhattan Bank and U.S. government loans. The modern plant, automated by IBM model 370 computers, was built to produce 150,000 trucks and 250,000 diesel engines annually. Awarded Contracts: Principal engineering contractor - Swindell-Dressler Co. (Pittsburgh, PA) - $50 million C.E. Cast Equipment (Cleveland, OH) - $35 million Holcroft & Co. (Livonia, MI) - $20 million Ingersoll-Rand (Rockford, IL) - $20 million National Engineering Co. (Chicago, IL) - $15 million Other KamAZ plant equipment suppliers: Ex-Cello (U.S.A.) Hueller-Hille (West Germany) Liebherr (West Germany) Morando (Italy) Fata (Italy) Renault (France) Sandvik (Sweden) Komatsu (Japan) Hitachi (Japan) The irony of the event is, while politics prevented Mack Trucks from cooperating with Russia on the huge KamAZ truck plant project, many other U.S. companies were in the end allowed to participate, bringing them vast profits while giving the Russians their first state-of-the-art commercial truck production facility. Despite the defense department’s desire not to supply Russia with modern truck technology (Mack or other) and improve their truck production capability, the project went ahead anyway financed by Chase Manhattan Bank and U.S. government loans. KamAZ was up and running in 1976, building civilian and military trucks. . 3 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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