Tatra is one of the oldest automobile plants in the world. It produces passenger cars, trucks, diesel and electric locomotives and engineering equipment. At present time production of passenger cars is terminated.
History of company begins in Junie 1850 when craftsman named Ignaz Sustala with two apprentices has opened carriage shop in the house of rural administration. Later they had organized production of more difficult carriages with different bodies. The first plant premises were constructed in 1853. As a result, in 1858 was founded В«Sustala & CoВ». After construction of Studenka-Shtramberck railway appeared new opportunities for market expansion. Enterprising Sustala begun construction of building for rail cars production and in 1882 first 15 items were produced. The idea of horseless crew production in KopЕ™ivnice belongs to motorization promoter baron Theodor von Libing. It was him who in 1897 recommended to Karl Benz to sale one of his newest two-cylinder engines of 7 hp capacity. It was the heart of the first Presedent car released in the summer of that year. This car was based on self-made Milord carriage. But, despite the growing popularity of cars, train cars still remains the main product of I. Sustala's company and they are exported to many countries around the world.
Cars of KopЕ™ivniceвЂ™s production became more popular and gained general recognition. In 1898 I Sustala assembled the first truck with loading capacity of 2.5 tons. This truck was equipped with two Benz's engines. At present days such car should be called as cabover car. Track construction with power units mounted under cargo bed seemed to be modern at present days. Growing demand in cars and trucks caused company's refocusing and change of brand. Since 1920 Tatra brand became famous all over the world. Turning point of KopЕ™ivnice's cars concept came in early 20-ies after employment of genius constructor named Hans Ledvinka. In 1923 he has designed and assembled small passenger car Tatra 11 equipped with air-cooled 2-cylinder opposite engine, oscillating axle shafts and tubing frame. Engine and gear box as well as rear axle with main gear are rigidly attached to flanges. Almost for 80 years all Tatra cars have been designed according this scheme.
History of rear-engine cars has finished in late 90-ies by release of luxury Рў 700 limousine called as "Czech Rolls-Royce". Decision on passenger cars abandonment can not be considered as company's crisis because its activity is focused in production of heavy vehicles.
Now Tatra continues to improve design of cars and expand its production. Production plan of the company includes 4 lines of heavy cross-country vehicles. Two of them include general purpose vehicles and other ones are special purpose vehicles for army and for operation under heavy climatic conditions.