the long road to integration
July 24th, 2000


the awakening giant of Europe

Mrs. Gabriela Radu,

Read our exclusive interview.


Mrs. Gabriela Radu,
General Manger of ROCAR S.A.

Str. Ostrov 3-5, sector 5
PO Box 7-74
Phone : 40 1 337 28 60
Fax : 40 1 337 28 62
e-mail ROCAR:
web site ROCAR:

AD_Rocar.jpg (18347 octets)

Company profile


Buses and trolley buses

Type of Products:

Crt. No. Product Name Technical Data
City buses
1. U 112 improved city bus
-independent suspension
-27+78+1 passengers
-engine: D 2156 HM 81 U - 192 HP; between the axles
-mechanical gear box, 4 + 1 gears
-top speed: 71 km/h
2. U 312 rigid front axle city bus

-rigid front axle

-25+78+1 passengers

-engine: RABA D 10 UTS - 245 HP - Euro 2; between the axles

-automatic transmission, VOITH DIWA D863.1; 3 + 1 gears

-top speed: 67 km/h
3. U 412 city bus with DE SIMON type body
-rigid front axle
-25+75+1 passengers
-engine: MAN D 0826 LUH 13 - 260 HP - Euro 2;
located in rear hang
-automatic transmission, VOITH DIWA D851.2; 3 + 1 gears
-top speed: 75 km/h
4. U 117 articulated city bus
-42+102+1 passengers
-engine: D 2156 HM 81 U - 192 HP
-engine: D 2156 MT 81 U - 240 HP
-mechanical gear box, 4 + 1 gears
-top speed: 71 km/h
Intercity buses & coaches
5. I & T 111 improved intercity buses & coaches
-43+(27 for I 111)+1 seats
-engine: D 2156 HM 81 U - 192 HP - I 111 only
-engine: D 2156 MT 85 U - 240 HP
-engine: D 2156 MTN 8 - 256 HP
-mechanical gear box, 5 + 1 gears
-top speed: 110 km/h
6. I & T 311 improved intercity buses & coaches, powered by home and foreign engines - Euro 1 & 2
-43+1 seats
-engine: MERCEDES OM 442 A - 340 HP
-mechanical gear box, 6 + 1 gears
-top speed: 110 km/h
7. E 212 single trolleybus with logical control unit
-28+64+1 passengers
-motor: TN 76 - 125 kW
-top speed: 60 km/h
8. E 312 single trolleybus with chopper
-26+69+1 passengers
-motor: TN 76 - 125 kW
-top speed: 60 km/h
9. E 412 single trolleybus with chopper, traction motor located in overhang
-25+68+1 passengers
-motor: TN 96R - 150 kW
-top speed: 60 km/h
10. E 512 single trolleybus with chopper, traction motor located in overhang
-20+68+1 passengers
-motor: TN 76 - 125 kW
-top speed: 60 km/h
11. E 217 articulated trolleybus
-39+117+1 passengers
-motor: TN 81 - 175 kW
-top speed: 60 km/h
Light commercial vehicles

33 F, M, C,
A, FA, S
F-vans / M-minibuses / C-pick-ups / A-chassis /
FA-workshop vans / S-ambulances
-g.v.w.: 3350 kg / payload: 1200 1400 kg
-10 14+1 seats - for minibuses
-engine options:
-engine: D 127 - 68 HP - Diesel
-engine: ARO L 25 - 83 HP - gasoline
-mechanical gear box, 4 or 5 + 1 gears
-traction options: 4 x 2 and 4 x 4
-top speed: 90 100 km/h

40 F, M, C,
A, I, CD
F-vans / M-minibus / C-pick-ups / A-chassis / I- frigorific
vehicles / CD-double cab pick-ups
-g.v.w.: 4000 kg / payload: 1200 1800 kg
-10 14+1 seats - for minibuses
-engine options:
-engine: D 127 - 68 HP - Diesel
-engine: ANDORIA - 90 HP - Diesel - Euro 2
-engine: RENAULT - 106 HP - Diesel - Euro 2
-mechanical gear box, 4 or 5 + 1 gears
-rear axle with twin wheels
-top speed: 100 110 km/h

#Technical data in this document should be regarded as approximative.

#Technical data are subject to be changed withouth prior notice.


Interview with
Mrs. Gabriela Radu,

General Manger of ROCAR S.A.

Question: Mrs. Radu, could you give to our readers a brief historical background of your company, as well as your professional experience?

Answer: Our company, ROCAR, is a manufacturer of buses, trolley cars and other vehicles. The company was created in two stages between 1951 and 1974. In 1951 the first production line was made for rolling-stock equipment and after that, in 1953, there were added other manufacturing units for a new program including agricultural machines. The actual profile of ROCAR was in fact established in 1956 when the first bus was built on a truck frame. In 1957 the production program was enlarged also for trolley cars, mini-buses and pick-ups made after the own design of ROCAR.
In 1971, to vary the production of buses, we bought a license from MAN, Germany, this being the first stage of modernization for our company. The production activities are carried on in the next sections: cutting-pressing, soldering, metal protection and painting, final assemblage and technical quality control tests. Besides these facilities, ROCAR also has auxiliary facilities as a spare part shop, a testing team, a maintenance and repair workshop and other facilities. Also, we can tell you that it is really remarkable that the greatest part of vehicles made by our company is built up having ROCAR own conception. Beginning with 1968 ROCAR exports a lot of its vehicles in Eastern Europe, Africa, South America and Middle East. After 1990 we had some difficulties meaning a decrease of the production of ROCAR, but beginning with 1996 ROCAR began to rise its production. We can tell you that because we made a new type of bus, a very high-tech bus, made in cooperation with a body bus builder from Italy, DeSimon, having also ecological engines from MAN. In 1997 the society had a restructuring program to rise the profit and the efficiency of the company.

Q: What were the financial resources of last year, in term of turnover?

A: Last year the total turnover was of about 35 million US $.

Q: And about your professional experience?

A: I graduated the Economical Studies Academy, I worked as an economist here for 20 years, first I worked only as an economist, after that I was the director of the financial department, than economical assistant-director, for four years I was financial director and from one year ago I’m General Manager of ROCAR.

Q: Which are the market shares of your company on different market segments, I mean bus, trolley, and vans?

A: We are the only manufacturer in Romania for buses, trolley-cars and vans and I think we have about 75 % of the internal market, because in the last period of time there were some imports of vehicles, especially second-hand ones.

Q: Does it affect your business?

A: Both yes and no,

Q: You have talked about modernization, restructuring of your company, but what are the main aspects of your strategy?

A: The main aspects involved new technology and the manufacturing of high-tech products for our market and also for export.

Q: You have talked about some partners, like the Italian one, but do you have other partners?

A: Yes, we are having discussions with the DAF company, with a Swiss company, HESS, an aluminum body manufacturer, a company with a lot of enterprises in Australia, New Zealand, even in Africa.

Q: On which market are you exporting buses and trolleys?

A: Last year we exported in Cameroon and also in Ukraine.

Q: Do you think that your company has the potential to attract foreign investors?

A: Yes, this company must have this potential because the Romanian market is a very good market for these products, the demand is around 3000 buses per year and at least 5000-8000 vans every year. We hope that, through what is happening now in Romania, in the near future the money needed for buying these products will be available.

Q: Do you think that, with some new technology and capital, you would develop the exports a little more? Do you think there are lots of interesting markets and are you thinking about new markets for exports?

A: I’m sure that if we acquire new technology we can win the Eastern Europe markets, I’m talking about Russia and Ukraine.

Q: What about competitors in those countries? I guess you know them.

A: Of course, we know them very well. Near us it’s IKARUS from Hungary, there is also SKODA from the Czech Republic.

Q: What do you think there are your advantages comparing with those companies? What does your company have to offer?

A: A cheaper products and with a high quality.

Q: Our readers are interested in new business opportunities. In which areas of your activity are you interested in attracting foreign investments?

A: I think that the portfolio investments are the most important. We don’t need a strategically investor. The people who will invest the money will have big profits because it’s a big market in Romania.

Q: So, you are not interested in technology investments?

A: But of course. If an investor will come with money, this is where we will use this money, for new technologies, for a new project.

Q: As we say in the United States, contacts mean often contracts. What will you do to encourage this kind of contacts?

A: We are trying to make a good marketing for our products, we are trying also to go to all the tenders and we try principally to improve the quality of our products.

Q: It seems that since you have been the General Manager of this company the profit of your company has increased and you recuperated a little of what was in 1968, when the company was doing so well. Am I correct?

A: Yes that's true. Last year, through this restructuring program the company recovered a little and we even won an international tender for RATB (The Transportation Company of Bucharest).

Q: We would say that this was the secret of the improvement of the company.

A: We cannot say secret. It was something very necessary for the company. This is a big company that had 3800 employees and since the end of last year it has 2400. This restructuring program was necessary due to the decreasing of the production and, in my opinion, this should have been done a least 4 or 5 years ago. But, until 1996 it was another political regime in Romania and we couldn’t do this.

Q: Yes, but it seems that right now the company is on a very good track.

A: Yes, and we want to continue on this track.

Q: Your company is also a candidate for privatization. Is it for this year?

A: Yes, our company is on the privatization list for 1998.

Q: I would like to ask you a more global question. How confident are you for your country, for Romania?

A: I’m very confident and I believe in reform, a very important thing and I also believe in the transformation program, which is happening now in Romania.

Q: As a more personal issue, what has been your most satisfying personal achievement since you are being General Manger of ROCAR?

A: The fact that we managed to deliver the buses in our contract with RATB at the stipulated terms. We practically changed the image of the company. Now everybody knows that at ROCAR there are made competitive buses with a high quality and that means a lot for us.

Q: As a final issue, what will be your final message to our readers?

A: To come in Romania with a lot of confidence and to be sure that they will not loose, they will gain.

  Read on  

© World INvestment NEws, 1998.
This is the electronic edition of the special country report on Romania published in FORBES Magazine's enriched with complementary information, such as full interviews, detailed company files and more.
June 1 st 1998 issue
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