Roman sells trucks to US Army

Ioan Neculaie, the main shareholder and manager of Roman Brasov says that half of the entire 2006 production was acquired by the US Army for use in Iraq, quoted by

"We estimate orders for the United States Army worth more than 70 million dollars (51 million euros) alone this year. The contract to supply these trucks was initially won in December 2005. In 2006, deliveries to USA amounted to almost 75 million dollars (55 million euros), while the value of our total production amounted to 100 million dollars (73 million euros)," states Ioan Neculaie.

Neculaie took over the assets of Roman Brasov in 2004, when the plant did not have any employees left. At present, the company employs a staff of 3,000, and last year posted a business worth 74 million euros.

Apart from Romania, the other main market for Roman Brasov has been Asia. Neculaie explains that integration into the EU is proving more difficult because of the already strong presence of other major groups operating in the same business.

So far, Roman has made the bulk of its truck and specialist vehicle sales to the Middle and Far East.

"This year alone, the company delivered 23 fire engines to the US Army in Iraq, in addition to more than 550 tractor head units, tipper lorries, water and fuel tankers, which were delivered last year."

The company has also sold trucks and special vehicles to Iraq, Senegal, Malaysia, Syria, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Kuwait.

Roman also sells to the Romanian Ministry of Defence. Company officials say it has sold five buses to the military, while the aircraft and component maker Aerostar Bacau has bought 17 special vehicles (cranes).

Even though it did not participate in the tender to supply buses to RATB (public transport company) in Bucharest, Roman Brasov has supplied buses to other public transport companies in Romania.

Although Roman originally intended to only manufacture trucks and special vehicles, in 2005 the company started to design buses, whose certification has been recently completed.

Sales estimated for this year amount to 800 buses based on firm contracts. The plant in Brasov sold 198 trucks and 25 buses in the first five months of the year.

Roman Brasov will participate in a tender to deliver 11,000 trucks to the Romanian military, along with manufacturers like Mercedes Benz and Iveco.

"We are now participating in a tender for 420 trucks that the US Army wants to buy. The average price is 220,000 dollars (160,000 euros) per military truck," Neculaie added.

The value of the 140 trucks, which are scheduled for delivery within the first year, exceeds 30 million dollars.

The majority shareholder of Roman Brasov is Pro Roman S.A., which owns over 91%, while the State Assets Resolution Authority (AVAS) owns 3.1% and the remaining 5.52% are held by individuals.

In 2005, the net losses Roman posted stood at 14.1 million RON (4.5 million euros), while the turnover amounted to 67.5 million RON (21.5 million euros). In 2006, Roman Brasov posted a turnover of 251.86 million RON (71.55m euros) and a net profit worth 104,262 RON (33,316 euros).

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