Kazan to attract 100 tourist buses for Games of the Future participants
Kazan will not inherit new equipment from the upcoming Games of the Future international multisport tournament, which is held in the Tatarstan capital in February 2024. As the Directorate of Sports and Social Projects ANO reported Realnoe Vremya, the republic is preparing to announce a competition to attract 100 large-capacity tourist buses among Tatarstan carriers. “This is not a procurement, but the attraction of existing equipment," the organisers of the tournament clarified. Anyway, it would still be extremely difficult to buy such a number of buses now — Kamaz NEFAZ has stopped accepting applications for this year, and the delivery time of the Chinese Yutong has increased to 4 months, according to car dealers.
Big forums don't help anymore?
Kazan, which won the right to host the Games of the Future international tournament in 2024, never had a chance to upgrade the bus fleet as the host of the competition. The organising committee of the forum decided to dispense with the purchase of a batch of new buses, intending to use the existing stock of carriers.
“As part of the transport service of the Games of the Future events, the organisers plan to attract tourist buses with a large capacity of up to 100 units. It is planned to attract the buses with the help of carriers of the Republic of Tatarstan on the basis of competitive procedures. The technical specification documentation is still under developemnt. The competition is scheduled to be announced before December 1 of this year. The amounts of the contracts are not disclosed. It is worth emphasising that this is not a purchase, but the attraction of existing stock of large-capacity tourist buses, 40-50 seats, class no lower than Euro 4, no older than 2017," Kirill Lavrenov, a representative of the organising committee, told Realnoe Vremya.
In addition, buses must be equipped with video recorders, GLONASS sensors. The tender itself is planned to be announced in early December of this year, the interlocutor of the publication said.
The well-known Kazan carrier Burevestnik and Alteco freight forwarding company “fall under the specified technical characteristics”. What expenses are laid down for the provision of bus rental services, as well as from what sources their payment will take place, is not specified. “When it comes to city buses, the state should purchase exclusively domestic equipment. There is no such thing in the tourist direction, so dealers of different brands can be admitted to the competition. If we are not talking about city transportation, then there are no restrictions on foreign equipment," one of the Moscow companies suggested.
On the eve of the preparation of the tender, Deputy Minister of Transport of the Republic of Tatarstan Ayrat Sadykov held an extended meeting on transport support for the Games of the Future 2024 tournament last Friday. “Questions were raised about how the Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Tatarstan would assist in the transportation of guests and participants at this event," the Directorate of the Regional Automated Information Management System of the Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Tatarstan reported. The head of the directorate, Rustem Minvaleev, who was reached by the correspondent of Realnoe Vremya, declined to comment, forwarding the appeal to the Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Tatarstan. And Deputy Minister of Transport of the Republic of Tatarstan Ayrat Sadykov himself left after the meeting for Kazan Expo, and since Monday he has been on vacation, his reception told Realnoe Vremya. The email request remained unanswered.
Rent for 9 days
The Games of the Future 2024 are going to be the first world-class spectacular event after a series of cancelled international tournaments. It is believed that Kazan has taken revenge for the sports competitions lost due to sanctions. First, the World Winter Games of the 2022 Special Olympics were cancelled, then the XVI FINA World Swimming Championships, and the activities of the International Aquatics Development Centre were suspended. “As a result of the cancellation of the World Games, the directorate terminated the partnership agreements," the report of the Directorate of Sports and Social Projects says.
Kazan's victory for the right to host the Games of the Future was announced at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum in June 2022. The ceremony was attended by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Chernyshenko, Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin, and Aide to the President of the Russian Federation Igor Levitin. “The main thing is that Kazan has a ready-made infrastructure. The second is the experience of the organisers. The third is the desire of the city," Chernyshenko explained the advantages.
The tournament is held from February 23 to March 3, 2024. Over 2,000 people from 256 countries are going to compete in two formats — on a real sports field and in a virtual championship. In total, about 5 thousand participants and guests are expected.
Buses will be involved in transportation between the eight facilities that were originally specified in the application. Among them — Kazan Expo as the main venue and the sports facilities Tatneft Arena and Ak Bars Arena, Ak Bars Martial Arts Arena, Olymp sports complex. IT competitions will be held in Innopolis and in two Kazan IT parks. It turns out that for nine days buses will run around the city centre and take participants to the suburbs.
But if the organisers had decided to purchase new buses, the costs would have been approximately 200 million rubles. According to Moscow car dealers, now the cost of one large-capacity bus starts from 17 million rubles. By the way, the total budget of the competition is approved within 5 billion rubles, the federal media reported.
The organisers do not specify whether there were real plans for the purchase of buses. But as the host of international tournaments, Kazan, as a rule, enjoyed their legacy. For example, after the Universiade 2013, the city received a batch of Hyundai Universe Luxury buses, which were transferred to transport companies of Tatarstan. The first 25 Hyundai Universe Luxury buses were received by Zelenodolsk PATP, Burevestnik PLC, and Nizhnekamsk PATP-1 OJSC.
Regions buy small buses
In general, purchases of large-capacity buses can hardly be called massive. Kamaz NEFAZ and Naberezhnye Chelny Lotos operate in this niche, but their sales volumes lag behind the pace of sales of medium and small-capacity buses. Over 40% of the bus market is accounted for by medium and small-capacity buses of the domestic PAZ brand. For example, last month the sales volume of new cars amounted to 465 units, it follows from the data of Autostat agency: “In July, the sales volume of new PAZ vehicles amounted to 465 units, followed by Chinese Yutong (248 units) and domestic Volgabus (72 units). Russian NEFAZ (67 units; 4,8-fold growth) and Belarusian MAZ (43 units; -79%) round out the top 5. In just 7 months of 2023, 9,639 units of bus equipment were sold.” Some regions have already announced that they are going to buy medium-capacity buses as part of treasury loans.
“In fact, the choice of the state customer is small: between China and Russia. The rest of the automakers have left the Russian market," says Nikita Gudkov, the deputy editor-in-chief of Za Rulem magazine. “This niche is actively occupied by the Chinese.”
The requirements for buses vary between regions. For example, in Moscow one can only buy cars of domestic production, here one buy KAMAZ products. If foreign suppliers are allowed to participate in the tender, it will be Chinese buses. “Do not forget about the Belarusian MAZ, which has a wide range of buses of different classes," the source said.
The contract system of public procurement is set to manual mode, according to Vladimir Buev, the director general of the National Institute for System Studies of Entrepreneurship Problems. “Previously, there were no restrictions on the participation of foreign companies, but now there is a common political guideline. China is a friendly country, so the Chinese can participate in public procurement," he assures.
Come back next year
Meanwhile, Russian automakers are experiencing difficulties with the production of vehicles, and the delivery time has increased to 4 months, Moscow dealers say.
“Today I order, tomorrow I receive — there is no such thing anymore. KAMAZ has stopped accepting new orders this year," says the manager of a large dealer company in Moscow.
According to him, the Naberezhnye Chelny auto giant has contracted production volumes for 2023, so new orders are postponed to next year. “Everyone has difficulties with supplies. The terms have increased to 4-5 months," the sellers claim.
The minimum retail price of a semi-low-floor NEFAZ with a capacity of up to 98 people is 13 million rubles. But with tender purchases, the price increases by 10-15% to the base one. The costs of a bank guarantee, deferred payment, and delivery are added. As a result, the price will rise to 17-20 million rubles.
The capacity of Chinese buses is less — up to 85 seats. But they are more expensive than KAMAZ ones, because they are tied to the yuan exchange rate. At the moment, the price is 16-17 million rubles. Delivery time is 4-4,5 months. “The delivery time has remained the same, from 100 to 130 days, depending on the type of fuel of the vehicle and the time of year," according to the Kazan automobile centre Bus — Center Capital (official dealer of Yutong in Kazan). Dealers do not undertake to predict how the price will change next year.