The Czech tram manufacturer Inekon has won a tender to sell trams to the US city of Detroit. The deal, worth 30 million crowns (roughly 652 USD), involves shipping three sets of trams to Detroit by the end of the third quarter of 2016, the server E15.cz reported this week, citing the company’s head of foreign sales Milan Haloun. The company is now seeking to secure bank guarantees.
Czech trams manufactured by the Inekon Group, whose tram construction division is based in the North Moravian city of Ostrava, are already running in four US cities, namely Seattle, Portland, Tacoma and Washington DC. All of them are the same sort of low-floor two-way trams which are to be seen in the Moravian cities of Ostrava and Olomouc. Inekon trams are also running in several cities in Austria.
In July of this year, Inekon Group signed a deal with the Chinese state-owned enterprise China Railway Signal & Communication Corporation, who bought a majority stake of 51 percent in the Inekon Group from its founder Josef Hušek, bolstering its position on the Chinese market. In addition to providing tram parts to the Chinese state-owned enterprise China Railway it will provide know-how at a new production facility just built.
Inekon originally started out as a provider and partner for Plzeň’s Škoda Transport. The two companies eventually broke up and became competitors, with Škoda going on to develop its own tram and gaining a dominant position in the capital and other Czech cities. The Inekon Group last year posted revenue of 192 million crowns and net profit amounting to 6.3 million.