The brand “Balkancar” appears at the end of the 60s of the last century. Its reserved logo however caused an international litigation. After Bulgaria began to export trucks for the West, it appeared that a Belgian company, trading on the international market, has registered a nearly identical trademark. The case was taken to court, as the foreign company was trying to force “Balkancar” to change its logo. Balkancar however managed to prove that its logo is different from that of the Belgian company.
The structure “Balkancar” included not only the five assembly factories, but also branches where a huge variety of parts were manufactured for the purposes of the industry. At the end of the 80s already had 39 branches – 31 of them in the country and 8 abroad. The factories produced not only forklifts and electric trucks, but also buses, cars, bikes, etc.
In 1978 Bulgaria even reached and kept for many years the world’s top position in total volume of production and export of trucks – about 89 000 pcs. In 1988 Bulgaria was the biggest manufacturer – with one fifth of the world’s electric trucks and forklifts production. From 1981 to 1990, about 90% of this production has been exported.
Of all the 70 000-75 000 machines, about 60 000 units went to the USSR, 5 000-6 000 – to the German Democratic Republic (GDR), and to the so called “second direction” countries (outside CMEA) – 4 500 units per year. Trucks were exported to UK, France, Spain, Italy, the Federal Republic of Germany (FRG), Egypt, Singapore, etc. In exchange for the export to CMEA countries, Bulgaria got the oil, gas and metals at lower prices.
Besides nearly 40 factories in the country, “Balkancar” started a cooperative production of trucks in different parts of the world – China, Iran, Cuba, DPRK, Turkey, Algeria, Yugoslavia, Nigeria. At the end of the 80s its production worth reached 1,4 milliard rubles and became one of the leading companies in our country, along with “IZOT” (for electronics), “Bulgarplod”, “Bulgartabac” and others.
1987, however, marked the beginning of the end for “Balkancar.” Of its structures were removed and closed the factories which were responsible for the production of forklift parts.This distorted the process of supplying the necessary parts and caused late deliveries and low quality performance. This is why the production of trucks gradually decreased, until in the early 90s went down to only 2 000-3 000 units per year.