If somebody would tell you that the owners of Bukhanke, including the most inexpensive versions for 793 thousand rubles, are full of joy from possession of this iron box, don’t believe me: all illusions from self-calming conversations from a category “may it be conventional, but it is reliable and military-like” disappear not even after the first breakdown, which happens predictably quickly, but at unpredictable moment, but after the inspection of just received car – directly at a dealer. And here is where many who have paid a seemingly small amount of money, the question arises, why was it necessary to chase this low price, was it not logical to add your own or borrowed funds, so that the next few years life did not seem painted in khaki colors?
Full-blown enlightenment, again, comes with the first breakdown, but even a superficial inspection is enough to make the happiness of the purchase quickly fade away. So, what does the buyer see? Door handle panels, screwed on self-tapping screws from outside, rubber heater connectors, leaded directly to the interior and lying on the engine cover, wires, hanging here and there, disgraceful quality of welds and electrodes left after welding, badly docked parts.
All this was good for staff and ambulance army vehicles of the late 50’s, but alas, has survived to the present day. Recall that the “Bukhanka” under the name UAZ-450 was born in 1958 at once in three versions – as a sanitary and commercial van and as a version with a cargo platform. It’s hard to believe, but that car was even more unsuccessful than the current one, so immediately after its release they started making a new one. And it is this “new”, model of 1965, that we still use. Even though the car has undergone a fair amount of upgrades, but in essence it has remained the same UAZ-452. When “Bukhanka” bought by individuals for hunting farms, active travel on impassable mud – it is understandable: “the car is not sorry”, but you’ll be surprised – very often it is chosen and businessmen to transport goods for every day. For the most part it is on the periphery, where the motivation “better cheaper, and we’ll see there” or “support the domestic manufacturer” is still in circulation. Let’s see what is the exploitation of the Bukhanka, what the owners have to deal with and what is domestic in it. For comparison, take the commercial van Peugeot Expert, which is produced in our plant in Kaluga. It seems that with the price starting at 1,769,000 roubles, that is 2.2 times higher than the Bukhanka, it has no chance? We thought so too…
Don’t you feel sorry for the driver?
So, we are not going to hit the “Bukhanka” on its weak points – it is clear that the level of noise, ergonomics and vibrations will not add to the health of its driver. It is clear that the level of noise, ergonomics and vibrations will not make its driver any healthier. We shall mention only some positions: the “Bukhanka” does not provide for the steering wheel adjustment at all, the Peugeot Expert has a column adjustable both in pitch and in tilt angle. It will be a surprise for many people to know, that “modern Bukhanka” is not equipped with such usual and obligatory option, as antilock brake system, to be exact, it is available only on the “Autobus” version. There could be heard the remarks of the witsayers, saying that it would not help the driver of the “Bukhanka” in case of emergency. It is a mistake: the ABS as an element of active safety, that is the system, which allows preventing accidents, could help much, because the product of Ulyanovsk plant is not so good with passive safety. In the sixties of the last century, not only the engineers of UAZ, but also the designers of the world companies did not provide for programmable safety zones, not to mention the fact that on a frame vehicle to make it in principle impossible.
Here we move on to the Peugeot Expert: such vans have long ago moved from the frame to the load-bearing body: it is simpler, lighter, stiffer and, most importantly, many times safer. Actually, the base of the Expert design is the elements of the EMP2 platform, which all present passenger cars Peugeot-Citroen are based on. By the way, the “Frenchman” is equipped not only with ABS, but also with the system of the dynamic stability control (ESP) – for understandable reasons it will never appear on the “Bukhanka”, as well as the front airbags – there is simply no place to put them.
But let’s assume that the business owner does not feel sorry for his own driver in the Bukhanka – it’s time to remember the patriotic factor, which for many customers carries weight: it is believed that the Bukhanka is the flesh of the product of the domestic industry. No, it is not: the UAZ has long been not as “domestic” as it seems at first glance. Even a few years ago the official figure for localization of models, which was provided by the press service of the plant, was less than 80%. Specifically, the Bukhanka has foreign gearbox. Not just foreign, but Chinese – from Baic company. It comes from China, they don’t make it in Russia. Why is this so? The management of UAZ felt that their own engineers were not capable of designing a five-speed gearbox.
And what about the Peugeot Expert van? It turns out that it is no less Russian than the Bukhanka. It is assembled in Kaluga, by the CKD-2 method, and though the body is welded by hand, there is no crookedness in the finished product, and the quality of the welds is OK. The Kaluga plant adopted a very original method: the automation positions the two parts to be welded and the operator only works with the welding tongs, while the subsequent selective inspection of the welds is performed. On the one hand, this keeps people busy and, on the other hand, ensures the same accuracy and quality of welding as in automatic lines. We are not going to describe all the Russian components of the Expert van, we will only specify that Peugeot-Citroen has already started preparations for the production of the 1.6-litre diesel engine. And now let’s try to understand, what is more profitable for a salesman in the long term of the vehicle exploitation, say, seven years: the cheap Bukhanka or the expensive Russian “foreigner”. The “Bukhanka” is equipped with only one motor – gasoline 2.7-liter ZMZ-40911.10 with 112 hp and torque of 198 Nm, under the hood of “French” is one of two engines: 1.6 HDi (90 hp and 215 Nm) or 2.0 HDi (150 hp and 370 Nm). We repeat: the price for the “Bukhanka” is 793 000 roubles, for the Peugeot Expert L2 H1 van with a base diesel engine – 1 769 000 roubles, for the 2,0 liters modification – 1 869 000 roubles.
We consulted with the owners of small logistics companies and branches of retail chains in large cities. Why exactly with them? The point is that their vehicles are used every day, just as a commercial vehicle should be used by a good owner. We have defined, that on the average mileage of such van – larger than a “heel”, but less than a “Gazelle” – is about 30 thousand kilometers per year, at that at least one third of all routes the vehicle travels empty or with an empty container. Now let’s arm ourselves with the declared fuel consumption: for Frenchman – 5.6-6.6 l/100 km, for Bukhanka – 9.0-11.0 l/100 km. Fuel costs are calculated from the indicative prices, calculated by Gazpromneft in the first decade of October of this year. We’ll notice that they don’t differ much for two versions of “French”: having spent on 2,0-liter engine, an owner will essentially benefit only in the tractive-dynamic characteristics. In short, it turns out that as for petrol costs “Bukhanka” is much worse, even taking into account the use of AI-92: “French” for seven years with the same prices will need about 700 thousand rubles, “Bukhanka” – nearly 1.3 million rubles! It is another matter that this difference does not cover the price difference between the price of the “Bukhanka” and the basic version of the Frenchman. Choosing the “Bukhanka” it is possible to save 976 thousand roubles, and the fuel gain during the exploitation of the Expert is only 600 thousand roubles.
Now let’s see what the scheduled visits to service stations will cost. Here we have already tried to formulate indicative prices, and the “Frenchman” has lost: according to our estimations, on the average, each planned service will cost 18.8 thousand rubles to its owner vs. 12 thousand for the “Bukhanka” owner. But remember, the Expert should be serviced every 20 thousand kilometers, and the Bukhanka once in 15 thousand. But according to the cumulative result for seven years it will cost more by 30 thousand rubles: 197 thousand vs. 167 thousand. And by the way, without urea and maintenance costs. By the way, if we were comparing “Bukhanka”, which is called “Bus”, and the passenger version “Expert”, which is called “Traveller”, the “foreigner” would lose even more.
So, if we abstract from the prices for the cars, it turns out, that the “Bukhanka” is not profitable even in money terms, not to mention the comfort of the driver, the unpredictable failure of units, from the gas distribution mechanism to the mechanism of adjusting the angle of the driver’s seat back. And while the car is being repaired, the company loses money, and the cost of spare parts and repair is added to the running costs. By the mileage of 50 000 km the transfer gearbox will most likely fly out, the clutch, chain, springs and cardan joints will be replaced… By the way, unlike UAZ, the plant in Kaluga gives the same two-year warranty, but without mileage limitation. True, the “Bukhanka” has comfortable limit – 80 thousand km, which the owners are unlikely to roll out during this time.
However, let’s return to the costs: as we said, the Russian Frenchman is more expensive than the Ulyanovsk granny, but cheaper in operation, especially in terms of fuel consumption. Moreover, the low reliability of the “Bukhanka” will increase the operational advantage of the “French” even more. But we still have one more parameter, which is likely to show the final picture of profit in purchase and from possession of the “Bukhanka” and the “Expert”: the residual value.
For an estimation of this parameter we turned to the authoritative agency “Autostat”: asked to estimate the price of cars in seven years, taking into account the fixed mileage. To our surprise, Avtostat refused, saying that they do not have the same extensive experience in processing statistical data on commercial vehicles as they do on cars. We had to manually analyze the data from the databases of used cars – Avito.ru, Auto.ru and others. With the Bukhanka it turned out to be quite simple: the car had been manufactured for a long time, there were a great number of offers at the secondary market, therefore, having discarded the extreme versions from “never bit, never painted, never driven off the asphalt” to “scrap metal”, we got the figure about 240 thousand roubles. It did not work out so easily with the Peugeot Expert. We should remind that the car has been produced since 2016 and since March 2017 in Kaluga, therefore there are not many used cars on sale yet. On the one hand, we tried to approximate the available data on both the Peugeot Expert and competitors, and give a forecast. So. According to our estimations, after 7 years of exploitation the French car will lose around 50-55% of its initial price.
What does it mean? It means that if we take the difference between the price of the new car and the residual (predicted) price to the expenses, we shall find out a very interesting thing: the purchase of both diesel Peugeot Expert – with the engine 1,6 HDi, and with the engine 2,0 HDi, appears to be more beneficial than purchase of the “Bukhanka”! Frankly speaking, the gain is not much – from 150 and 190 thousand roubles respectively. However, if we take into consideration the factor of low reliability of the Ulyanovsk car and the additional repair expenses, we come to the conclusion that the purchase of the Kaluga Expert van is not only unambiguously more profitable, but in this pair -bezalternative.
For the sake of interest we made a separate calculation for the most expensive all-wheel drive version Peugeot Expert 4WD which is available only with a 2,0 liter diesel engine. This version loses to the “Bukhanka” more than 130 thousand roubles (again without taking into account “breakage” and low comfort of a driver). Meanwhile, the all-wheel drive together with the price is considered as an absolute advantage of the “Bukhanka” even among those buyers who are not keen on fishing and hunting. It is interesting, but Peugeot Expert also has something to offer on impassability, at least it is definitely ahead according to tractive capabilities of the power plant. We will certainly compare Peugeot Expert 4WD and the “Bukhanka” in the field conditions, moreover our acquaintance with the all-wheel drive van from Kaluga has already taken place.
However, this is not the end of the story. Many of our readers will reproach us for “one-sidedness” of comparison: how many chances have a frankly old car, we can say, “grandmother” of domestic car industry? Well, we accept this reproach, and make one more calculation – for other domestic car from Nizhny Novgorod. We are talking about GAZ Sobol. In order the reader could be convinced of our honesty, we take its diesel version with 2,8 engine and all-wheel drive. The owner of GAZ needs for service every 15 000 km, too, but of the three compared cars exactly “Gazelle” is the least burdensome to service. Over seven years, with constant prices its owner only has to spend 152 thousand rubles against 197 thousand for Expert, but it will still take more money for fuel than for French: 1.4 million vs. 900 thousand rubles. In addition, a diesel GAZ costs significantly more than gasoline one – from 1.2 million rubles, but it also loses in price less than “Grandma”: 37-42% versus one-third. By simple arithmetic we find out, that GAZ loses even in comparison with the Peugeot Expert 4WD, though not by much: 2,170,000 roubles against 2,156,000. Let’s not even mention the Kaluga van with 2WD – they are much more profitable. But let’s ask a question: why do we have such a picture? The thing is that GAZ Sobol is also not a boy – its serial assembly started in 1998, so the victory of the model, which is several years old, is quite obvious: the technology is not standing still…