Balkania Autotractor 4x4 truck (Balkania-own development)
Balkania was the trade name of 'K. Zaharopoulos A.B.E.E.' a Greek industrial and trading company based in Athens that produced 4x4 jeep-type vehicles and 4x4 trucks. Since 1972 it imported Romanian and Indian vehicles. In 1975 it designed and introduced its own 'Autotractor' model, a 4x4 multi-purpose truck with a Mercedes-Benz 3200cc Diesel engine, metal cabin and a payload of 1500 Kg. In 1979 the model was redesigned, with a modern synthetic (glass-fiber reinforced composite) cabin. It was produced, as some similar Greek vehicles, until a change of a favorable tax treatment in 1984 (see also AutoDiana, Petropoulos). The vehicle was modestly successful, as it exhibited certain quality problems.
Balkania Autotractor KZ (based on Mahindra model)
In 1975 Balkania also introduced a lighter 'Autotractor' series of Jeep-type 4x4 vehicles. These were not of own design, but were actually modified Indian Mahindra models (in turn based on older U.S. Jeep models), using a Peugeot 2100cc 62 hp Diesel engine. The more modern-looking 'Autotractor KZ' was available with the aforementioned engine, as well as a Peugeot 2500cc 103 hp gasoline engine. The factory was modernized in 1985 when the company name was changed to 'Mahindra Hellas A.E.'. The model name 'Autotractor' was dropped and all vehicles produced were Mahindra models sold with that name, although extensively modified. Most of this production was exported. The company went out of business in 1995.
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