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Avtovaz

The meaning of «avtovaz»

AvtoVAZ (Russian: АвтоВАЗ), formerly known as VAZ (Volzhsky Avtomobilny Zavod) (ВАЗ, Во́лжский автомоби́льный заво́д, or Volga Automobile Plant),[10] is a Russian automobile manufacturer. It is best known for its flagship series of Lada vehicles. In the Soviet Union, its products used various names, including Zhiguli, Oka, and Sputnik, which were phased out in the 1990s and replaced by Lada for the Russian market. Starting in December 2019, AvtoVAZ has been selling Niva cars with Chevrolet branding. That is set to end in August 2020.

The company is a subsidiary of the Alliance Rostec Auto company, in which French Groupe Renault holds a controlling 67.61% stake.[11][12] AvtoVAZ is a consolidated subsidiary of Groupe Renault.[8] AvtoVAZ produces over 400,000 cars a year,[13] under its Lada brand, as well as cars of Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance brands Renault, Nissan, and Datsun. The AvtoVAZ factory is the largest car manufacturer in Russia and Eastern Europe.[14][needs update]

The company was established in 1966 in cooperation with Fiat, with Viktor Polyakov (later Minister of Automobile Industry) as director, and Vladimir Solovyov as chief designer,[15] and intended to produce popular economy cars that would meet the growing demand for personal transport.[16] It was set up as a collaboration between Italy and the Soviet Union and built on the banks of the Volga River in 1966. A new town, Tolyatti, named after Italian Communist Party leader Palmiro Togliatti, was built around the factory.[16] The cost of the VAZ plant was estimated at $800 million in 1970[17] (equivalent to $4.1 billion in 2019).[18] The plant contained many of the automation systems being developed by Fiat's various subsidiaries (which were eventually amalgamated as Comau), so the Togliatti factory acted as a trial before Fiat implemented them in its plants in Italy.

The car brand to be produced ("Zhiguli") was envisaged as a "people's car" like the Citroën 2CV or the VW Type 1. Production was intended to be 220,000 cars a year, beginning in 1971[19] (other sources listed 300,000 in 1971[17]); car production actually began before the plant was finished in 1970.[19] The VAZ trademark, at first, was a silver Volga boat on a red pentagonal background, with "Togliatti" superimposed in Cyrillic (Тольятти); the first badges, manufactured in Turin, mistakenly had the Cyrillic "Я" rendered "R", instead (Тольʀтти), making them collector's items.[20]

The company was not as vertically integrated as other Soviet enterprises; for example, it purchased components from a variety of suppliers over which it exerted little control.[21] Unlike Western automakers, though, a large proportion of the components for the cars were made entirely in-house; for example, the Togliatti works contained its own foundry for manufacturing steel from raw iron ore, and even made its own tyres and glass from raw materials.

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