In the sixties of the last century, several car brands were produced in the USSR. "Zaporozhtsy", "Volga" and "Muscovites" will forever remain in the memory of citizens of our country as nostalgia for those far times. But in the Soviet Union at that time there were not enough cars. It was almost impossible to find them in an open sale. The machines were distributed according to the lists at large enterprises.
To meet the increasing demand for four-wheeled vehicles, it was decided by the country's leadership to build a new car factory. According to the idea, he was to occupy the main place in the car manufacturing industry. It is from this moment the history of AvtoVAZ begins. Its construction was very fast (2 times faster than planned). Equipment technological cycles was created not only in the factories of the USSR, but also a number of other socialist states, as well as the countries of the United States and Europe.
Creating a factory
The Volga Automobile Plant was to be built in Togliatti. To this end, the country's leadership concluded in August 1966 an agreement with the Italian concern Fiat, which helped build the auto giant. They not only had to build up a huge full-cycle production, have appropriate equipment, but also train staff.
The history of AvtoVAZ in Togliatti even at the stage of creation has known a small incident. The fact is that the emblem for a new car brand was invented by Soviet artists. The idea of the sketch belonged to one of the metropolitan leaders A. Dekalenkov. But these logos must have been made by the Italians. "Fiat" created the first thirty emblems with an error. In the name of the city "Togliatti" the letter "I" turned out to be the letter "R". Marriage was promptly replaced.
The name of the plant was chosen not by analogy with other Soviet manufactures, which were named, for example, Ulyanovsk or Gorkovsky. This was done from considerations of political correctness. Otherwise, "inappropriate jokes could not be avoided."
Beginning of work
Personnel training began before the plant was completed. Thanks to the tireless work of the workers, in 1970 six first "kopecks" were produced - the famous Zhiguli car - VAZ-2101.
Demand for cars was such that sales limited only the possibilities of production. For the first year they were issued in the amount of 100 thousand pieces.
The history of AvtoVAZ (photos of the first cars presented below) reveals the rapid development of this giant. Practically from the first years of implementation was also oriented to export.
In 1973 VAZ-2101 began to supply the world market. However, this brand had to be renamed Lada. The name "Lada" in French sounded like "Gigolo" (a man dancing for money).
Over time, the brand "Lada" began to be produced for the domestic consumer. "Lada" did not stop producing.
Growth of production
The history of AvtoVAZ development went further. After starting production in 1970 and entering the world market, new machine models were developed. They were VAZ-2102 and VAZ-2103.
In 1980 the Olympics took place in the USSR and was put on the conveyor "Five" (VAZ-2105). However, these models, although enjoyed an enviable demand, but still the most popular in the history of the plant was the "six" (VAZ-2106). It was released in mass production in 1976.
The production capacity of AvtoVAZ was provided by five plants. From 1966 to 1991, it included the Belebeevsky plant "Avtonormal", Skopinsky and Dmitrovgrad auto plants, VAZ power plant and AvtoVAZagregat.
Kopeika and Troika
Remembering all the models of AvtoVAZ (for the whole history of the auto giant's existence), one can not but pay tribute to its first offspring. They were VAZ-2101 and VAZ-2103. The first for the last two digits of the model number in the people was nicknamed "Kopeyka". The second machine was started to be called a "troika".
"Kopeika" was adapted to the conditions of Soviet roads model sedan Fiat 124. The domestic car was increased clearance from 110 to 175 mm. Also, the developers have strengthened the brakes and suspension. This car was a symbol of the Soviet era of cars of the 70s. "Kopeika" became the ancestor of sedans with rear-wheel drive and universal "classic" models.
A short time after the first "Kopeyka" that was launched from the assembly line, the "troika" was put into serial production. At that time it was called a "luxury" model. It was a thoroughly reworked "penny". Particular attention was paid to design. The car had four headlights, chrome elements and an improved dashboard.
The following model improvements
After the first two models of cars were released, the history of AvtoVAZ includes several more popular modifications of "Kopeyka". After its serious restyling were put on the conveyor VAZ-2104, 2105, 2106 and 2107. The most popular among them was the "Six". It was a prototype Fiat 124 Speciale. For more than 30 years of production of this model, 4.3 million VAZ-2106 have been sold.
Well sold and the other three brands of cars. Designers developed fashionable at that time rectangular headlights. The salon has also been seriously redone. The engine of cars was also modernized. "Six" and today is considered a fairly popular machine.
Models of the 80s
The history of JSC "AvtoVAZ" in the 80 years of the last century tells about a new stage of production. At this time, a completely new generation of Sputnik cars was developed. For the corresponding index in the room, as in the previous models, people christened the car "G8". It was characterized by a wedge-shaped anlage. For this VAZ-2108 was also called a "chisel".
The model had a new engine, gearbox. She had a front-wheel drive. The shape of the car was more aerodynamic, compared with the previous cars. The body had a power structure. This model was developed by the auto giant together with Porsche. The Germans helped the domestic manufacturer in creating everything except design.
After some time, VAZ-2108 with a five-door hatchback and sedan type came on sale.
In the late 80-ies was developed subcompact "Oka". Its prototype was the 1980 Daihatsu Cuore. Subsequently, in addition to AvtoVAZ, Oku also produced OAO SeAZ and KAMAZ.
Plant after the collapse of the USSR
The disintegration of the Soviet Union was hard for many large and small industries, including AvtoVAZ. The history of the plant shows that the giant of automotive equipment survived at that time a deep and protracted crisis.
The fact is that in the sad days for AvtoVAZ, the plant faced such a concept as "competition". Up to this point, the Soviet consumer has been buying cars coming off the assembly line very quickly. But now the flow of fashionable, albeit used cars of foreign production has poured into the country.
In the Soviet era, light cars of domestic production were improving little. Therefore, compared with imported cars, they could not withstand any criticism. The plant was faced with the need to reduce production volumes. More than 25% of jobs have been reduced. Even state support did not help. To equalize the demand for foreign and domestic cars, high customs duties were introduced. But it did not help much.
Work in a crisis
The history of AvtoVAZ tells us about really hard days for the company. Insufficient demand for obsolete models of cars, struggle for the right to own an enterprise did not contribute to the recovery from the crisis.
Moreover, the crisis of the financial system further contributed to the deterioration of affairs. The state in every possible way supported the dying industry. But the accumulated internal and external problems could not be solved only by these measures.
There were recorded cases of mass theft of products and components. These were huge even for such a large enterprise amount. In 2009, the decline in sales was a record 39%, compared with 2008.
To save the country's largest car factory, huge investments were required. Anti-crisis measures were developed. Having solved its internal and external problems, the enterprise could once again get on its feet.
The way out of the crisis
A prolonged deep crisis was experienced by AvtoVAZ. The history of the plant is more than 15 years of decadent, unpromising production in conditions of insufficient demand. However, the output was still found. In July 2009, an agreement was reached between Rostekhnologii and Renault-Nissan. The statutory fund "AvtoVAZ" was decided to increase. It was invested 240 million euros by the company Renault-Nissan (this accounted for 25% of all shares) and three times the amount of Rostekhnologia (while increasing its share in the statutory fund by 44%). The company, however, "Troika Dialog" lost 17.5% of its stake.
In addition, it was decided to give the post of chief designer Steve Mattina, who previously held a similar position in such world companies as Mercedes and Volvo. The period of gradual revival began.
Post-Soviet car models
AvtoVAZ, whose history of creation and operation knew a lot of ups and downs, during the crisis is characterized by a small update of models. So, in the early 90s of the last century one of the few new models was the VAZ-2110. It was a sedan, developed on the basis of the "Eight". This car had a rather original body, as well as a salon design.
After it about 10 years, the production did not know any significant updates. The crisis that befell the flourishing factory before, has affected all spheres of its activity. Only in 2003, based on the joint venture GM-AvtoVAZ, Chevrolet Niva was put into serial production. A year later in Togliatti was established production of sedans, hatchbacks and wagon-type "Kalina".
2007 marks the release of a new model of auto giant Lada Priora. To stimulate consumer demand in 2011, the "Kalina" was replaced by its cheaper version of "Grant". In 2012, a modified version of the Renault Logan universal type Lada Largus was launched.
The Museum of AvtoVAZ
Concern "AvtoVAZ" has a rich history. Therefore it is not surprising that he has his own museum. He is one of the largest similar institutions in our country. The history museum of AvtoVAZ is in Togliatti. It is devoted to the well-known not only domestic, but also foreign brand "Lada".
In this museum are exhibited only especially significant for the history of the plant exhibits. Here there are the first models of Grant, Largus, and Kalina, produced after the collapse of the USSR. Also in the museum you can find cars that are no longer that in production there, but on the streets of our country's cities are unlikely to be seen.
The whole history from the first day of the plant's operation to the present times is stored in the walls of the famous museum. The first "cherry" penny sold through the company's corporate network is now on display here. It was exploited by its owner for about 19 years. He handed it to the museum in 2000, for which he received as a gift a new car, which had just started to go on sale.
Some interesting facts
A brief history of AvtoVAZ would be incomplete without some interesting facts. For example, "Niva" (or VAZ-2121) was the only domestic car that was ever sold in Japan.
The city where the car factory was built was formerly called Stavropol. But in 1964 it was renamed in honor of General Secretary of the Communist Party of Italy P. Togliatti. He died while visiting the children's camp "Artek" during the negotiations on future joint production.
The chief designer of the Niva, PM Prusov, says that this name was given to the car by the first letters of the name of his daughters (Nina and Irina), as well as the sons of the first chief designer of production (Vadim and Andrei).
Having experienced a deep crisis, the concern is gradually getting on its feet. The history of AvtoVAZ deserves respect. After all, in spite of everything, the cars descending from its conveyors were a symbol of that era. Perhaps now they are somewhat behind their foreign counterparts. But with the right approach, it will be possible to improve the automotive industry.
The future of the largest manufacturer of cars in our country is. With a competent approach, it can bring a great profit to the country. Even such old models as the "Six" and the "Seven" are still in demand both among the citizens of our country and in the territory of all post-socialist countries. Therefore, applying new technologies, developing new models with improved qualities of both mechanisms and design, you can bring the auto giant to a new level.