December 7, 2022
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Russian Car Brands

From metro technology advancement to developing the latest satellite navigation system – Russia aspires to be the greatest in everything. The Russian automotive industry, however, isn’t as dominant compared to the contemporary EU, USA, and Asian automotive industries.

 

But over the years, some popular Russian car brands have managed to leave strong enough imprints on the global automotive market. AvtoVAZ, GAZ, KAMAZ, Volga, Zil – are many such noteworthy Russian car brands.

 

For the longest time, Russia was famous for exporting its military-grade vehicles all over the world, for the right price.

 

While that fad has quite faded in recent times due to various geopolitical reasons, most of the popular brands are still in operation. Again, some have been rendered inactive as well. Let’s get to know the names and logos of a few such honorary Russian car brands in today’s article.

 

10 Most Popular Russian Car Brands & Their Logos

Russia single-handedly produces around 1.8% of the total amount of vehicles in the world. Reportedly, Russian inventor Ivan I. Polzunov successfully constructed the first-ever two-cylinder steam engine.

 

And that’s what initiated the machinery revolution in this country. Over the years, Russia has earned its place among the top fifteen car manufacturer countries in the world.

 

Currently, AvtoVAZ is the ruling car manufacturer in Russia. And by a lot, too. AvtoVAZ isn’t ahead just by their production rate either. They hold the record for the most sold units in a single year as well.

 

All these consistent accomplishments have easily put this native Russian brand on the top. Consequently, Avtotor occupies the second position in terms of production rate.

 

They provide around 10% of the total amount of cars in Russia every year. Up next is Avtoframos, which specializes in Renault vehicle models.

 

After this French-Russian joint venture brand, Volkswagen takes the fourth position. And finally, Ford, another outsider, is the fifth largest car manufacturer in Russia.

 

In terms of rate of production, only one i.e. the AvtoVAZ is a native Russian brand on the list. The other four, i.e. Avtotor, Avtoframos, Volkswagen, and Ford are all either foreign companies or a result of joint ventures.

 

Let’s have a detailed look into the most prominent Russian Car Brands still in play:

 

  1. AvtoVAZ

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Founder: Groupe Renault (Parent Organisation)

Founded In: 1966

Website:www.lada.ru

 

AvtoVAZ is currently the largest car manufacturer in Russia. It’s also the second-largest manufacturer in all of Eastern Europe.

 

As of now, the majority of the stocks (67.61%) of the company are controlled by Groupe Renault. The company itself is managed under Lada Auto Holding. AvtoVAZ has always been known for its Lada flagship vehicles series.

 

The dominating company was formerly known as just VAZ. AvtoVAZ has a history of making comfortable cars. They aren’t necessarily as fast as Mercedes Benz, nor are they as lavish as Lamborghini’s. But the Lada cars are reliable.

 

You can always rely on them to stick by you during the toughest times.

 

AvtoVAZ produces around 400,000 of these durable casual use beauties every year. Some popular AvtoVAZ manufactured cars throughout the years has been –

 

  • Lada Priora
  • Lada Samara
  • Lada 2105/2107
  • Lada Kalina, and so on

 

  1. GAZ

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Founder: GAZ Group

Founded In: 1932

Website:www.gazglobal.com

 

The full form of GAZ is Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod, which roughly translates to the Gorky Automobile Plant in English.

 

The Gorky Automobile Plant is an integral part of the automotive defense industry of Russia. The company is also the best-managed manufacturer in all of Russia. They have produced over ten million vehicles, manufacturing vigorously, especially in post-war Russia.

 

While the company is famous for defense-related vehicles, its most recent hit has been the GAZelle Van. Around 43,000 of these well-equipped vans were sold in the year 2009 alone.

 

During the post-war period, the company somewhat rebranded and slowly moved into the light commercial sector. They have been consistently manufacturing quality shuttle mini buses, passenger cars, etc. for the country.

 

  1. KAMAZ

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Founder: Rostec (Controlling Shareowner)

Founded In: 1969

Website:www.kamaz.ru

 

Kamaz or the Kama automobile plant is one of the most prominent domestic Russian heavy vehicle producers. As of now, the company manages 13 plants, engaged in the innovation, development, production, and assembly of parts.

 

Kamaz is famous for manufacturing heavy street vehicles like buses, trucks, etc. The cab-over trucks are a signature Kamaz production.

 

In addition to the vehicles themselves, Kamaz also manufactures different spare parts, engines, etc. for these heavy vehicles. The brand occupies the eighth position in the world chart in terms of diesel engine production.

 

Kamaz started as a joint Russian venture designed specifically to manufacture quality transport vehicles in the country.

 

Now, Rostec controls the majority (49.9%) of the shares. Subsequently, 23.54% and 15% of the shares are owned by AvtoInvest Limited and Daimler Truck respectively.

 

  1. NAMI

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Founder: Scientific & Technical Dept., VSNKh

Founded In: 1918

Website:www.nami.ru

 

NAMI is more of an enterprise; a Russian Federal Unitary Enterprise, to be more precise. It’s dedicated to the development of the automotive industry in Russia.

 

The NAMI 1, developed by NAMI, was the first car for the USSR. NAMI has also played an integral role in developing the modern tractors, trolleybuses, trucks in the Soviet era.

 

Additionally, NAMI has also manufactured armored vehicles for the Red Army in Russia. Nowadays, the enterprise still deals with experimental ideas and constructional methods.

 

  1. UAZ

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Founder: Sollers JSC

Founded In: 1941

Website:www.uaz.global

 

UAZ or the Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant is a native Russian car manufacturer famous for off-road vehicle production.

 

Like KAMAZ, UAZ also specializes in buses, trucks, SUVs, and similar vehicles.

 

Besides the day-to-day off-road vehicles, UAZ takes part in manufacturing military-grade vehicles as well. You may know them if you know of the popular UAZ-469 utility truck.

 

This military truck is not only used throughout Russia but also all over the world. UAZ has produced millions of vehicles over the years. The company manufactured around 51 units of vehicles in just 2016.

 

  1. Lada

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Founder: AvtoVAZ

Founded In: 1973

Website:www.lada.ru

 

LADA is one of the signature Russian car brands, performing under AvtoVAZ.

 

Alongside AvtoVAZ, Fiat was associated with the birth of LADA via technical support. LADA vehicles are the most popular Russian vehicles throughout the world. They’re affordable, cost-effective, low-maintenance, and most importantly, highly durable.

 

  1. Zil

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Founder: Moscow Automotive Society

Founded In: 1916

Website:www.amo-zil.ru

 

Zil, or OJSC AMO ZiL, is a former Russian heavy machinery producer for the automotive and defense industry. The company was known as AMO and ZiS previously.

 

Unfortunately, the company stopped production around 2012 and manufactured its last luxury limousine in the same year. It’s a shame since ZiL was one of the only native Russian manufacturers producing in-house limousines.

 

By 2015, most of the ZiL factory establishments were dismantled. The plant locations are now regarded as mere development sites for future real estate needs.

 

  1. Moskvich

 

Founder: AZLK

Founded In: 1929

Website:www.azlk.ru

 

Moskvich is another formerly popular but currently discontinued Russian car producer. Before discontinuation, the brand used to manufacture buses, SUVs, trucks, etc. in and around central Moscow.

 

The word moskvich literally refers to a Moscovite, i.e. a native of Moscow. This old-timey brand never rebranded outside Russia, unlike many other existing car brands. As such, moskvich is renowned as one of the truest Russian automotive manufacturers.

 

  1. Derways Automobile Company

 

Founder: Hadji-Murat Derev

Founded In: 2003

Website:www.derways.ru

 

The Derways Automobile Company is comparatively newer than most other Russian automotive manufacturers.

 

The company was founded in 2003 i.e. not so long ago at all. The specialty of the Derways Automobile Company is that – this company is Russia’s very first private automotive company.

 

The Derways Cowboy, launched in 2004, was the company’s first production. It was a low-cost SUV, suited to rival the G-Class Benz.

 

  1. Spetsteh LLC

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Founder: Sergey Chemezov

Founded In: 1967

Website: N/A

 

Based in Nizhny Novgorod, Spetsteh LLC is a prominent all-terrain compatible ATV producer. The brand manufactures various civilian, street, and military vehicles and their parts.

 

The brand has a close association with the KAMAZ brand. Reportedly, these two brands often work together in experimenting with new ideas for military vehicles.

 

Final Word

 

The Russian automotive industry utilizes close to 1% of the total workforce of the country. Even with the fading popularity, the Russian car brands still manufactured close to two million vehicles in the year 2018. Despite the mediocre quality, this sheer volume of production has kept Russia in the race over the years.

 

As mentioned above, the popular Russian car brands aren’t limited to just native or domestic companies.

 

About 11 foreign automotive brands also effectively run their operations in Russia. Most popular among these foreign companies are – Avtotor, Avtoframos, Volkswagen, and Ford.

 

And they’re just as popular as the native Russian brands in terms of both quality and production. Russian cars are famous for having long-standing i.e. durable infrastructural facilities. The domestic AvtoVAZ car models are currently the most popular Russian cars within both the internal and the global market.

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