AvtoVAZ

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AvtoVAZ (RTS:AVAZ, MICEX:AVAZ) (Russian: АвтоВАЗ) is the Russian automobile manufacturer formerly known as VAZ: Volzhsky Avtomobilny Zavod (ВАЗ, Во́лжский автомоби́льный заво́д), but better known to the world under the trade name Lada. The company was established in the late 1960s in collaboration with Fiat. The current company name contains abnormal semantic pleonasm: «AvtoVAZ» literally stands for «Avtomobilniy Volzhsky Avtomobilny Zavod» («English: Automobile Volga Automobile Plant»). It is 25% owned by French carmaker Renault.

It produces nearly one million cars a year, including the Kalina, Lada 110 and the Niva off-road vehicle. However, the original Fiat 124-based vehicle, the VAZ-2101 and its derivatives, remain the models most associated with its Lada brand.

The VAZ factory is one of the biggest in the world, with over 90 miles (140 km) of production lines, and is unique in that most of the components for the cars are made in-house.

The original Lada was a basic car, lacking in most luxuries expected in cars of its time and was patterned after the Fiat 124. Ladas were available in several Western countries during the 1970s and 1980s, including Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, though trade sanctions banned their export to the United States. Sales to Italy were forbidden by the agreement between the Soviet government and Fiat, to protect Fiat from cheap imports in its home market.

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