The acronym VAZ stands for Volga Automotive Plant. From the name, it is easy to guess that the plant was built on the banks of the full-flowing Russian river Volga. But it is not clear which city produces VAZ cars. And a large number of names for similar series of the Soviet, and then the Russian automotive industry (Samara, Zhiguli, Lada, etc.), makes the situation even worse.
Where are VAZ Cars Produced?
Let’s figure out where cars of this brand are produced. The automobile manufacturing company AvtoVAZ was founded in Tolyatti in 1966. The manufacturer’s headquarters and the main production facilities are still located there. The city was built on the left bank of the Volga and was known as Stavropol until 1964. In order not to associate the plant with the changed name of the city, it was decided to name it after the Volga River, which has always been of great importance for the Russian people.
It is worth noting that Tolyatti also produces Lada cars. In fact, the name LADA was given to those cars that were exported, while the cars sold on the domestic market of the USSR were called Zhiguli. They were named after the Zhiguli Mountains, located directly opposite the AvtoVAZ plant.
After 1984, the word Samara (a large neighboring city of Tolyatti) began to be added to “Lada”. This word in the name of the car meant that it belonged to the second generation and was no longer technically connected with Fiat 124 that was the basis for the first VAZ 2101, 2102, and 2103, etc. Initially, the name Lada Samara was used for export cars, while in the domestic market, they were called Sputnik. Now you know who produces such cars as Lada, Zhiguli, and Samara.