AvtoVAZ (RTS:AVAZ) (Russian: АвтоВАЗ) is a Russian automobile manufacturer, also known as VAZ, Volzhsky Automobilny Zavod (ВАЗ, Во́лжский автомоби́льный заво́д ), and better known to the world as Lada was set up in the late 1960s in collaboration with Fiat. It is 25% owned by French giant Renault.
It produces nearly one million cars a year, including the Kalina, Lada 110 and the Niva off-roader. 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, has over 90 miles (144 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. Imports to Spain were also prohibited in Spain because the local Fiat subsidiary, SEAT, built a version of the same car.