Lada’s history began when an auto manufacturing plant opened in Italy under a joint venture between Italy and Russia. This venture led to the manufacturing of Fiat vehicles. Lada was born inspired by Fiat models. But since Fiat vehicles are quite expensive, Lada was built originally to keep the Fiat dream alive while making it more affordable by people thus aiming to be the ‘people’s car’ in the 1960s.
The plant began restructuring Fiat vehicles particularly the Fiat 124, to fit the needs of a very difficult weather condition, eternal cold. Since Russia is mostly a country of cold, the design of the body and the frame of the vehicle was hardened and was structured to adjust to a rugged terrain and an extremely cold weather, unfortunately this ended when the cold weather.
Lada is actually not the name of the automaker but the brand used by the manufacturer named, Avtovaz originally known as VAZ (Volzhsky Avtomobilny Zavod); it only uses Lada as its official brand name. Intended to compete against the Citroen 2CV and the Volkwagen Type 1, the first Lada rolled out in 1970. By 1974, Lada vehicles immediately found its way being sailed to the west in Canada, the united Kingdom, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
By the 1980s, Lada has already produced newer car models like the 1978 Niva. With additional improvements, Lada also rolled out the Sputnik—later to be recalled and renamed as the Samara. AvtoVaz collaborated with Porsche to improve combustion chambers. Lada became a fast-paced vehicle manufacturer producing thousands to hundreds of thousands to millions of units; and by 1989, Lada manufactured the Lada 2109 as the company’s twelve millionth vehicle.
Production kept on growing in the booming automotive industry in Russia until the Soviet Union was dissolved. This delayed the production of the 110-series. Despite the fall of the communist economy, car production still went underway. Lada still managed to produce vehicles like the 2111 station wagon in 1998, and the 2112 hatchback in 2001. By 2008, Lada has been producing an average of 750,000 cars per annum. By 2011, Lada dominated the Russian auto market making it the top best-selling car brand in the country.
The logo of Lada depicts a Viking ship on sail. Lada is a word that means ‘a Viking longship’; it came from the Russian word, ‘lad’ya’. The emblem features a white oval connected to a Viking ship logo. The blue represents the water it sails upon. The blue represents prosperity in business and the water the ship sails upon signifies the never ending opportunities for Lada’s expansion and advancement in its vehicular technology.
- Lada Niva
The Lada Niva is a three-door SUV that gained popularity due to its outback capability of wind shielding the cold. It grew so popular that sales of the Lada Niva skyrocketed in the span of its production. It was inspired by the Chevrolet Niva.
- Lada Granta
This is a subcompact family of vehicles that produced a wide stream of love from the Russian community. Its production started in 2011 until now. The vehicle is produced under the collaboration of Lada and Renault.
- Lada Samara
Manufactured since 1982, the Samara—then named, Sputnik, meaning ‘fellow traveler’ or ‘satellite’ until 1991—is a popular family vehicle. It is the first front-wheel drive built in the Soviet Union.
LAda vehicles are manufactured in Europe only, however the distribution of Ladas expand beyond the European territory. Ladas are distributed in the following countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Finland, Italy, Jamaica, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Egypt, the United States, the United Kingdom and Ireland.
What To Love about Lada?
Simple and Dependable
Lada is not a master designer when it comes to the vehicles it produces; instead it is quite a gem under the hood. The Lada is a very capable vehicle especially when being taken off-road. Lada’s even if they are simple passenger vehicles may as well be softroaders because they are built to withstand strong conditions posed by rugged terrain and extreme weather.
What Not To Love About Lada?
Heavy and Problematic Gear-shifting
Due to heavier metal frames, LAda is quite a heavy car. Made for the winter season or extremely cold weather, the metal framing expands in hot weather making slight distortions on the vehicle—if you look closely enough. With a heavier frame, gear-shifting in altitudes makes it quite troublesome.