Russian Car Brands

Russian Car Brands

The automotive industry in Russia is among the top twenty global leaders, ranking in the second ten. It does not play a decisive role in the country’s economy, giving way to more developed industries. However, it offers many authentic models of cars and trucks adapted to local operating conditions. Some brands came from the times of the Soviet Union, and others appeared after its collapse.

What are Russian automobile brands?

The Russian automotive industry is represented by the following brands: AvtoVAZ, Lada, GAZ, KAMAZ, NAMI, Aurus Senat, UAZ, Combat Armouring, Renault Russia, Silant, Sollers JSC, VAZInterService, Yarovit Motors, SpetsTech. Non-existent Russian automakers include Aleko, Derways Automobile Company, Ford Sollers, GM-AvtoVAZ, SeAZ, Amur, IzhAvto, Moskvich, TagAZ, Yo-mobile, ZIL, and ZMA.

The most famous and original brands include IZH, Lada, Niva, VAZ, GAZ, and many others. The largest passenger car manufacturer in Eastern Europe is AvtoVAZ. KAMAZ ranks 11th in the world ranking for the production of trucks. The largest enterprise in the Russian automotive industry is considered to be GAZ Group, which includes 12 industry organizations.

Major Russian Car Brands


AvtoVAZ Logo

The first name of this Russian company is VAZ, formed from the phrase Volga Automobile Plant. The manufacturer appeared in 1966 in the city of Togliatti in the Samara region. The most famous series of its cars is Lada. However, until the 1990s, the plant’s product range included many other lines of passenger cars designed for the domestic consumer market. Among them are Zhiguli, Oka, and Sputnik, which were later taken out of production. At the end of 2019, AvtoVAZ assembled “Niva” cars under the Chevrolet brand.

In 2020, the company became a subsidiary of Alliance Rostec Auto, and it, in turn, belongs to Groupe Renault, as it owns a controlling stake. Thus, the Russian firm is now its consolidated entity. In addition to its own Lada cars, the transport engineering plant from Russia produces Datsun, Nissan, and Renault cars for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance group. At the beginning of 2021, the enterprise joined the structure of Renault under the brands Lada and Dacia.


Lada Logo

Russian car brand produced at the AvtoVAZ (formerly VAZ) plant owned by French company Groupe Renault. From January 2021, this passenger car series will be merged with the Dacia brand as part of Renault’s overall Lada-Dacia division.

The debut examples came out with technical support from Fiat and were introduced as Zhiguli. The renaming of Lada took place in 1973. Cars under this brand were intended for export abroad but then began to be supplied to the domestic Russian market. This happened in the 90s of the 20th century. In 2016, Groupe Renault gained full control over the brand, although it began to support it in 2008.


GAZ Logo

The company name “GAZ” stands for “Gorky Automobile Plant,” of which only the first letters are used. This Russian manufacturer of passenger cars appeared in the city of Nizhny Novgorod in 1932. The plant was built with the participation of Ford Motor Company, which signed an agreement with the Soviet Union. In the first years, the company was called “Naz” – from the name of the city where it was located (Nizhny Novgorod Automobile Plant).

The debut products of the Russian automaker were the Ford Model A (Naz-A) passenger car and Ford Model AA (Naz-AA) truck. Then, the name was changed, and the range was expanded. Today, it is a basic subsidiary of the GAZ Group holding company, part of the Basic Element Group. The controlling shareholder of GAZ OAO is Russian Machines OAO.



The full name of this Russian automaker is OAO KAMAZ (the abbreviation is formed from Kama Automobile Plant). The company is located in Naberezhnye Chelny in the Republic of Tatarstan and was opened in 1969. It specializes in trucks, which produce about 43 thousand per year. The main region of their supply is Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States). The trucks of this brand have won the Dakar rally 18 times.

The company owns more than 110 production units and subsidiaries, forming the KAMAZ Group. It also owns authorized capital in more than 50 specialized companies. Its main production facilities are concentrated in Naberezhnye Chelny. In addition, it has facilities in Bashkortostan, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, India, and Azerbaijan.



The name of this brand comes from the Russian version of the phrase “Central Research Automobile and Automotor Institute.” And it is not only a factory but also an automobile laboratory with headquarters in Moscow. In the first few years after its foundation (1918), NAMI was engaged in tractor technology.

In the 1930s, the institute became the leading division of the automobile industry. Trucks, tractors, and trolleybuses were developed here. After 1946, the enterprise was divided into two parts – the automobile and tractor industries. It was also given the brand of motorcycles. Now, the company produces executive-class cars for the country’s leadership.

Aurus Senat

Aurus Senat Logo

This is a sub-brand of NAMI, created in Moscow in 2020. It is in charge of producing the presidential state car, which was first shown at one of the annual events of the Moscow International Automobile Salon. It also introduced the Cortege series, including an SUV, a minivan, and a sedan. This collection was named UMP (unified modular platform).


UAZ Logo

The name of this manufacturer of transport vehicles is an abbreviation of the Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant, located in Ulyanovsk. The company appeared in 1941 and is currently part of the Sollers group (since 2000). At its sites, it assembles trucks, buses, and SUVs.

But the most legendary vehicle of this brand is the UAZ-469. The car of this brand began to be produced immediately after the opening of the plant. It was most popular during the Second World War. The car was redesigned and modernized and had several modifications: Patriot, Hunter, and Pickup.

Manufacturer, Truck, Bus, Other

This large group is represented by manufacturers of automobiles, armored vehicles, pickup trucks, trucks, vans, and specialized vehicles. It also includes companies in partnership with foreign firms, private entities, and industrial associations. Some of them have been operating for a very long time and have rich experience (SeAZ, Aleko); others are newly established enterprises and have modern equipment (“SpetsTech,” Ford Sollers).


Aleko Logo

The Moskvich-2141 brand, first announced in 1985 and embodied in an old-style sedan, is the backbone of the Moscow company. Its name has nothing to do with names or literary characters – the word “Aleko” is made up of the first letters of the phrase “Lenin Komsomol Automobile Plant.” The car of the same name was produced until 1997, when it was rebranded with technical modernization of the car. Then, the old brand was replaced by a new one – “Svyatogor.”

Derways Automobile Company

Derways Automobile Company Logo

The car company, founded in 2003, is named after its creator. One part is a fragment of the surname Derways Haji-Murat (Der), and the second part is the English word “ways.” The company is the first private manufacturer of passenger cars in Russia. It is located in Cherkessk, Karachay-Cherkess Republic, and is part of the Mercury group of companies. Since 2007, Derways has been cooperating with two Chinese companies on joint production of transportation vehicles. These are Liaoning SG Automotive Group Co, Ltd and Lifan Group.

Ford Sollers

Ford Sollers Logo

In 2019, the American partner announced the restructuring of the bilateral agreement and the cessation of passenger car assembly. Only the plant in Elabuga remains, which operates under a simplified scheme, producing a single model – the Ford Transit van.


GM-AvtoVAZ Logo

A former Russian-American enterprise represented by General Motors (USA) and AvtoVAZ (Russia). It appeared in 2001 and produced the Chevrolet Niva car, based on the Lada Niva, at the Togliatti plant. After the complete transfer of the enterprise to Russian ownership, which was acquired in 2019, this organization ceased its work. In December of the same year, it was closed down.

Combat Armouring

Сombat Armouring Logo

An automobile company from St. Petersburg, founded in 1985. Its first passenger car was the Laura model. Two years after its founding, the company began production of the Okhta minivan. In 1990, it acquired a military plant, where it opened a large-scale production. Since 1993, this organization has been producing armored vans and cars for couriers and other specialized services.

Renault Russia

Renault Russia Logo

The automobile manufacturer from Russia was founded in 1998 under the name of Avtoframos. It then signed an agreement with the Renault concern, creating a joint venture. Over time, the French side took full control of this organization, paying off its debts. Now, “Renault Russia” is a wholly owned subsidiary of the French company, which was renamed in 2014.


SeAZ Logo

The name of the company is made from the word combination “Serpukhov Automobile Plant.” The production site was located in the city of Serpukhov, Moscow region. Since its foundation (1939) and until 1995, the company was engaged in the production of motorcycles. Later it switched to the production of cars for the disabled, and then in its lineup appeared ultra-small cars – micro cars “Lada Oka,” developed by AvtoVAZ. In 2013, the plant closed due to bankruptcy.


Silant Logo

Russian company in 2010, formerly called Avtospetsoborudovanie. Located in Veliky Novgorod (Novgorod region), it produces specialized vehicles on the 4×4 platform. Also “Silant” is the brand and name of a vehicle developed at NAMI (National Automobile Institute). The company produces fire, ambulance, utility, refrigerated, universal, shift, and other vehicles. They are equipped with all-wheel drive and three-seat cabins.

Sollers JSC

Sollers JSC Logo

The company was founded in 2002 and specializes in the production of a wide range of transport vehicles. Its product range includes off-road vehicles, passenger cars, tractors, and commercial vehicles. The company was formerly known as Severstal-Avto. Its member companies are characterized by stable operation and wide popularity, holding strong positions in all segments of the industrial market. Currently, the company owns a controlling stake in OAO ZMA, OAO Zavolzhsky Motor Plant, and OAO Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant.


VAZInterService Logo

Russian pickup truck manufacturer based in Togliatti (Samara region). It appeared in 1991 as a subsidiary of AvtoVAZ and was engaged in the production of spare parts for the Lada car. In 2003, the enterprise was separated into an independent company and received the legal status of a closed joint-stock company under the name “VIS-AVTO.”

Yarovit Motors

Yarovit Motors Logo

The manufacturer of specialized vehicles from St. Petersburg was founded in 2003 when Yarovit Holdings acquired the Leningrad Metal Plant. Since then, it has been assembling and restoring Dutch Terberg tractors. The company offers multi-axle trucks and road vehicles for the transportation of oversized and extra-heavy loads. There are also models for driving in difficult weather and landscape conditions. The range is represented by concrete mixers, timber trucks, dump trucks, and other machines for various functional purposes.


This is a world-known supplier of specialized vehicles and off-road vehicles. It appeared in 2002 in the city of Nizhny Novgorod, where it produces cars, ATVs, tractors, and all-terrain vehicles on caterpillar and wheeled chassis. The company’s products are designed for search and rescue services, hunters, power engineers, geologists, oil and gas and other enterprises.

Defunct Car Brands

If manufacturers are liquidated, it does not mean that all their cars automatically disappear. Not at all! They still drive on the roads, pleasing their owners with beauty and reliability. After all, there are many reasons for the closure of automobile companies – from mergers to bankruptcy. Someone could not withstand the competition, someone – the circumstances of the time, because the 90s after the collapse of the Soviet Union became for most a huge shock with unpredictable economic consequences. Therefore, the disappearance of automakers fell just at the beginning of the 2000s. A vivid example is Moskvich, ZIL, Russo-Balt, etc.


Amur Logo

The company was founded in 1967, the year of liquidation – 2012. Location – Novouralsk (Sverdlovsk region). The name is an abbreviation and stands for “Automobiles and Motors of the Urals.” The company was engaged in the production of commercial vehicles. Currently, all its assets have been sold, and it itself has disappeared.


IzhAvto Logo

The company existed from 1965 to 2008, known as IZHMASH (Izhevsk Machine-Building Plant – IzhAvto). It was located in the city of Izhevsk in the Udmurt Republic. It was part of a larger structure founded in 1807 by Russian Emperor Alexander I. The enterprise was self-liquidated, and its technical base was retrained for another direction.


Marussia Logo

The young car brand existed for a relatively short time – from 2007 to 2014. It was created by Nikolay Fomenko, Andrey Cheglakov, and Libor Haluza and produced the first Russian sports cars. Its Marussia B1 car participated in Formula 1 races from 2012 to 2014. After this period, the team was disbanded, and the company was liquidated.


Moskvich Logo

The legendary Russian brand has existed for many years – from 1929 to 2006. Cars under this brand were produced at the AZLK plant, located in the capital of Russia. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the enterprise was privatized, and at the beginning of the new century, it was liquidated. The name “Moskvich” meant a native of the city of Moscow since the enterprise was located there.


Russo Balt Logo

One of the oldest automobile brands in Russia appeared in 1894. Until 1923, it produced cars and airplanes. At first, the plant was located in Riga and St. Petersburg, from where it was evacuated to Moscow. Initially, the company was a subsidiary of Van der Zypen & Charlier from Cologne-Deutz (Germany), which sold it to Riga investors. In 2006, the brand was revived. It produced buses, trucks, and cars.


TagAZ Logo

The automaker was called Taganrog Automobile Plant and was based in Taganrog (Rostov Region). It existed for a short time – from 1997 to 2014. After that, the company was liquidated due to bankruptcy. Before that, it assembled Citroën Berlingo, Hyundai (Accent, Sonata, Elantra, Porter series), Vortex (Estina, Corda, Tingo lines) and some other cars.


Yo-Mobile Logo

This is the first Russian hybrid passenger car called “ё-AUTO,” which the developers of the project came up with themselves, as none of the proposed 12 thousand variants suit them. The car had sliding doors and was made in an innovative design. Due to the fact that the creators could not find investors, the program was curtailed, and the brand was abolished. It was sold to the Russian government for one euro. This brand never entered series production – it was liquidated in 2014.


ZiL Logo

This was the largest automobile enterprise in Russia, the name of which means “Likhachev Plant” in Russian. The enterprise appeared in 1916 in Moscow and was engaged in the large-scale production of large-sized cars. From its conveyors came trucks, dump trucks, military vehicles, and heavy machinery. The manufacturer assembled its last series in 2012. Since 2013, it has existed only in the form of property.


ZMA Logo

This manufacturer of cars and heavy-duty equipment is located in Naberezhnye Chelny, founded in 1987. The enterprise is part of the Sollers group of companies and was previously engaged in the production of small cars, “Oka,” under the license of VAZ. Hence its abbreviated name, which means “Small-car plant.” In 2005, ZMA was acquired by Severstal-Auto, which reoriented it to the assembly of foreign cars. In particular, the plant produced three models of Ford passenger cars – Fiesta, EcoSport, and Sollers. Their production was stopped in 2010.


This Russian company has existed since 1989; its headquarters is located in the city of Naberezhnye Chelny (Tatarstan). The decision to create it was made at a conference in Yelabuga, where entrepreneur Grigory Rysin put forward his proposal. It is an association of several companies from different spheres of activity with related interests in the automotive industry.

The founders include 37 people, including Tatneftekhimmontazh, Intertap, Ivanovo Machine-Tool Association, Karpov Chemical Plant (Mendeleevsk), and many others. The brand is focused on affordable cars. In addition, in partnership with the British concern FSV, the company produced a passenger car, Rickman Ranger. But since 1999, the manufacturer has not been active.


Gennady Khainov founded this Russian company in 1985. He was also its leading designer and constructor. The company is engaged in the production of off-road vehicles and is currently focused on two models. The first is the Dragon Astero, and the second is the Dragon Jump. Both of them are assembled from units and parts of three famous Russian cars. In particular, they are manufactured on the basis of VAZ, GAZ, and UAZ.


A Russian industrial group that produced Daewoo passenger cars under the domestic brands Assol, Condor, and Orion. Its plants were located in the cities of Taganrog and Aksai (Rostov region). After several attempts to conclude agreements with other foreign companies to stay afloat, the enterprise still went bankrupt and closed. This happened in 2014.

What is the most popular car in Russia?

Low-budget crossovers and sedans lead the top popular cars in Russia. Hatchbacks are not of interest to locals because they don’t look upmarket. Russians chose only those cars associated with the Volga sedan because this particular model was a symbol of high status in the Soviet Union. The sales leaders in 2021 were Lada Granta, Lada Vesta, Hyundai Creta, KIA Rio.

Is there a Russian car brand?

Although the automotive industry is not dominant in the Russian economy, Russia has its car brands. Some brands appeared during the Soviet Union, others after its collapse. Some of them are known worldwide: for example, GAZ Group, KAMAZ, AvtoVAZ, Niva, Lada, IZH.

Is Kia a Russian car?

No, the Kia brand is owned by the South Korean carmaker Kia Corporation, which is part of the Hyundai Motor Company.