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Lada - marque/manufacturer information

List of all Lada cars

Lada is the trademark of AvtoVAZ, a Russian car manufacturer located in the city of Togliatti (Tol`yatti). It was chosen for exports over the domestic Zhiguli brand, but since the 1980s the name has been used in Soviet and later Russian market as well. Lada made its name in Western Europe selling the Lada Riva as an economy car in large quantities during the 1980s, but subsequent models have not enjoyed the same success as the Riva. Its headquarters are in Togliatti (Samara Oblast or province).

The common Lada sedan/estate series popularly known as the 'Classic' in the west ('Signet' in Canada) has the distinction of being one of the most produced car models in automotive history. Since 1980, over 13.5 million Lada Rivas have been built, and an unknown number of millions of the same car were also produced between 1969 and 1979 badged as 2101s - 2107s depending on engine size and interior specifications. Lada has since ceased production of the Classic series, but it is still in production at another Russian car plant as well as several other countries.

The Lada was widely exported throughout the world in the 80s and 90s (the US was the only large market not to have imported Ladas, but Canadian cars can be found there) and is unique in being the only car model that can be found on every continent, including Antarctica (where the Russian research base used Lada Nivas). The rugged design of the original Lada, which was built to cope with extreme Siberian climates and poor roads, meant that huge mileages were possible in well maintained examples (300,000 mls or more on the same engine has been reported).

Logo and Name

The logo represents the stylized slavic/Viking boat called Ladia (Lad`ya). Lada is the name of a slavic divinity (goddess of youth, love and beauty).



Lada cars started being imported to Brazil in 1990, when the Brazilian president Fernando Collor lifted the ban on car imports. In fact, Lada was the first foreign trademark to enter Brazil's car market after Collor's liberalization of 1990. Initially, Lada 2105(sedan) and 2104 (station wagon) models (badged as Lada Laika) and Lada Niva were very successful models because of their low prices. Shortly after, the Samara was introduced. The Samara was never successful in Brazil. The Laika and Niva models' popularity began to wane after a few years because of the perceived lack of quality of all Lada car models. However, the Niva continued to be strong in the off-road market, even having a limited edition exclusively for the Brazilian market (Niva Pantanal). It continued to be sold until 1997. Many of the last Lada Nivas sold in Brazil had diesel engines. Most of the Nivas sold in Brazil remain operational and used cars still command high prices in the used car market. In fact, in Brazil, a 1991 Niva in very good condition can cost as much as R$11,000 or US$5,500, which is far more than the average price in the Brazilian used car market for a car of that year. The normal price for a Lada Niva made in year 1991 or 1992 is about R$6,000 (about US$3,000) in Brazilian used car market. As many as 30,000 Lada cars were sold in Brazil between 1990 and 1997. Between 1990 and 1992, Lada sold more cars than any other importer to Brazil. A Brazilian who loves to drive a Niva is called a "niveiro" in Brazil. There are even Brazilian websites dedicated to the Lada Niva, such as


LadaCanada started importing the Russian made cars in 1979. The first model was the Lada 2106, with a 1500 cc engine. Later, the Lada Niva, a 1.6L 4x4 Lada, did very well, with over 12,000 sold in Canada in its first year of import. By the late 2000's, many Lada dealerships and Lada products have mostly disappeared from Canadian streets. There are some Lada vehicles that are still in use in Canada. The Canadian vehicle market is now mostly dominated by the major North American, Western European, Japanese, Korean car manufacturers.


Lada made an entry into the Turkish Market in the late 1980s. Most of the sales were of Samara, which was marked with durability, cheap price, and relatively low fuel consumption. Lada Niva also made a presence in the 4x4 market. New models like 2110 are still being sold in Turkey, though not with the success met by Samara.

United Kingdom & Ireland

AvtoVAZ began exporting cars to the UK& Ireland in 1974 using the brand name Lada. The Fiat 124-based range was known for its outdated technology, poor fuel economy and tank-like roadholding, but it gained popularity thanks to its ruggedness, spacious interior, massive boot and low price. Many Lada owners swore by their cars. After introduction of the Riva range in 1980, sales through the 1980s were particularly strong, with UK & Ireland sales peaking in 1988 at 33,000 units (being near 2% of UK car sales). AvtoVAZ built up a network of UK & Ireland Lada dealers through its marketing associate, Satra Motors. Some of the dealerships were owned outright and some were agencies. The Satra-owned dealerships were all sold off in 1987 and 1988.

Lada was a victim of the political and economic problems of Russia in the late 80s and early 90s. It was not possible to invest adequately in product and service development. By the 1990s the age of the basic Riva design was showing more than ever. Not even sub-£5,000 prices on the basement models were enough to disguise the 1966 vintage of the design. UK & Ireland sales dwindled away to 8,000 units in 1996, the last full year in which Lada cars were marketed in the UK & Ireland. During this period, many Lada dealers either went out of business or switched to other makes of car. Confronted with the need to meet new EU emission control requirements and with a shortage of certain imported components, AvtoVAZ decided to withdraw from the UK, Ireland and most other western European markets. Lada cars maintained a presence in a number of African, Caribbean and Latin American markets.

From 1979, Lada produced the Niva four-wheel drive. It competed well with Japanese rivals like the Suzuki SJ in terms of practicality and stability, and above all else, its off-road ability. Also, the Niva was significantly cheaper than its rivals. This was one area where Lada achieved some market success in the 1990s. The Niva was adopted by several British police forces and attracted something of a cult following within the 4x4 enthusiast fraternity in the UK and elsewhere. After the withdrawal of Lada from the UK & Ireland in 1997, several dealers continued to acquire Nivas by special import for sale in the UK. These required some local modification in order to meet emission control regulations current in the UK. A few Lada enthusiasts make the trip to Tallinn where they can buy new, right hand drive Ladas (made for the West African market) for as little as US$2,500.

Lada's first attempt at a modern car came with the Samara hatchback in 1984 (launched in the UK in 1987), which made use of a completely new mechanical design. But many budget-conscious buyers simply stuck with the old Riva, which many would argue was actually a better car (despite its ancient design) and also sold for significantly less.

In 1997, the Lada range was withdrawn from Britain and most other European markets, but it continued to be an enormous success in Russia. Another attempt at a modern car came in 1996 with the 2110, which is similar in size to a Ford Mondeo or Opel Vectra. This model was never sold in the UK or Ireland. It looked and was far more modern than the rest of the Lada range, but proved disastrously unreliable in its early years, causing the company already in financial difficulty to spend millions ironing out the many faults which had been reported.

After Lada (UK) ceased operations in 1997, the remains of the British network of Lada dealers were serviced by Lada (France). Ladas rapidly disappeared from British roads. They had minimal second-hand value in the UK and a re-export market for Russia developed. Many UK and Irish-registered Ladas were sold back to Russia to be stripped for spare parts or to be sold to Russian buyers who appreciated the superior export-specification cars.

There have been several attempts to reintroduce Ladas to the UK market (though not the Irish market), but these have not produced a result as yet.


Lada cars appeared in Ecuador during the 1970s. The imports stopped in the mid 1990's. In 2000, AvtoVAZ associated with the local factory AYMESA to produce the Lada Niva 4x4 1.7i. This agreement ended in 2005 when car imports began again.

By 2007 other car models were also being imported: Lada 110, Lada 111, Lada 112, Lada Kalina (sedan), Lada Niva 2121 (3 doors), Lada Niva 2131 (5 doors) and Lada 2107 "Clasico".

There are some very old models, like the Lada 2101, that are still functioning.

Costa Rica

In Costa Rica Lada was imported for a number of years starting in the late seventies. The different models that they imported included the Niva, Samara, 2104, etc. There are still a few Ladas in circulation but they are rare.


Lada sponsored Aldershot Football Club of the English Football League for two seasons leading up their bankruptcy in 1992.

List of all Lada cars

Source: Wikipedia


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