GAZ-21 Volga: For a very long time, Volga cars used to be a "face" of Soviet car manufacturing: models with improved finish and more powerful engines were assembled especially for the export. In the 60's, GAZ-21 was quite popular among Belgian, Greek, Swedish, German and British drivers.
IMZ Ural: During the Soviet times, the motorcycle factory in the Russian town of Irbit used to provide the army with Ural heavy bikes. Today, the licensed copy of BMW R71 from the 30's is mostly sent abroad - Europe and US. Thus, in 2010, only 20 from 800 produced Urals were sold in Russia, though making it into the list of the top ten best-selling motorcycles in US in 2012.
UAZ-469: Famous “little goat”, as Russians tenderly call it, was first supplied to Europe in 1973. By 1999, Russia exported more than 600 of UAZ-469 SUVs. As of today, Uliyanovsky plant exports them to Latin America, Africa, South-Eastern Asia and the Middle East.
This family of Soviet four-wheel drive vehicles was in great demand abroad in the 80's. So, for example, in France every fourth imported car with a “station wagon” body was Lada. In the 1990s, a quarter of all AvtoVAZ products went abroad, mainly to Western Europe. Currently, Russian cars are delivered to CIS countries (90% of exports), Europe (3-5%), Africa and Latin America (1.5-2%).
GAZ-M20 Victory: Becoming the first widely-exported car, the GAZ-M20 enjoyed good demand in Finland, Belgium and the United Kingdom. In the 1950's, 5,000, or one third of all cars, were sold abroad. A certain number of Victories went to US, where the model received warm reviews in the press.
Moskvich-412: This model turned out to be so popular abroad that a screwdriver assembly of Moskvich cars from Soviet components was established in Belgium (Scaldia 1500), Finland and Bulgaria (Elite 1500). In the 1970's, the model was supplied to 70 countries, including France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
VAZ-2121 (Niva): Awarded with a gold medal at the international exhibition in Brno in 1978, Niva still remains one of the most popular Russian cars. VAZ-2121 was delivered practically to all countries of Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In total, more than half a million cars were exported abroad.
KamAZ-5320: Although the peak of production growth at the Kama Automobile Plant was registered in 1979, the record number of supplies abroad was reached in 2007 with over 13,000 sold trucks. Currently, 70% of car are exported to non-CIS countries. In 2010, the production of right-hand drive KamAZ trucks was established in India and Pakistan. In addition, Russian trucks are assembled in Vietnam and Ethiopia.
UAZ-452: Paradoxically enough, this model of the Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant has become extremely popular in Japan. Fans of the Russian “van” appreciate it for a kind of “loyalty to tradition” – the model’s design has not undergone major changes since its very creation 65 years ago. As a result, UAZ-452 became a unique retro-car that can be bought right after it rolls out from the plant. However, only wealthy connoisseur of antiquity can afford it: the cost of UAZ-452 in Japan exceeds $30,000.
Lenta.ru recalls the most successful Russian car models, which became real best-sellers, managed to spark a revolution in their class and are still attracting customers with unique features.