Transfer to automotive transport, supplies of agricultural sphere with heavy-duty trucks, provision of military vehicles, tanks, and armored fighting vehicles to armed forces, organization of passenger fixed route transportation – all these events are associated with Gorky Automobile Plant.
During 78 years of its history Gorky Automobile Plant has developed and implemented six generations of load-carrying vehicles, six generations of medium light vehicles, three generations of large executive light vehicles, six generations of wheeled armored personnel carriers and tracked vehicles.
In general the company’s employees have developed more than 40 basic models of trucks and light vehicles, as well as military and special vehicles and buses, hundreds of modifications, and pilot designs. During these years the plant has launched over 17 million light vehicles and heavy-duty trucks. All of the automotive plants of the country (VAZ, KAMAZ, UAZ, ZAZ, PAZ and others) were established and equipped with the direct participation of GAZ experts.
Among the most popular models of Gorky Automobile Plant one may point out famous and legendary GAZ-66, GAZ-52 and GAZ-53 trucks, light vehicles Pobeda, Volga, Chaika, light commercial vehicles GAZelle and Sobol, medium-duty truck Valday.
Chaika GAZ-13 and Volga GAZ-21 won grand prize at the International Motor Show in Brussels.
April 6, 1929. Order of the Supreme Soviet of the National Economy of USSR on construction of automobile plant in Nizhni Novgorod region was adopted.
May 31, 1929. Supreme Soviet of the National Economy of USSR and Ford Motor Company concluded technical assistance agreement for organization and arranging of high-volume manufacturing of Ford-A type light vehicles and Ford-AA type trucks.
May 2, 1930. The foundation of future automobile plant was laid near Nizhny Novgorod. Due to well-executed project, skillful guidance, and enthusiasm the plant was built in the 18-month period.
January 29, 1932. The first vehicle NAZ-AA truck was manufactured
December 6, 1932.The first light vehicles GAZ-A were assembled.
March 16, 1936. Manufacture of new model of famous GAZ-M1 light vehicle was launched.
1932 - 1938. Gorky Automobile Plant became the leading plant of the country, developed and manufactured 17 models and modifications of vehicles; its share in total production volume of the country made up 68.3%.
The first products of the plant were trucks and light vehicles, which passed their test during trial run of 10 thousand kilometers in summer 1933. Combining the Ford developments with search and implementation of its solutions, designers created a good few of successful vehicles. Further development of the plant went along the road of model improvement, production volume build-up, implementation of new engineering processes and increasing creative efforts of the employees.
With the beginning of the Great Patriotic War the whole automotive industry resources were thrown to national defense. Already during the first days, production of certain models was phased down. Engineering and production preparation processes of new military models were accelerated. Weapon and military equipment production was launched.
During the war years GAZ Plant manufactured GAZ-MM trucks, GAZ-55 field ambulances, GAZ-60 half-track vehicles, GAZ-05-193 command and control buses, and GAZ-64 jeeps developed before the beginning of the war, on the base of which the plant developed an armored vehicle. During the war GAZ was not only the leading supplier of vehicles, but also of T-60, T-70 light tanks, self-propelled guns, ammunition, and different military hardware. Particularly, the plant crew developed and released for implementation the method of manufacture of stamp-welded version of Katyusha multiple rocket launchers.
The enemy attempted to disable GAZ Plant at variorum times. The most severe bombing attacks were carried out in 1943 just before the Battle of Kursk, when on June 4-22 fascists attacked the plant for seven times.
As a result of bombing attacks 50 buildings and structure of the plant and area were damaged badly, 9,000 equipment units were brought out of operation. In record-breaking time, for only 100 days and nights, the plant was basically rebuilt through the efforts of constructors, maintenance and erecting personnel, who worked 18-19 hours a day. True demonstration of dedicated service.
During the war the plant won governmental awards at various times. In December 1941 the plant was awarded with the Order of Lenin for model execution of governmental tasks, which consisted in manufacture of military equipment. In September 1945 the plant was awarded with the Order of the Patriotic War of the 1st Class for successful execution of tasks of the State Defense Committee, which consisted in manufacture of artillery self-propelled mounts for the Red Army.
During the war years GAZ manufactured more than 170,000 vehicles, about 12,000 tanks, more than 9,000 self-propelled mounts, more than 10,000 mortar launchers, about 30,000 shells for Katyusha launchers, and 232,000 engines of all types.
The war had not ended yet when Gorky Automobile Plant started designing new models of trucks and light vehicles, which actually changed the whole model range of the plant during the first postwar years. Such renewal took a lot of effort. It is worth noting that it took the worker only 12 months to remount and reinstall 4,036 units of equipment.
GAZ-51 was the first vehicle manufactured in newly-designed range of products. Its high-volume production was launched in June 1946. This vehicle made it into history as perfectly reliable, efficient, and cost effective. This model has been manufactured for 29 years. The second vehicle to be implemented was HAZ M-20, the famous Pobeda. In June 1946 the first lot of these vehicles was assembled. This model not just marked the whole stage, but became the history not only of domestic, but of world automotive industry.
Volga GAZ-21, launched in the late 1956, was special and classical vehicle model for all of us. This vehicle was a symbol of the whole era. Being very progressive for its time, Volga still has many fans. During the last years interest to this model has raised again. One can meet Volga on the roads, which shows that Volga ranges among the most reliable and long-lived vehicles.
1932 - 1938. Gorky Automobile Plant became the leading plant of the country; it implemented and manufactured 17 models and modifications of vehicles with 68.3% share in total production volume of the country.
January 6, 1946. GAZ-51, the most largely produced domestic truck, was launched. It has been manufactured by 1975. 3,480,167 vehicles have been manufactured in total.
June 28, 1946. GAZ - M20 Pobeda was the first production light vehicle with body without splash boards.
October 1956. Manufacture of the popular parent model of the Volga family GAZ-21 Volga was launched.
1958. GAZ-21 Volga, GAZ-13 Chaika, and GAZ-52 won grand prize at the Brussels International Motor Show.
January 16, 1959. Manufacture of Chaika GAZ-13 large vehicle was started.
July 1, 1964. Manufacture of GAZ-66 AWD vehicle was launched.
1968. The first lot of the most popular light vehicle model GAZ-24 Volga was assembled. It was manufactured by 1993. 1,479,389 vehicles of this model were manufactured in total.
December 1978. Manufacture of Chaika GAZ-14 large vehicle was started.
December 22, 1980. The first lot of GAZ-3102 Volga was assembled.
October 1989. Manufacture of GAZ-3307 truck was started.
Gorky Automobile Plant managed to successfully transfer to market economy, having implemented manufacture of light-duty GAZelle and Sobol vehicles in platform and van versions. End-to-end computer technology for design engineering and analytical calculation of stamps and press tools in manufacture of GAZ-3302 GAZelle was implemented for the first time in Russia. Seven representatives of OAO GAZ received awards of the Government of the Russian Federation in the sphere of science and technology for complex development and industrial implementation of light-duty GAZelle and Sobol families. A.M. Butusov, B.P. Vidyayev, Yu.V. Kudryavtsev, V.A. Malofeyev, V.L. Chetverikov, V.M. Churayev, and V.N. Shabarov became the award winners.
Practicable and well-priced light trucks with excellent flexibility lent invaluable support to the Russian business in severe transitional conditions to market economy.
Today GAZelle family vehicles are fastest-selling commercial vehicles in Russia having 50% share of the market. GAZ manufactures more than 200 modifications and configurations of GAZelle family.
On account of design flexibility, GAZelle-based platform trucks, vans, cargo-and-passenger Kombi versions, and minibuses are manufactured by the plant. Special body and body superstructure versions have been implemented. Special-purpose configurations of service utility vehicles equipped with lifting devices, as well as vans, road tankers, and shop trucks have been designed. Ambulance vehicles, MIA vehicles, laboratories, and cash-in-transit vehicles are manufactured on the basis of GAZelle van modifications. More than 1,500,000 vehicles of GAZelle family have been manufactured since the start of operation.
November 26, 1992. GAZ Automobile Plant was reorganized into open joint-stock company.
July 16, 1994. Manufacture of unique GAZelle one-and-a-half-ton truck was launched.
December 15, 1996 Manufacture of GAZ-3110 Volga was started.
September 10, 1998. Manufacture of Sobol vehicles of new family was launched.
December 2000. Gorky Automobile Plant became a member of Basic Element business group.
January 8, 2003. Manufacture of GAZelle and Sobol restyled light vehicles was launched.
December 2004. Manufacture of GAZ-3310 Valday medium-duty truck intended for city operation was launched.
2005. Gorky Automobile Plant became a member of the largest automotive holding GAZ Group.
July 25, 2007. Manufacture of Volga Siber light vehicle was launched.
April 2010 — GAZelle-BUSINESS with bi-fuel gas and petrol engine became the first-in-class vehicle in Russia commercially available with gas cylinders installed.
July 2010 — manufacture of GAZelle-BUSINESS vehicle equipped with Cumminsdiesel engine was launched.
September 2010 — manufacture of Valday medium-duty truck equipped with Cummins diesel engine was started..
April 2013 — Serial manufacturing of GAZelle NEXT vehicles of new generation was launched.«ГАЗель NEXT».
October 2015 — «GAZ Group» launches GAZelle NEXT panel van production «GAZ Group», a part of Basic Element, one of Russia’s largest diversified industrial holdings, launched mass production of the GAZelle NEXT panel van. GAZ Group enters the segment of vans with body capacity of over 13 cubic meters what makes GAZ the first Russian brand competing with foreign vehicles in this market. GAZ carried out a large-scale production modernization while preparing for the production of a new model. Investment to the project has reached around 9 billion rubles (132 million euros).