A joint venture between communist Russia and Italy, they began production in the 1960’s. Lada isn’t even the name of a car manufacturer; it’s simply the trademark name of Russian manufacturer AvtoVAZ, who invented the name to sell cars in the West. Mainly exported in sedan and station wagon models, AvtoVAZ had sold more than 20 million Lada vehicles before ceasing production in 2012. Rugged design, cheap pricing and ease of service made them popular across Europe, Africa and the Caribbean for use as public service vehicles, police cars and taxis. Ladas first hit Australian shores in 1984 with the Niva 4WD followed by the Samara, Cevaro and Sable models. Sales quickly started to fall, and by 1996 sales were less than 100 units for the year.
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