Here’s the Historic Soviet Auto Plant Where Putin Announced His New Presidential Bid

Millions of affordable cars and hundreds of trim versions. The legendary Pobeda, Chaika, ZIM, Volga, Gazel.

Gorky Automobile Plant is preparing for its 85th anniversary. Its history is basically the history of the Russian auto industry. And for the last five years, GAZ has completely updated its model range and entered the European top ten in the production of commercial vehicles.

Alexey Petrov on those who keep their standards high.


The main assembly line of GAZ: a giant production facility, the heart of the plant. Decades of perfecting every move.

85 years ago, a new Soviet plant with American roots built under the guidance of Ford became a true breakthrough for the Soviet auto industry. It was this production facility where the first GAZ-AA was assembled. Plant museum workers take enormous care of the legendary truck.

Natalia Kolesnikova, GAZ Museum Director: "It's a legend of the Soviet auto industry. During the WWII it was the tiny GAZ-AA that was carrying supplies to besieged Leningrad along the Road of Life and two AAs could feed ten thousand citizens of Leningrad".

Elegance, fine lines, splendor, and the unique style of the vehicles assembled by GAZ. It's not just a GAZ museum. It's the history of a great nation. Here's the legendary Pobeda, the symbol of the post-war recovery. This one is the last car of the model assembled at the pant. A reminder of the Khrushchev Thaw right next to it. And finally, GAZ-3102 The sign reads: "intended for servicing state institutions." The dream of a Soviet civil servant.

The term "car enthusiast" appeared after GAZ began producing Pobeda. The car cost 16 thousand rubles — an enormous sum of money but still marked the beginning of mass car production.

Another important exhibit — the first luxury car assembled at the plant. ZIM, GAZ-12 — an integral part of Moscow in the 50s. The car was owned by some notorious citizens.

Natalia Kolesnikova: "Sergey Mikhalkov, the author of the Russian hymn had a ZIM. And when the lead engineer, Lipgart, received the State Stalin Prize Mikhalkov sent us a telegram: "My heartiest congratulations, the ZIM is the best car in our nation".

But millions of people know GAZ as the producer of Volga. It's production started in 1957 and developed almost 60 models and trim versions during the next 50 years. The embodiment of prestige and a hero of numerous Soviet movies.

This season's premiere is a new 10-ton truck.

Pavel Sereda, GAZ Group, Strategic Development Director: "We've got some imported vehicles. But here's a Russian truck that's 30% cheaper. Secondly, it's got an upgraded Yaroslavl engine with upgraded shock absorbers mounting, and links. It's a totally different vehicle".

Small business will approve of the new generation Gazel model. In the future, it will serve as a basis for creating an advanced minibus.

Alexey Petrov, Oleg Makarov, Nikita Fomkin, Vladimir Ozerov, and Leonid Muravyev Vesti, Nizhny Novgorod.