VAZ stands for Volszhkji Avtomobilnji Zavod and began vehicle production in the Soviet Union in 1970. The factory was established by FIAT and the first car to be built was based on the FIAT 124. The company name was changed to AvtoVaz in 1975. Lada is their best known brand name, with other models such as Zhiguli, Sputnik and Oka being manufactured until the 1990’s. Today, AvtoVaz produces over 400,000 vehicles a year and is Russia’s largest car manufacturer.