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© RIA Novosti. Yuri Streletc

Last ever Lada ‘semyorka’ rolls off the conveyor belt

by Evgeniya Chaykovskaya at 17/04/2012 18:48

Izhevsk car plant, a part of Russian car manufacturing giant AvtoVAZ, announced last week that they would stop producing the iconic Lada Riva, or VAZ 2107. The last Riva was produced on Monday.

“Thus the history of semyorka in Russia is over,” said the press-release, referring to the car’s nickname, quoted by RIA Novosti.

In 2011, AvtoVAZ passed over the production of the Lada Riva to the Izhevsk plant, and a test batch was produced last March, and the full cycle was set up in April. Since August 2011, the Izhevsk plant remained the only one making the Lada Riva.

The plant also plans to stop another classic – Lada 2104 by the end of 2012.

“At the moment the Izhevsk car plant is undergoing modernization and is renewing its range: very soon our new car, the Lada Granta, will be substituted for the classics, the start of production is planned for August 2012.”

End of an era

The plant stopped making the cars when demand fell and new models Lada Kalina, Lada Priora and Lada Granta became more popular.

In 2011, Izhavto made 70,176 cars, 40 percent of which were the Lada Riva. The introduction of the state utilization program and an increased demand for the Lada Riva temporarily helped Izhavto’s “resurrection,” general director Alexei Alexeyev told Komsomolskaya Pravda. The plant reached record levels of production and doubled its number of employees.

Lada Riva was introduced in 1982, and is a modification of Lada 2105, which in itself is based on the 1960s Fiat 124.

Soviet export

It was one of the few Soviet cars sold in Europe, and was often the butt of jokes. The car is better known in Russia as the Zhiguli, but when exports started, the name was too difficult to pronounce and meant something rude in several languages. So the name Lada appeared.

In the popular British car show, Top Gear, the Lada is also often made fun of, and is occasionally destroyed on stage in their live shows.

Lada humor

Somewhere in the middle of Spain, a Lada is driving along and meets a donkey.
The donkey, never having seen a Lada before, asks: “What are you?”
The Lada: “I am a car. What are you?”

The donkey: “Hahaha ... I'm a horse.”

 

Or

 

Don't forget the Lada emergency kit: walking boots and a map.

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