History of the Moskvich car and the AZLK company

History of the Moskvich car and the AZLK company

At the end of the 20s of the twentieth century in Moscow was laid the foundation of a new car factory. Then the authorities named the new building “State Automobile Assembly Plant named after KIM in Moscow”. The first products of the new assembly plant, which came out of its workshops in 1930, were machines designed by Ford – model A and AA. The whole Moskvich model range.

Kim 10-50

Soon the model GAZ-AA was added to them and, on the eve of 1934, the CMM began to produce only it. The company was subordinated to the Gorky Automobile Plant. Six years later, the state authorities again separated the plant into a separate unit, but soon a war broke out, so the equipment and personnel were taken to the Urals and redirected to the military products.

After-war history

At the end of the war, the Council of Ministers of the USSR, in May 1945, gave a new life to the company by its decision. According to this decision it was necessary to organize the production of a small car “Moskvich” and to restore the Moscow Automobile Plant for this purpose.

Moskvic 400-420

Now it is called the Moscow Small Car Plant (MZMA). The reconstruction works were carried out so efficiently that the first post-war serial “Moskvich-400” appeared in less than two years, and a year after the appearance of the first industrial batch it began to be successfully exported.


The car was produced for seven years and was replaced by “Moskvich-401”, and in 1956 by “Moskvich-402”. Came later to replace them on the cars with progressive top valve engines “Moskvich-407” and “Moskvich-423” received the highest marks at the exhibition in Brussels in 1958.


Not even ten years have passed since the millionth copy of the next model, “Moskvich-408”, came off the assembly line and the production of a fundamentally new “Moskvich-412” has started. The car was highly appreciated both by the state acceptance committee and buyers.


To adjust its high-grade serial release, (and also its updatings in a body a universal and a pickup) assembly lines have been completely modernised and the new assembly case has been constructed. In addition, in honor of the half-century anniversary of the Komsomol Komsomol, the company received a new name: “Automobile plant named after Leninsky Komsomol”.


In 1975, the Moskvich-2140 was introduced – a restyled version of the 412 model. The silhouette was slightly changed, the shape of lights, bumpers and front door glazing was changed, the interior was redesigned and small modifications of the engine were made. Although the basic design of the engine UZAM-412 has not changed since 1968. The design of the gearbox and transmission parts remained unchanged and caused a lot of complaints.

1980s and later

By 1986 the four-millionth Moskvich-2140 was released, it was produced for two more years, after which the Moskvich-2141 – a completely new five-door front-drive hatchback – began to come off the assembly line. However, AZLK could not design a new engine of its own production, could not pick up a suitable power unit from another manufacturer.


Therefore, the truck was equipped with forced engines UZAM-412 and VAZ, for which the body was heavy 2140. And the outdated engines had a limited engine life, which did not meet modern requirements.


In Soviet times, the company’s machines had no serious competitors and everything that came out of the assembly shops was guaranteed to be sold out. However, in the changed economic conditions the obsolete products of AZLK produced with the same outdated equipment cannot withstand competition and in 1996 the conveyor stops for the first time in half a century.


After almost a year of downtime, an attempt is made to introduce new products with Renault powertrains. By the beginning of 1999, more than 5 million copies of the car “Prince Vladimir” were produced.


However, the system problems of production and management eventually led to the fact that in 2001 the conveyor was finally stopped. The abandoned AZLK fell into disrepair and was finally declared bankrupt in 2006.

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