AVTOVAZ (VAZ means Volga Automobile Factory) has been privatized and now has 207,550 shareholders. The Russian state owns 2 percent, and 119 Russian institutions own 66 percent.
AvtoVAZ was established in 1967. Fiat delivered both the first car model (the Fiat 124 engineered for Russia) and plant. From zero cars in 1967, production rose to 600,000 in 1970. Production peaked at 735,000 in 1990, fell to 513,000 in 1994, and should be about 716,000 this year.
A few components come from outside the region: tires from Ukraine; batteries from Spain; air filters from Canada; seatbelts from a Russian subsidiary of Sweden's Autoliv.