11 Top Russian Car Brands [As of 2024]

From the rugged terrains of the Caucasus to the icy expanses of Siberia, vehicles in Russia have to be exceptionally tough, reliable, and easy to repair. Russian cars have long been recognized for their robustness and durability, making them perfect for these challenging environments. 

In 2022, 687,370 cars were sold in Russia, a 58.8% decline compared to 2021 sales. This sharp decrease was primarily due to the impact of international sanctions and economic challenges following the invasion of Ukraine.

Despite these challenges, the Russian car industry is focusing on increasing the localization of production, developing new models, and expanding export markets to reduce dependency on foreign entities. 

In the coming years, the number of cars in operation per 1,000 people in Russia is expected to rise. By 2028, this figure is projected to reach 409 cars per 1,000 people. [1]

In 2023, 937,081 cars were sold in Russia, a 36.3% jump from 2022. Moscow led in passenger car sales, followed by the Moscow Oblast and Krasnodar Krai. The top three OEM retailers were Lada, Haval, and Chery. [2]

In this article, we highlight the leading Russian car brands, showcasing their business statistics, notable models, and contributions to both the domestic and global automotive industries.

Did you know?

The Russian automotive industry can be traced back to the eighteenth century, when Ivan Polzunov built the first two-cylinder steam engine, and Ivan Kulibin constructed a human-powered vehicle with a brake, a gearbox, a flywheel, and roller bearings. In 1896, the Freze carriage-manufacturing workshop and the Yakovlev engine factory collaborated to create the first Russian petrol-engine automobile. [3]

8. Aurus Motors

Russian car brands - Aurus MotorsAurus Senat

Founded in 2018
Ownership: NAMI (63.5%), Tawazun Holding (36%)
Production Output: 115 units (2023)

Aurus Motors is a relatively new but highly ambitious automotive company, specializing in luxury vehicles. It aims to create high-end, technologically advanced cars that can compete with the likes of Bentley and Rolls-Royce on the global stage. 

Its flagship model, the Aurus Senat, has garnered considerable attention as the presidential state car of Russia. The commercial version features a 4.4 L V8 twin-turbo gasoline engine. Another key model is the Aurus Arsenal, a 5-door armored luxury van designed for high-profile clients.

In 2023, the company began producing the F-Class Senat sedan in Dubai. It plans to firmly establish its presence in the UAE before expanding to other countries. [4]

7. GAZ


Founded in 1932
Parent: GAZ Group
Annual Revenue: $1.46 billion (2017)

GAZ, short for Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod, was founded in 1932 as a result of a joint venture between the Soviet government and an American company, Ford Motor Company. It has played an important role in the development of the Soviet and Russian automotive industry, producing millions of vehicles, including passenger cars, trucks, and buses. 

The GAZelle series of light commercial vehicles, in particular, has been a major success. Introduced in 1994, these versatile vans and trucks are widely used in commercial and public sectors across Russia and in export markets. 

In 2019, GAZ requested a $468 million bailout from the Russian government due to the impact of US sanctions. Since then, the company has been focusing on localizing the production of critical components, particularly light diesel engines for commercial vehicles. [5]

6. Moskvitch

MoskvitchMoskvitch 3

Founded in 1973
Parent: AvtoVAZ
Production Output: 30,000+ units (2023)

Moskvitch cars are produced by AZLK, a Russian automobile manufacturer. It played a crucial role in the Soviet automotive industry, providing affordable and reliable transportation for millions of Soviet citizens. 

The first Moskvitch car, the Moskvitch-400, was released in 1947. During its peak in the 1960s and 1970s, the company was manufacturing hundreds of thousands of vehicles per year. However, economic difficulties and the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s led to a decline in production.

In 2022, Russia revived the Moskvitch brand with Chinese models, launching new vehicles that were all rebadged cars from the Chinese manufacturer JAC. [6]

In 2023, Moskvitch signed a deal with Yandex Taxi to supply 3,000 Moskvitch 3 (compact crossover SUVs) and 2,000 Moskvitch 3e taxis. The company also revealed plans to expand its dealer network to more urban regions across Russia.

In April 2024, the company sold over 2,200 vehicles, a significant increase from the 970 vehicles sold in April 2023. This total includes over 200 Moskvitch 6 sedans and about 340 Moskvitch 3e electric vehicles. [7]

5. Kamaz


Founded in 1969
Ownership: Rostec (49.9%) Avtoinvest Limited (23.54%)
Production Output: 40,000+ units  
Annual Revenue: $197.61 million (2022)

Established in 1969, Kama Automobile Plan (Kamaz) has become a symbol of Russian engineering prowess, producing a range of heavy-duty trucks, buses, military vehicles, engines, and power units. It produces over 40,000 trucks and chassis, catering to both domestic and international markets. 

Their best-selling models are the KAMAZ-43118 and KAMAZ-5490 trucks, with over 7,300 and 7,200 units sold in 2021, respectively. In 2023, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu stated that the supply of KAMAZ multipurpose vehicles surged 17.6 times after the EU, New Zealand, and Japan imposed sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine. [8]

In 2023, Kamaz generated $4.26 billion in revenue, up from $3.37 billion in 2022. However, net income was approximately $186.3 million, compared to $214.7 million the previous year. The company plans to reach $8.8 billion in revenue by 2030 through its strategically developed program. [9]

4. UAZ

Founded in 1941
Parent: Sollers JSC
Production Output: 39,400+ units (2023)
Annual Revenue: $538 million+ (2021)

UAZ, short for Ulyanovsky Avtomobilny Zavod, is known for its robust off-road vehicles. It has a strong presence in the Russian market, particularly in regions requiring durable and reliable vehicles. 

Its popular models, such as the UAZ Hunter and UAZ Patriot, are common in rural and remote regions, where road conditions demand robust performance. 

In 2021, the company produced 41,442 vehicles and generated approximately $538 million, a 29.3% increase from the previous year. Profit from sales reached $13 million, compared to a loss of $4.7 million the previous year. [10]

In 2023, UAZ sold 39,453 vehicles, including 11,853 Patriot SUVs, 5,198 Profi light trucks, 4,579 Pickup trucks, and 1,037 traditional Hunter SUVs. Plus, it announced plans to launch a limited edition of its popular 1960s model, the UAZ-452, a four-wheel-drive off-road van featuring a body-on-frame construction and a cab-over-engine design. [11]

3. Lada


Founded in 1973
Parent: AvtoVAZ
Production Output: 352,500+ units (2023)
Annual Revenue: $2.9 billion

Lada is the most iconic and widely recognized brand of car manufactured by a Russian state-owned company AvtoVAZ. First appeared in 1973, Lada expanded its model range and production capacity throughout the mid-1970s and 1908s, becoming the largest car manufacturer in the Soviet Union. Models like the off-road LADA Niva and the LADA Riva became particularly popular. 

In 2023, Lada achieved a 35% market share in the Russian automobile market, reaching record levels not seen in the past two decades. Its most affordable model, the LADA Granta, was the best-selling car in the Russian Federation, followed by the Lada Niva and the Lada Vesta family.

With 352,572 vehicles sold in 2023, Lada remained the best-selling brand in Russia. By the end of the year, Lada implemented 16 modifications in production, resumed the 16-valve engine, and upgraded all models to the Euro-5 standard. Also, about 1,200 components and materials previously imported from other countries were localized and replaced. [12]

According to Statista, Lada generates nearly $2.93 billion in annual revenue. This revenue is expected to remain stable for the next four years. [13]



Founded in 1918
Ownership: Federal State Unitary Enterprise
Annual Revenue: $32.3 million (2017)

Founded in 1918, the Central Scientific Research Automobile and Automotive Engines Institute (NAMI) is one of the world’s oldest automotive research institutes. Its primary objective has been to advance automotive technology and enhance vehicle performance, safety, and efficiency. 

NAMI’s scientists and design engineers are directly involved in the development and testing of nearly all Russian vehicles, from passenger cars to heavy-duty trucks. One of its recent high-profile projects is the development of the Aurus brand, aimed at competing with international luxury brands like Rolls-Royce and Bentley. The Aurus Senat, Russia’s presidential state car, was developed with significant input from NAMI.

NAMI has registered 39 computer programs with the Federal Service for Intellectual Property, most of which focus on vehicle safety. The institute has also developed the first technical regulations for vehicle emissions in the Russian Federation.

It holds 172 patents, including 24 Russian Federation patents for utility models and 31 Russian Federation patents for industrial designs. [14]

In 2022, NAMI acquired Nissan’s Russian business (Renault’s Avtovaz) for one euro, with a six-year buyback clause. The Japanese carmaker said the transaction cost it around $687 million. [15]

1. AvtoVAZ

Founded in 1966
Ownership: Lada Auto Holding
Production Output: 352,500+ units (2023)
Annual Revenue: $1.96 billion (2022)

AvtoVAZ was established through a joint venture between the Soviet government and the Italian car manufacturer Fiat. The goal was to build a mass-market vehicle for the Soviet population. It became popular for its vehicles like Zhiguli, Oka, and Sputnik, which were later phased out and replaced by Lada in the Russian market. 

Today, the company is best known for its LADA brand. For a short period in 2020, it sold Niva cars with Chevrolet branding. 

AvtoVAZ organizes its business in two segments: Automotive and Dealership network. The majority of its revenue comes from the Automotive segment, which includes sales of auto spare parts and car technical services in the domestic market.

In 2022, AvtoVAZ generated $1.96 billion in revenue and a net income of $2.4 million, with total assets valued at $2.43 billion. In 2023, its domestic market sales nearly doubled to 352,500 cars, and the company plans to reach 500,000 sales by the end of 2024. [16]

Other Small Car Companies in Russia 

9. Kombat Armouring

Russian car companies - Kombat Armouring

Founded in 1985
Ownership: Leonard Yankelovich

Kombat Armouring is a niche automotive manufacturer that specializes in producing luxury armored vehicles. In 2009, it launched the Dartz brand, which quickly gained notoriety for its extravagant designs and high level of customization. Its flagship model, Dartz Prombron, is known for its bulletproof capabilities, high-end interiors, and unique design. 

Before the Dartz brand, the Kombat T-98 was one of the company’s primary models. It features an armored body based on a ‘metal-ceramic sandwich with cellular filler’ technology and a 340-horsepower V8 engine, which accelerates the vehicle to a top speed of 180 km/h, making it one of the world’s fastest all-terrain armored vehicles. [17]

Their primary clients include ultra-high-net-worth individuals, celebrities, and organizations that require both luxury and security, such as diplomats and security firms.

Founded in 1991
Ownership: AvtoVAZ
Annual Revenue: $14.49 billion (2020)

VIS-AVTO has carved out a niche in the market by offering a range of modified and specialized vehicles that retain the reliability and affordability of the LADA brand. Their product lineup includes pickup trucks, vans, and chassis-based conversions, all built on LADA platforms like the LADA Granta and LADA Largus. 

The company produces several thousand vehicles a year, depending on market demand. Production is closely integrated with AvtoVAZ’s main manufacturing facilities. 

In 2020, VIS-AVTO generated approximately $14.49 million in revenue and achieved a net profit of $1.27 million. Their total assets were valued at $11.8 million. [18]

11.  Avtotor
Founded in 1996
Owner: Vladimir Shcherbakov
Production Output: 38,000+ units (2023)
Annual Revenue: $108 million (2022)

Avtotor assembles and produces vehicles in collaboration with several international automotive brands. It is headquartered in Kaliningrad, a strategically located exclave of Russia to facilitate the import and assembly of foreign car brands.

In 2023, the company initially planned to manufacture up to 70,000 cars across 17 models. However, due to lower demand, it adjusted its plan, resulting in a production volume of 38,000 units by the end of the year. Currently, Avtotor assembles passenger and commercial vehicles from Chinese brands Kaiyi, Dongfeng Sokon, SWM, BAIC, and Foton. [19]

It is working on a project to build a cluster of 12 factories dedicated to producing electric vehicles and automotive components. The total investment for these factories is estimated to be over $800 million. 

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Sources Cited and Additional References

  1. Vehicles & Road Traffic, Number of cars in operation per 1,000 people in Russia, Statista 
  2. Sales by Models, Automotive sales in Russia in 2023, Marklines
  3. Blog, The first car built in Russia: the Yakovlev & Freze, PreWarCar
  4. Roma Nazarov, Russian automakers reach out to fresh markets, WardsAuto
  5. News, Sanctions-hit GAZ wants government bail-out – Kommersant, The Moscow Times
  6. Automakers, Russia revives Soviet-era Moskvich brand with Chinese model, Automotive News Europe 
  7. Economy, Moskvich car sales on the rise in April 2024 — press service, Tass Russian News Agency 
  8. Business, Kamaz-43118 is the most popular model of the company’s product range, Kamaz Export
  9. Economy, Kamaz expects revenue worth $8.8 bln by 2030, Tass Russian News Agency 
  10. News, UAZ received 1.3 billion rubles of net profit under RAS in 2021, AutoStat
  11. News, Anniversary special version of Bukhanka will appear in the autumn of 2023, AutoStat
  12. Press Release, Avtovaz in 2023: Sales and production growth, Lada
  13. Passenger Cars, Lada’s financial highlights, Statista
  14. About the Institute, Portfolio of intellectual property, NAMI
  15. Deals, Nissan takes $687 mln loss as sells Russian business for 1 euro, Reuters 
  16. Economy, AvtoVAZ sales in Russia almost doubled to over 352,500 cars in 2023, Tass Russian News Agency 
  17. Model Specifications, Armored vehicle “Kombat T98” is a dual-purpose vehicle, Combat AG
  18. Financial Statement, Production of special vehicles VIS-AUTO, Audit-it.ru
  19. Economy, Russian carmaker Avtotor plans to produce up to 100,000 cars by end of 2024, Tass Russian News Agency 
Written by
Varun Kumar

I am a professional technology and business research analyst with more than a decade of experience in the field. My main areas of expertise include software technologies, business strategies, competitive analysis, and staying up-to-date with market trends.

I hold a Master's degree in computer science from GGSIPU University. If you'd like to learn more about my latest projects and insights, please don't hesitate to reach out to me via email at [email protected].

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