Thursday, May 10, 2012

End of the road for the Lada

Love it or hate it, the Lada has reached the end of its 40+ year production run.  According to MailOnLine, Lada manufacturer AvtoVaz will cease production of the classic boxy car it had been building since the early 1970s. The article has some great pictures of that great little car so please check it out.

The end of an era.  Everyone made fun of it but the car represented middle class to the people of the Soviet Union.  It was cheaply made and mechanically unreliable but it was also ubiquitous.  Parts were available everywhere and everyone knew how to fix it.  And they run forever.  I would guess a third of the cars in Zhovti Vody are Ladas.  At least in any parking area, that is what I see.

You see fewer and fewer in the bigger centres as their drivers move "up scale" to Daewoos, Aveos and Chinese cars, while the old Ladas move farther out into the countryside.  A Lada with a small trailer is the village equivalent of the half-ton pickup in rural Saskatchewan. Go anywhere, do anything on these roads.

For most Ukrainians, one car is all they expected to own in a life time so they looked after them.  Since the design never changed until recently, it was hard to tell a 40 year old Lada from a 10 year old Lada.  They may not make any more new ones but the old ones will be here for a few decades more, I am sure.


Rob-bear said...

As with the demise of the old VW "Beetle," some will mourn the passing of the Lada. Truly, like the old VW, the Lada was iconic.

The Blog Fodder said...

It surely was, Rob. The old ones will be with us for a long time but no one was buying new ones anymore, anyhow. It was at the very bottom of status. Even the locally assembled Daewoo was higher and the Chevy Aveo is still cheap but a good car and there are lots of good used cars coming in from Europe now, too. So there are choices.