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History Of The Russian Automobile Industry: AMO ZIL - Named After The City Hall


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Video: History Of The Russian Automobile Industry: AMO ZIL - Named After The City Hall

Video: History Of The Russian Automobile Industry: AMO ZIL - Named After The City Hall
History Of The Russian Automobile Industry: AMO ZIL - Named After The City Hall
History Of The Russian Automobile Industry: AMO ZIL - Named After The City Hall




The plant in Moscow became the first specialized automotive company in pre-revolutionary Russia: the charter of the Partnership on shares of the automobile society of Moscow (AMO) was approved on May 18, 1916. Its founder was the trading house "Kuznetsov, Ryabushinsky and Co.". In the floodplain of the Moskva River, in the Tyufelovaya Grove, they started licensed production of a 1.5-ton truck Fiat-15 Ter. Under a contract with the military department, they managed to assemble 1.3 thousand vehicles from Italian sets, - then the revolution and nationalization broke out (August 15, 1918). The next six years, the plant was engaged in overhaul of trucks. Only on November 1, 1924 did the brand new AMO-F 15 leave the shops, created “based on” Fiat and partly from its remaining components. Over the next six years, 6.9 thousand trucks were produced - negligible for the needs of the country's reviving economy. In 1931, they finally launched the first conveyor in the USSR, on which they again began to assemble a licensed American truck Autokar-SD, which, with the transition to domestic components, gradually degenerated into the well-known ZIS-5.

So the Moscow plant became the flagship of the industry. He specialized in the production of trucks, buses based on them, and since 1936 - and high-class cars. In the 1970s and 1980s, 200 thousand trucks were assembled here annually! The company has repeatedly changed its name: AMO - Moscow Automobile Plant named after Ferrero (Italian Communist, who was killed by the Nazis in 1924) - the first state automobile plant named after Stalin (ZIS) - PO "Plant them. Likhachev "(ZIL) - Joint Stock Company Moscow" I. A. Plant Likhachev "(AMO ZIL). In addition to the central site in the capital, it had over 30 branches throughout the country; the association had over 120 thousand people - the population of a small city. But already in Soviet times, Muscovites were not very attracted to work at the head plant, under difficult conditions, mainly “limiters” worked (for the prospect of getting a capital registration in ten years), as well as shift workers from Vietnam (for the opportunity to buy and take at least some then goods).


When the USSR collapsed, long-term economic ties were broken. Many were artificial. Military orders dropped sharply, agriculture without support also stopped buying huge trucks … The markets of friendly countries yesterday were also lost. The “exemplary” flagship of the industry was completely unprepared for new times. Moreover, they immediately revealed the complete failure of his economic model.

However, the leaders of the enterprise did not even try to adapt to market conditions. Demand for medium-tonnage trucks, which were ineffective in most cases, sharply fell - but the workshops stubbornly continued to rivet the voracious "one hundred and thirty" diesel engines ZIL-4331 that did not gain popularity.

A class of small entrepreneurs appeared, they needed cars for transporting small consignments of goods on a short shoulder and in cities. Such a car ("Gazelle") began to be assembled in Nizhny Novgorod; thanks to this model, GAZ survived and rose. In 1992, a truck with a higher class was developed at ZIL - a three-ton ZIL-5301 half-hood layout, but they managed to launch it in a series only four years later: there was no engine for the car.

Meanwhile, in December 1994, the last truck of the ZIL-130 family rolled off the assembly line, and by next summer the enterprise went bankrupt. At that time, the country was actively privatizing "according to Chubais": few prosperous companies, having bought vouchers for nothing, tried to invest them in large industrial enterprises. Then they still hoped to breathe a second life into them - after all, we have smart engineers, skilled workers, excellent projects that can be quickly embodied in metal. Bet on the stream and make a profit! So the owner of a controlling stake in AMO ZIL became the trading house Mikrodin.



The scheme opens in full size on click.


One of the most successful players in the electronics and home appliances market, Mikrodin had dozens of stores across the country with a turnover of hundreds of millions of dollars. In the early 1990s, it was founded by two young entrepreneurs: Dmitry Zelenin (later governor of the Tver region) and Alexander Efanov. They became the owners of ZIL rather unexpectedly for themselves: they could not pass by the offer of shares of the plant, which were sold for nothing. In early 1996, Alexander Efanov was appointed its general director.

A physicist by training (like most members of his team), Efanov by that time had good experience working as a manager in a large enterprise. A quick acquaintance showed that the situation at ZIL is critical. The enterprise occupied hundreds of hectares in the center of the capital, it employed about 90 thousand people, who produced by that time no more than 7 thousand trucks a year. But nobody needed those either! In the sales department there were 25 women of pre-retirement age who solved only shipping issues. No one was directly involved in sales! Theft has reached enormous proportions: the workers, who had their wages delayed for several months, carried through the holes in the fences and walk-throughs everything that came to hand. In winter, not only spare parts, but even multi-ton machines dragged along the ice of the backwater through the Moscow River! Therefore, the first thing that the leaders of Mikrodin did was to place their guard everywhere. They say that only in the first month they managed to prevent the removal of property by almost a million dollars.

New managers quickly prepared a rather interesting plant development strategy. It was supposed to develop several universal truck platforms and assemble vehicles on their basis for specific orders. All production was concentrated in several workshops, in a few rooms they opened the assembly of household appliances ordered by Mikrodin Trade House - refrigerators, air conditioners … All non-production assets began to be sold, because it is impossible to maintain a palace of culture and kindergartens, stadiums on the balance sheet of an automobile plant. and residential areas.

The main “breadwinner” for the transition period was decided to make the “Bull” ZIL-5301, which in 1996 managed to be launched into the series. Temporarily it was equipped with a tractor 4-cylinder diesel engine of the Minsk Motor Plant: this engine had a car modification D-245 (power from 109 to 136 hp). Who would know that this temporary solution will become permanent! Major shifts were outlined (production tripled), but the situation remained difficult. The owner of the enterprise suffered huge losses, because he had to pay for the debts hanging on it from previous years. But ZIL had a chance to find its place in the sun. If the plant did not become the scene of the struggle of ambitions of two iconic people …

Anatoly Chubais, the “main privatizer” of the country, believed: if industry giants were transferred to private companies, they would be able to make them efficient and profitable. He cited the same ZIL as an example of the fact that new owners successfully overcome difficulties. But in Moscow, Chubais found a serious opponent - mayor Yuri Luzhkov, who argued that large enterprises should be left in state (or municipal) ownership in order to retain personnel, industrial potential and prevent social upheaval. The latter were just outlined at ZIL, because the new owners had to reduce the extra staff, including managers … As a result of a fierce undercover fight, Luzhkov won: Mikrodin, under pressure from officials, was forced to leave the company, selling his shares to the city at a nominal price. He never received the money invested in the plant and after "going into industry" he could not recover. They say that history has no subjunctive mood, and therefore we won’t know if, in the end, business physicists could succeed in the automotive business or not.

But what about ZIL? After a series of shareholders meetings, of which many then doubted the legality, the Moscow government accumulated over 68% of the shares. The "new old" stage in the life of the enterprise has begun. Capital officials steered on it, and its name was jokingly decoded as follows: “Luzhkov Plant”. By the way, according to the official version, it was Yuri Mikhailovich who gave the ZIL-5301 model the name “Bull”.

Meanwhile, things were getting worse. Under Mikrodin, it was possible to increase the production of trucks to 22 thousand per year, but now demand has gone down. Not too high-quality "bull-calves" with a low-power engine could be built only as state and municipal orders, and even by firms closely associated with the city hall of the capital.

At the same time, the city government invested a lot of money in the enterprise, and banks subordinate to the city hall willingly credited ZIL. At the beginning of the last decade, we tried to officially find out how much money is flowing into a half-dead enterprise (we were talking about billions of rubles!) And how these funds are spent. They literally threw letters at the city hall, but never received an answer. The department head, E. Panteleev, who was responsible for the industry, professionally dodged sensitive issues.

The production of trucks was falling, and Luzhkov was literally gushing with ideas: today - to organize mass production of all-terrain vehicles of own design at ZIL, tomorrow - to revive the production of limousines for members of the government and city hall (due to the lack of orders, their assembly was stopped in 1996). Every year we were promised the arrival of foreign partners: Kenworth, Caterpillar, Volvo, Renault. Then there were negotiations with Chinese companies Sinotrak and Foton, the Belarusian MAZ … But for some reason their idea of cooperation with the Moscow government in the automotive field did not inspire. Even despite the significant benefits promised by the city hall. Actually, thanks to these benefits and huge financial injections from the city authorities, the enterprise continued to exist. Moreover, it was possible to push ZIL into the federal list of city-forming enterprises.

But this did not save. In 2010, the company produced 1258 trucks and five buses, after which the conveyor stopped - there was no money left for the purchase of components and a salary. Although a little more than 7 thousand people already worked here …

In the vast territory, in addition to abandoned workshops and rusty railways, there are “well-being zones” - tenants work there. In one of the premises for five years, the Russian-Japanese joint venture has been stamping body panels for Renault Logan and Sandero, which are assembled at Avtoframos.

In another, church bells are poured (among them the ones installed at the Cathedral of Christ the Savior). One of the buildings was even converted to a film studio, where they shoot series and television programs. Most of the premises and sites have long been leased - for offices, warehouses. This is the most important source of income for the former automobile plant.

In general, I had a clear conviction: in the 90s of the last century and the first decade of this, the Moscow City Hall voluntarily or involuntarily did everything to “drown” the capital's automobile plants - ZIL and Moskvich. She put incompetent specialists to the leadership, resisted radical reforms, delayed the resolution of urgent issues of property, including land. The result is what happened: Moskvich has long been dead (although Avtoframos is operating on part of its territory), little is left of ZIL either. However, they say that it’s too early to put an end to it …


In 2011, ZIL celebrated its 95th anniversary. There is nothing to be proud of the hero of the day: the conveyor has stood for a year, and the debts have exceeded 15 billion rubles. At the same time, the plant still occupies about 300 hectares of land almost in the center of the capital, in a picturesque place on the river bank!

The situation is absurd: until the last moment, the Moscow government refused to sell priceless land, and the enterprise located on it did not produce products and only multiplied debts.

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