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UAZ - Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant

Posted on 8/1/2016 10:01:35 AM

UAZ (УАЗ) (Ulyanovsky Avtomobilny Zavod, Ульяновский Автомобильный Завод, Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant) is an automobile manufacturer based in Ulyanovsk, Russia which manufactures off-road vehicles, buses and trucks. It is best known for the UAZ-469 utility vehicle, which has seen wide use as a military vehicle in the Eastern bloc and around the world. The UAZ factory started production in 1941 as part of the Soviet war effort.

 

The UAZ-469 (and its modifications) has earned a reputation as a very reliable and capable 4x4. It has gained huge popularity among off-road enthusiasts within Russia, former Soviet republics as well as Europe, Asia, Oceania, South America and Africa, and is preferred by many over other legendary 4x4s such as Land Rover, Jeep and Toyota.

 

One of the main reasons the 469 has enjoyed such popularity is its deliberately simple design, which allows for easy maintenance and repairs. Its simplicity is a deliberate design feature for two main reasons: the requirements of the Soviet Armed Forces, as well as that most people in the Soviet Union/Russia prefer to fix their cars themselves as opposed to taking them to an authorized service stations, because of the complete lack of such stations, and later, with their appearance (beginning from the '1960's).

 

Although the UAZ has proven to be a reliable 4x4, there have been a few problems with the car's reliability that have slightly hurt its reputation.

 

The transmission of the original 469 has been known to have problems when not maintained properly (as the owners manual dictates). Another major problem within Russia has been the production of counterfeit parts made out of cheap metals. Furthermore, the 1990s (after the fall of the Soviet Union) saw a significant decline of quality in the assembly of UAZ vehicles as the company struggled to survive and could not afford to pay the salaries of its employees.

 

Other problems have been encountered with the modernization of the vehicle, as many of the new electrical and cosmetic parts have been of poor quality. To combat these problems, and return the reliability and dependability of UAZ vehicles to their former standards the UAZ Company has recently introduced a new Quality Control system which has reduced the number of UAZ vehicles with defects arriving in showrooms around the world.

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