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GAZ

GAZ was founded in 1929 as a Russian automobile manufacturing cooperation between the Soviet Union and Ford.  Actually an acronym for Gorkovsky Avtomobilny Zavod (in English: Gorky Automobile Plant), GAZ was the result of a agreement in which the Soviet Union offered to purchase $13 million worth of parts and auto...mobiles from Ford in exchange for technical assistance until 1938.  In fact, all GAZ automobiles during this time donned the Ford emblem.

The first GAZ automobile was actually a Ford Model A, which was renamed and sold as the GAZ-A.  During this period GAZ manufactured several models that were virtually identical to models designed by Ford, including the GAZ-AA and the GAZ M1, which were based on the Ford Model AA and the Ford Model B, respectively.

GAZ produced its first independently developed model in 1942, which was named the GAZ-11.  In 1941, GAZ produced what could be considered to be the world’s first all-wheel drive passenger car, known as the GAZ-61, by mounting the small M2 body on a four-wheel drive chassis.  Today, GAZ remains as an active automobile manufacturer that has withstood numerous wars and economic depressions.  In May of 2009, they announced plans to takeover GM European activities by providing manufacturing facilities in Russia for Opel.

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