Lutsk Automobile Plant is one of the most famous automobile enterprises established in the Soviet Union. The plant has a long and very eventful history, for which it had to go through everything that every Soviet enterprise eventually faced in one way or another in the 1990s. So how are things going at LuAZ today, what is the enterprise producing at the moment?
The history of the Lutsk Automobile Plant began in February 1951. It was then that the Soviet leadership decided to organize a new plant in Lutsk. At that time, there were already car repair shops in the city that were engaged in servicing tractors and tractors. In 1955, the automobile workshop was ready, where they started repairing the GAZ-51 and GAZ-93 trucks, as well as the production of components for cars of these models. In 1959, the Lutsk Automobile Repair Plant was renamed into the Lutsk Machine-Building Plant: the enterprise produced its first own car - the LUMZ-825 bench trailer.
The range of LUMZ products has grown every year. More and more of its own products appeared at the plant. The year 1965 became a landmark in the history of the plant. It was then that the first new experimental ZAZ-969V vehicles were assembled here in the amount of 50 pieces. The car was developed at the facilities of another enterprise - the Zaporozhye automobile plant "Kommunar". And already in 1967, it was decided to transform the Lutsk Machine-Building Plant into the Lutsk Automobile Building Plant, or simply LuAZ.
Serial production of LuAZ-969 cars began at the plant in 1970. Already in 1973, the company assembled its 5,000th car. In 1975, LuAZ entered an industrial association of several machine-building plants of the Ukrainian SSR. Production was constantly growing, the plant had its own development department, which already in 1976 distinguished itself by the creation of a fundamentally new automobile tire with increased traction and coupling properties and a working resource. In September 1982, the 100,000th car rolled off the assembly line of the Lutsk plant. The Lutsk Automobile Plant was known throughout the Soviet Union for its off-road vehicles, amphibious vehicles for the needs of the army, as well as trolley cars (primarily for airports). By the way, the first Soviet front-wheel drive car was created here. At the time of 1989 in Lutsk, over 182 thousand cars were rolled off the assembly line.
Like almost all other Soviet enterprises, LuAZ's problems began with the collapse of a single country. Fully integrated into the socialist economy and created to meet primarily the domestic needs of the country, the enterprise experienced a hard transition to a market model. However, we can say that the Lutsk Automobile Plant was still lucky, and it still continued to work.
The obsolescence of production facilities, which began in the 1980s, became especially acute in the 1990s. The available foreign cars poured into the domestic market made LuAZ products unprofitable. The situation was complicated by the absence of any state support. As a result, car production at the plant began to fall steadily every year. Already in 1993, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine made a decision on the privatization of the plant, while retaining a 26% stake in the state. In 1998, LuAZ was excluded from the list of enterprises of strategic importance for Ukraine.
In 1999, the plant bought out CJSC Ukrprominvest, setting up production of two models of UAZ cars and five models of VAZ cars on the production line. By the beginning of the XXI century, production volumes in Lutsk fell by more than two times compared to the production indicators of the beginning of the “dashing 90s”. In the early 2000s, the plant practically did not produce cars of its own production. From a few units to several dozen cars with the LuAZ brand roll off the assembly line every year.
At the same time, the enterprise assembles from 9 to 31 thousand cars of other brands. The production level fluctuates greatly every year. And in 2005 LuAZ was bought by the Bogdan corporation. The modernization of the plant begins. In 2006, a bus assembly production line was developed here. By 2007, the production of UAZ and VAZ vehicles was completely discontinued. The plant finally switches to the production of buses and trolleybuses. The 2008 crisis interrupted the modernization of the enterprise. However, buses are still produced here today. Although the LuAZ brand actually died. All cars coming off the assembly line are sold under the Bogdan brand.
If you want to know even more interesting things, then you should read about the main minibus of the USSR: how was the fate of the RAF plant and how it looks today.