Zavod Imeni Likhacheva
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Zil was an automobile factory, which manufactured armored cars for most Soviet leaders, as well as trucks, buses and tanks.

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Avtomobilnoe Moskovskoe Obshchestvo (AMO) was founded in 1916. The first truck was produced in 1924. In 1933 the factory changed its name to Zavod Imeni Stalina (ZIS). After Stalin's death in 1956 they changed again to Zavod Imeni

Plant's History.
On August 2, 1916, a ceremonial public prayer and the foundation ceremony of the works of Automobile Moscow Society (AMO) took place in the Tyufleva grove's district, which by March, 1917, should have manufactured 150 one and a half tons F-15 trucks under the license of Italian company "FIAT". The difficulties of the wartime and weakness of machinery basis of the country foiled the plans of the works construction at the planned time. Nevertheless, the Ryabushinskies purchased in Italy complete sets of F-15 vehicles, that provided the assembly of 432 trucks in 1917, 779 - in 1918 and 108 vehicles - 1919. But the plant was not completed for production and assembling of its own vehicles. It happened because of the October Revolution and the forthcoming Civil War. The nationalization of the unfinished works (August, 15, 1918) fixed the expropriation of the property of AMO shareholders. The unfinished enterprise in its essence turned into big workshops where vehicles and other machinery were repaired.

On April, 30, 1923, the plant was named after Italian communist Ferrero, killed by fascists. In June, 1923, GOSPLAN of the USSR approved the production target of the works for 1923-1927. However, only in March, 1924, the plant received a specific governmental project for production of the first soviet trucks. On November 1, 1924, the first one and a half ton truck was assembled, and on November, 7 the ten trucks were presented on the parade.

This date is considered to be a birthday of the Soviet motor-vehicle construction. In 1925 plant was renamed as the 1-st State Automobile Plant (the former AMO). In 1927 LIHACHOV became the director of the plant and his name is associated with intensive development of the enterprise. At the beginning of 1927, the Autotrust, which managed the plant, came to a decision to reconstruct the plant. An American truck of the assembling firm "Autocar" with cargo-carrying capacity of 2,5 t. was chosen as a production object. And the mass output of the trucks was planned with conveyor line method.

In 1931 after the reconstruction the plant was launched, and in October, 1 of the same year the plant was named after I.V.STALIN (abbreviation - ZIS).

In October, 25, 1931 the first national automobile conveyor line was launched where the first 27 AMO-3 truck came off the assembling line.

nbsp; To the summer, 1933, the AMO-3 truck was modernized, its cargo-carrying capacity was increased up to 3 t. The production of the ZIS-5 and ZIS-6 automobile was launched in 1934. The truck ZIS-5 became a landmark automobile model in the history of the plant not only due to that it was the first really mass vehicle and was in production for 15 years. On the basis of ZIS-5 vehicle 25 vehicle's variants and modifications have been developed, and the production of 19 of them was commenced.

In August, 21, 1933, the Sovnarkom of the USSR reached the decision about the second reconstruction of the plant to increase automobile product range of the plant.

In 1936 (November, 3) the assembly line of the first domestic sevenseater ZIS-101 limousine was started, the basis of which became the design of American passenger car "Buick" according to the natural sample (without purchasing of the drawings from the company).

Since 1936 to 1941 the works concentrated its efforts on increase of production of trucks with gas-generator device ZIS-21 and semi-track movers ZIS-22, ZIS-42 and ZIS-8 and ZIS-16 buses as well as of buses (all on ZIS-5 basis).

The offensive of the German troops to Moscow in autumn forced evacuation of a great number of people and equipment to Uljanovsk, Miass, Chelyabinsk and Shadrinsk. In October of 1941 the plant was prepared for destruction and didn't work. Though, after successful offensive of the red Army near Moscow in winter of 1941-1942, ZIS step by step was going stronger, and since June, 1942, military ZIS-5B trucks (simplified) started to come off the assembly line, semi- ZIS-22, ZIS-42 track tractors were produced, the armament for battle-front (the mortar, submachine guns, mines, shells and etc.). For years of the war about 100 thousand trucks of ZIS-5V, ZIS-42, ZIS-42M, ZIS-16S ambulance buses were produced. At that time in June, 1942 ZIS truck was awarded the first Order of Lenin for excellent management of ammunition and armament production. The evacuated people and equipment become a labour resources for the following plants: Uliyanovsk automobile, Uralisk (Miassk) automobile, Chelyabinsk forge-and-press and Shadrinsk machine units. In October, 1944 the plant was awarded the Order of the Labour Red Banner.

On September,19, 1942 the work on creation of a governmental ZIS-110 top class limousine was started. Supreme leader wanted to take the firm's "Piccard" limousine as an automobile's pattern.

In 1946 the third reconstruction of ZIL was commenced. It was intended for arrangement of the production of the first post- war products of the plant: ZIS-150 trucks (production of 1947) and truck of the increased cross-country ability ZIS-151 (production of 1948). In November, 1949 the plant was awarded the second Order of Lenin for merits in the Soviet Automobile industry's development and because of the 25th year anniversary of the first produced Soviet automobile. In 1949 the ZIS-155 city bus took place of the ZIS-154 city bus. The bus was produced based on the general mechanisms of the ZIS-150 automobile and the ZIS-154 bus.

Since April, 30, 1950, ZIL began production of refrigerators, and since January, 1951, proceeded manufacturing of bicycles, that was stopped in 1959. In 1950 the plant started producing of military equipment, ZIS-152 armoured troop-carrier and ZIS-485 amphibian automobile (production of 1952-1958).

In the beginning of 1953, a special department was created at the plant for designing of the first automobile plant in China. The ZIS's engineers in Chanchune helped Chinese specialists to have launched the production of the first Chinese truck Dzefan (ZIS-150 pattern).

In 1954 under the urgent request of G.K. Zhukov, the Marshal of the USSR, a special construction department was organized at the plant for creation of special motor vehicles intended for mobile missile systems. V. Grachev was appointed as the Head and General Constructor of SKB. In 1955 the first national long-distance ZIS-127 bus was launched in production.

In 1956 Ivan Alekseevich Likhachov died, and the plant was named after him. At the end of the same year the two first experimental samples of trucks of the second post-war generation were assembled - ZIL-130 ? ZIL-131.

In 1957 the more comfortable ZIL-158 city bus took place of ZIS-155. In 1957 the ZIL-164-ZIL-164A automobile was put into production instead of ZIS-150. The enhanced engine and a new back axle with the pressed truss were installed on the automobile.

In 1958 the triaxial full drive ZIL-157 automobile become to be assembled instead of the ZIL-151 automobile. The automobile was equipped with device for air pressure regulation of tyres and single-tyres.

In 1958 the passenger automobile model line after the ZIS-110 automobile was continued with the official ZIL-111 limousine.

On the international exhibition in Brussels the automobile was awarded with the honourable certificate. The subsequent passenger cars: ZIL-114-117 (1967-1976), ZIL-4104-4105 (1976) until the latest ZIL-41041 are considered as sufficiently stylish and modern.

The fourth so called "reconstruction" of the plant, which began in 1959, provided development of production of ZIL-130 and ZIL-131trucks.

In 1964 a mass production of ZIL-130 was commenced. The ZIL-130 truck's design enhancement works continued up to the end of 1970 and completed with such modifications as the north, export, tropical, gas fuel version and etc.

The 3,5 tons ZIL-131 truck (6?6) relates to the full drive category of the third generation normalised with the 130 series that was in production since 1967. In 1987 due to the changes in engine and in chassis was assigned index ZIL 131N.

In 1967 rescue-emergency vehicles (PEU-1) targeted for rescuing and evacuation operations of space devices and cosmonauts were designed and produced (custom-made).

In1967 for the first time the USSR took part in the 8th International "Week of Buses" in Nice, where the comfortable bus of compact class ZIL-118 ?Yunost? won 12 prizes. The bus was produced per single separate custom orders. No production run of the bus was arranged.

In 1971 the plant was awarded the third Order of Lenin for successful performing the eighth five-year production plan.

In July, 13, 1971 the ZIL became the Production Association (PA ZIL) which was formed of the 17 plants.

In 1974 the millionth ZIL-130 automobile was assemble on the main assembling line.

In 1975 the Plant was awarded the Great October Revolution Order for the successful completion of work on making facilities of the 200 thousand automobile production per annum.

In 1975 on the ZIL plant the production of new generation 3-axial ZIL-133G1 automobiles (6x4) was arranged with load-carrying capacity of 8 t, to which the 10-tons ZIL-133G2 model of full weight 17,2 t was supplemented. They were equipped with a standard 150-h.p. V8 engine, 5-stepped gearbox, hypoid final drive and balanced half-elliptic spring suspension.

Since 1979 the ZIL-133G2 automobiles were replaced with ZIL-133GYA where the diesel engine KAMAZ-740 of the Kamsk automobile plant (210 h.p), 10-stepped gearbox, reinforced front springs were mounted.

The plant had significant impact on the KAMAZ plant development. Casting and automobile assembling workshops were designed at the ZIL plant, and developed automobile models were base models for the automobile range from Naberezhnye Chelny.

Commenced in 1982 last and most large reconstruction of the plant complied with crucial economical changes in the country.

In 1984 the first ZIL-130 automobiles were produced with enhanced front drive. They were assigned with the index ZIL-431410.

In 1990, the ZIL-130 (ZIL-431410) and ZIL-131N truck production was moved to the Uralisky automotor plant (UAMZ) at Novouralisk near Ekaterinburg.

At the beginning of the 90-th the previously secret production of tracked cross-country vehicles was reorganised as OJSC "Vezdekhod GVA". Its abbreviation took initials of the creator of cross country technology V. Gracheva. Emergency-rescue "Blue bird" amphibians were considered as most interesting ones. They were produced as truck and truck passenger versions ZIL-4906 and ZIL-49061 with gasoline or diesel engines by power 136-185 h.p., on-board 10-stepped transmission, independent torsion-bar suspension, disk brakes, fibreglass body, radio navigational instruments and facilities of saving.

The automobile full mass was 9,6-11,8 t, maximum speed on highway - 75-80 km/h, afloat - 8-9 km/h. Since 1992 in Balakhna in Nizhegorodskay area at the Pravdinsk radio equipment plant (OJSC PZRA) the assembling of 4,5-tonns 185-h.p. versions of automobiles with high cross-country ability was commenced: with crane manipulator ZIL-497202 and ZIL-497205; with van-body ZIL-497200; multifunctional chassis ZIL-390610.

In December of 1991, the USSR disintegrated, and long-term inter-union ties broke. The new circumstances of the Perestroika times, losses of the important markets, failures in cooperation relations and actual ceasing of state military orders made ZIL's management to fundamentally revise its business policy and to start conforming to the market business principles. For the first time it caused an abrupt decreasing in demand for all production truck vehicles, and it put the plant on the verge of bankruptcy. Simultaneously active remedial actions were commenced to resolve the raised situation, as a result the total production programme was revised and extended. The foreign companies competition, which the ZIL never faced previously, facilitated this process.

On September, 23 1992 PA ZIL was privatised as the first one in the industry and the one of the first among the largest enterprises in Russia, and it was transformed into Open Joint Stock Moscow Company "Plant named after I. Lihachov" (AMO ZIL) keeping the trademark "ZIL". The General meeting of the Shareholders elected a new in the plant history governing body, the Board of Directors. Apart the main plant, it included 30 subsidiary enterprises. The Moscow government became one of the shareholders, which owns controlling block of shares.

The market situation changed, trucks of cargo capacity no more than three tons were in demand, targeted for small business and primary use in cities for delivering of small bulk, and of increased cargo capacity over 10 tons.

In 1992 the new 3 tons ZIL-5301 automobile was developed with half-hood design. The name "Bychok" (Bull-calf) for this truck was given by Yu. Luzhkov.

In 1992 for the participation in the FIA Cup competitions of road-closed circuit truck racing several ZIL-4421S truck tractors were produced (power up 900 h.p) equipped with foreign mechanisms.

In December, 30, 1994 the last ZIL-130 (ZIL-431410) truck came off the assembly line, and then the production of automobiles line ZIL-5301 began. Its chassis became a base for all-metal van and buses of the 15+1, 21+1 capacity. On the third All-Russian exhibition-competition "Best project of the year" Design-95, a group of the authors: K.V.POTEHIN, V.G.MAZEPA, A.N.MITROFANOV, A.N.GORCHAKOV, E.S.DAMIYANO, V.I.BOBR and E.I.GRICAY was awarded for project of the low cargo capacity truck with the Grand Prix in the category "Industrial design".

In 1996 the standard ZIL-5301 assembly became a base for the automobile line. It was equipped with an automobile modification of the tractor 4-cylinder diesel engine D-245.12S (108,8 h.p.) and D-245.9E2(136 h.p.) of the Minsk motor plant production. The automobiles were equipped with the 5-step synchronized gearbox, hydraulic booster of steering gear, and with a model ZIL-4331 3-seats cabin slightly modified. "Bychok" was equipped with a hydraulic clutch linkage and brakes, hypoid final drive, front disk brakes, 16-inch wheels with tubeless tires, has the small turning radius (7 m) and small loading height. Line's main modifications of the low cargo capacity automobiles are produced with wheel bases 3650 and 4250 mm; with lengthened cabin, with two berths; with seven-seats double in-line cabin. Side version, several general versions, insulated and refrigerated vans-body are based on the modifications. The great range of public, building and special vehicles has been developed on the base of the low cargo capacity automobiles.

Automobiles of the ZIL-5301 line appeared to be more simple and less expensive than similar foreign models, and the automobiles entirely meet the Russian buyers requirements. In 1999 13745 automobiles "Bychok" were assembled that formed 63,4% of the plant's total production.

In 1996 the line-haul ZIL-6404 saddle truck (6x4) with 410-h.p. diesel engine YAMZ-7511 and sleeping compartment was presented. It was capable to tow road train with hole weight up to 40 t at the speed of 105 km/h.

In 1998 ZIL-432720 automobile was put into production (4?4) with wheel base 3340 mm. The ZIL-432722 chassis was intended for mounting of special superstructures for municipal-road services.

The crucial reforms in Russia of the 90th dramatically affected the ZIL's position. The initial hope on the close co-operation in the heavy trucks and diesels area with companies Kenworth, Caterpillar, Volvo and Renault companies had not brought any success.

Since 1999 new 10 t ZIL-6309 truck (6x4) and ZIL-6409 dump truck with 195-h.p. diesel engine YAMZ-236A, cargo weight up to 40 t at the speed of 105 km/h were produced.

By the end of XX century AMO ZIL produced automobiles of more than 120 versions with the superstructures that 100 Russia's and C.I.S.'s enterprises manufactured, and 800 plants and workshops made related components for them. In 1998-2000 ZIL produced 20-22 thousand trucks that is 10 times less its potential possibilities.

Since the production start for period between 1924 and 2000 there have been produced: trucks 7769 902 units, buses 38988 units; high class passenger automobiles 11515 units.

In 2000 the three full drive ZIL-433420 automobiles made auto racing on route Moscow-Jakutsk-Uelen-the North America-the West Europe-Kaliningrad-Moscow. It took 62 days to have passed the first stage of round-the-world expedition with the length of 13500 km, and it was finished in the village Uelen on the Bering strait's shore (Chukotka peninsula). The whole expedition had covered 45000 km. The auto racing was carried out by the club "Adventure" jointly with the AML ZIL and the Moscow government.

In December 2002 there took place a change of AMO ZIL management. The new General Director Konstantin Viktorovich Laptev was appointed who had worked as the Executive Director of the Gas plant. The group of managers with the experience of anti-recessionary situation management was engaged. It was developed the programme aimed at co-operation with subsidiary enterprises to recover previous missed assets of AMO ZIL, to reconstruct the economic-production relations with remained and restituted subsidiary enterprises, extension of the product and services range, new custom market development.

Nowadays the plant together with other companies produces on the chassis ZIL base a great range of the special vehicles: municipal, for roads maintenance, sanitation cars, vacuum, sludge-suction, channels flushing machines, emergency-repair vehicles, tank trucks, car lifts.

In 2003 the production of ZIL-433180 and ZIL-432930 automobiles equipped with the Minsk motor plant's diesel engines with increased power capacity D-260.11E2 (180 h.p.) and D-245.9E2 (136 h.p.) was run, those engines have the Euro-2 compliance certificate.

In 2004 the transferring of the functions of executive sole body of the enterprise to the managing company (MAK) occurred. Due to that fact the position of the plant director changed: K. LAPTEV became the General Director of the managing company AMO ZIL.

Since 2004 the ZIL-43272T automobiles (4?4) with diesel engine MMZ D-245.9E2 Evro-2; ZIL-4334V1 (6?6) with diesel engine MMZ D-245.30E2 began to come off the assembling line.

To increase the trading facilities of the ZIL new equipment for the first time the campaign amongst national trucks and special vehicle producers was arranged on the plant, starting in March, 15 2004, targeted on national trucks owners. The campaign core was that every participant might hand over its used automobile as an offset of any new automobile value when buying it. Herewith, old automobiles were estimated by the price above market one.

In 2005 the company "Avtoframos" is going to favour AMO ZIL with an order to produce 12 main body details for its new Renault Logan. AMO ZIL specialists engaged in the new details production are to have additional special training on Renault enterprises in France.

Besides automobile production the unique technology of casting church bells has been developed and a casting process has been set. The Temple of Jesus Christ the Saviour in Moscow is adorned with the 14 bells weighted between 8 kg and 27 tons.

(source: Zil)

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zil 111g 65

1965 ZIL 111G.

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