The main commercial car of Russia — the Nizhny Novgorod «Gazelle» was born in the 1994th. In this regard, two stereotypes are common in the people. The first that our Gazelle was drawn with Ford Transit 1986. And the second that the name «Gazelle» consists of two parts — gas and Yeltsin. With gas, everything is clear, this is the Gorky Automobile Plant, well, and Yeltsin then broke the unknown Supreme Council in 1994 and strengthened the presidential branch of government.
Gazelle in version «Business», Next today has become a symbol of the success of the Russian car industry, which was able to create a high demand model that became popular with small and medium-sized businesses, both for commercial transportation and passenger. Noteworthy this success. And earlier, representatives of the auto industry of Eastern Europe occupied this niche in the USSR.
The fact is that the domestic industry could not provide enterprises of carriers neither commercial low-tonnage vans nor the analogues of minibuses. It turned out that the release of these cars was trusted with a small power to enterprises —
And here there is a reason to remember the two Polish cars — «Nis» and «Beetle».
Nisa is a town in the southwest of Poland, where the assembly plant is located. Actually, the car appeared at the end of the 50s, but the greatest flowering of production came in the mid-70s. Unpretentious and reliable cars were exported to many countries in the world. But among the importers, Sottarius — USSR, Hungary, GDR, Czechoslovakia, Cuba, Vietnam prevailed. These cars were supplied and in capitalist and developing countries — Finland, Turkey, a number of African and Asian countries Cambodia, Ghana, etc. But as usual, still the main buyer was the USSR. In the period 1967-77 In the USSR, more than 50 thousand cars of this brand were delivered. It is noteworthy that first for this cargo-passenger car installed a gasoline power unit from the M-20 passenger car, then switched to a Polish 70-strong upner smelting engine S21. The fact is that in the Polish People’s Republic of the Soviet license produced the car «Warsaw», a somewhat modified car «Victory», on the basis of which was created «Nisa». A 8-seater minibus was mainly supplied to our country. But there were vans and cargo-passenger versions.
But as a van used another brand of Polish car industry — «Beetle» (żuk) from Lublin. The beginning of the history of «Zhuk» dates back to 1959, when the production of the All-metal Pickup «Beetle A0Z» was beginning with a wheel base of 2700 mm and a lifting capacity of 900 kg, equipped with an M20 engine and a vessel transmission (GAZ-M-20 «Victory»). In 1975, the modification of «B» appeared, equipped with a 70-strong Upper Motor Motor «S21». Trucks enjoyed popular in Poland, USSR and other socialist countries. Deliveries of cars of this brand in the USSR began in 1968 and continued actually before the decay of Sale. In the USSR, an onboard cargo car was supplied, a all-metal van, a cargo-passenger van. Today, the company in Lublin has not been working since 2007. The plant, who previously produced NYSA was purchased by the Korean automaker Daewoo. Then after bankruptcy, Intrall group acquired it, which made a bet on the Lublin commercial car. But the further fate of the assets of this company is sad.
And as the main predecessor of Gazelle, it would be worth mentioning the Czech car AVIA. Why suddenly autothechnics have such an aviation name? Yes, everything is simple, on Prague plant earlier released airplanes. In 1967, the production of vans was launched on this aircraft facing the French firm company Saviem. Moreover, they differed from their Polish analogues higher load capacity. AVIA cars of three families A15-A30 had a carrying capacity from 1.5 to 3 tons. From Polish and Soviet analogues there was another difference. If they were equipped with gasoline engines, then 72-strong travelery diesel engine was installed on Avia. In the Soviet Union for twelve years of supply, 40 thousand cars were exported, mainly all-metal two-ton modifications known from us as A21.
After the collapse of the USSR and the selling market, the Korean autocontracene Daewoo put an eye on the plant Avia. The entire range of commercial vehicles were renamed, and the capacity increased to ten tons. But Daewoo subsequently went bankrupt, and in 2006 new owners appeared — the Indian concern Ashok Leyland, who moved an assembly to India. In 2016, the rights to Avia bought the Czech Group of Industrialists and returned an assembly to his factory in the Czech Republic. But the year did not pass, as the plant was again stopped, and the brand did not.
As Soviet Eraz and RAF and the Polish NYSA and żuk went into oblivion. Here is such a sad fate among the predecessors of «Gazelle». I would like to hoping that the domestic commercial car will be happy and long fate.