On this day, the Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR Aleksey Kosygin signed a protocol for the participation of the Italian concern FIAT in the construction of an automobile plant in the Soviet Union. And whether due to a pure coincidence or perhaps due to some added ideological weight, the plant had to be built in a city renamed just two years before from Stavropol-on-Volga to Togliatti in honor of the Secretary-General of the Italian Communist Party. Both the AvtoVAZ plant and the Avtograd – the Avtovzavodsky district in Togliatti – were erected in record-short time. And until the liberal reforms of the 1990s, Zhiguli was the most popular car make in our country. As Mikhail Zhvanetsky used to quip, Soviet-made shoes were the best as long as one had seen no alternatives.
On May 4, 1966, the Volga Automobile Plant was born