LADA Canada imported cars from 1979 to 1998. They were the cheapest car you could buy.
One of the most famous model was the Niva, a compact 4×4. The Niva still exist and sells mainly in Europe and in Russia. It just doesn’t use the model name anymore. It is a 4×4. LADA sold an average of 12,000 units per year in Canada. Those that remember LADA do mainly remember that model. Many would be surprised that it still has fans in Canada.
The Lada 4×4 still lives on in certain markets including the home market in Russia and Germany. It is available in two body styles and four trims. The Niva has been given a selection of improvements. But it still very the same. It even smells the same.
The Niva was never the best of road cars” But off road, with its minimal weight, narrow tires, low-ratio transfer gearbox and diff lock, it was surprising across the mucky stuff. When finished, you could fling open the doors and hose out the interior.
If you find one in good condition: it is a collector’s item.
¨ The worst cars of all time ¨
In Canada, the name goes with junk. But elsewhere it some places it is different. Elsewhere, LADA quality are competitive price, reliability, simple DIY-friendly mechanics and unpretentious functionality. Competitive pricing and ease of service made Ladas common as police cars, taxis and a range of public service and civil defence vehicles in many parts of Europe, Africa and the Caribbean.
A comeback is planned for 2019. What is happening to that brand in Europe and Russia might just help make it here. An important factor is the alliance with Renault-Nissan. It is in strategic management, distribution, technologies, sales, etc. Nissan is a very successful in Canada. It has a very large dealer network. Never know…