It is said that the Soviet automobile history perhaps began when a firm called Russo-Baltic Wagon Factory (RBWF), based in Riga (present day Latvia) started making cars. From 1909 – 1915, several cars were produced.
It got a fillip after the Moscow Automotive Society (AMO) set up six large plants all over the country in 1916 to service foreign made vehicles and little after started assembling FIAT trucks. In 1927, they came up with the NAMI -1, that can be labelled as the first Soviet designed car. The AMO was known by their more popular brand of products called ZIL. Citroen also had a plant in the early 1920’s but that factory was taken over by the government.
Before the Soviet Union broke up in 1991, the country produced over 20 lakh vehicles each year.