Zavod imeni Likhachova, more commonly called ZIL is a major Russian truck and heavy equipment manufacturer, which also produced armored cars for most Soviet leaders, as well as buses, armored fighting vehicles, and aerosani. The company also produces hand-built limousines and high-end luxury sedans in extremely low quantities, primarily for the Russian government. ZIL passenger cars are priced at the equivalent of models from Maybach and Rolls-Royce, but are largely unknown outside the CIS and production rarely exceeds a dozen cars per year.
The factory was founded in 1916 as Avtomobilnoe Moskovskoe Obshchestvo (АМО)—Moscow Automotive Enterprise). The plans were to produce Fiat F-15 1.5 ton trucks under license. In 1931 the factory was re-equipped and expanded with the help of the American A.J. Brandt Co., changed its name to Automotive Factory No. 2 Zavod Imeni Stalina (ZIS or ZiS). After Nikita Khrushchev denounced the cult of personality of Joseph Stalin in 1956, the name was changed again to Zavod Imeni Likhacheva, after its former director Ivan Alekseevich Likhachev.
ZiL lanes — road lanes dedicated to vehicles carrying top Soviet officials — were named after the car.
The first AMO-3 truck was modernized in 1933 with its cargo-carrying capacity 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. Other car models were the first domestic seven seater ZIS-101 limousine.
Nowadays, the plant together with other companies produces on the chassis ZIL bases a great range of the special vehicles: municipal, for road’s maintenance, sanitation cars, vacuum, sludge-suction, channels flushing machines, emergency-repair vehicles, tank trucks, car lifts.
ZIL logo is nationalistic like other car logos. Russian letters composed the ZIL logo that stands for its company name. Another remarkable feature of the ZIL logo is its rectangular shape background frame that adds to boldness of its brand and breaks the usual oval shape of car logos. It simply represents a long legacy of the company and quality of being a tough maker of trucks along with other car logos.
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