Gorky Automobile Plant’s Engineering School Celebrates Its 90th Anniversary!

12 Jul 2019
Nizhny Novgorod, 12 July 2019 - The United Engineering Center (UEC) of Gorky Automobile Plant (GAZ) celebrates its 90th anniversary. In July 1929, three years before Gorky Automobile Plant started production, the company’s design engineering department was established. Since 1929 GAZ design engineers have designed eight generations of trucks and six generations of passenger cars to go in mass production, and over 300 various models and modifications. Among the most recent UEC projects is the NEXT LCV family powered by different types of fuel as well as electric and driverless vehicles.

GAZ United Engineering Center celebrates its 90th anniversary. The GAZ design engineering school has passed a long way from a technical department of the plant to one of Russia's largest engineering centers.
The legendary GAZ vehicles designed by the company’s engineers show the history of Russian automotive industry and its development. GAZ vehicles have always been symbols of big periods in the country’s history. Industrial development and the 1.5t GAZ-AA truck that made a big difference during the II World War; Moscow of the 1930-s and the legendary GAZ M-1; GAZ armored vehicles and GAZ-61, GAZ-64, GAZ-67 light off-roaders on the battlefield; the post-war period and Pobeda M-20 and GAZ-69 cars; farming and agriculture growth and development and the famous GAZ-51, GAZ-63, GAZ-52, GAZ-53, GAZ-53A and GAZ-66 trucks; the Soviet state machine and premium ZIM and Chayka cars; the Thaw period of the 1960-s and GAZ-21 Volga, a symbol of democratic changes; the 80-s and the diesel-fueled GAZ-4301, GAZ-6008, and GAZ-3306 vehicles; the 1990-s which were the turning point in Russia’s history and development, and GAZelle, a new 1.5t vehicle, which helped emerge and solidify market economy in the country, gave an impetus to SME development and is still a leader of the Russian LCV market.
GAZ vehicles were the first to conquer the Karakum desert and drive through near-impassable swamps in Baikal region, to be tested with extremely cold temperatures in Yakutia near the North Pole, they were service cars for a Soviet expedition to the South Pole and were major vehicles used on the Road of Life to the besieged city of Leningrad.
Vladimir Tsipulin, an automotive engineer, was the founding father of the GAZ Engineering center - he headed the company’s first design engineering center. He established a number of engineering departments to design chassis, engines, bodies, an experimental lab and an experimental workshop, a translation office, a xerox room and a technical library. In 1933 Andrey Lipgart was appointed the Chief Design Engineer at GAZ, his name stands for the company’s engineering school, and its strong design and experimental engineering system. Among other heads of the Engineering Center there are Alexander Prosvirnin, Igor Mukhin, and Yury Kudryavtsev. At the moment the UEC’s leader is Vladimir Chetverikov, who was the project manager of Valdai, BUSINESS and NEXT automotive design engineering projects.
Today’s GAZ vehicles are based on best practices of the global automotive industry. Best traditions and expertise of GAZ engineers are combined with cutting-edge technologies for product design and engineering. A high performance computing center, a test field, state-of-the-art equipment for prototyping and tests - all this makes it possible to design new customer-focused models.
There are over 300 specialty vehicles made based on GAZelle, Sobol, GAZon and Sadko platforms, including those for SME, public transport, rural areas, schools. hospitals, construction and utility services, and social transportation.
The most recent UEC’s products are the NEXT LCV and MCV family combining cutting-edge technical solutions, the lowest-in-class cost of ownership, high functionality, comfort, safety and reliability. A year after its sales start GAZelle NEXT became the number-one LCV in Russia. The UEC engineers are working on new products with greater functionality and cargo capacity; they develop innovative products - vehicles meeting high environmental standards, electrical vehicles, vehicles with smart services and driver assistance systems.
There is a system introduced in the UEC to support R&D venture projects to enhance partnerships with Russia’s leading universities. being a talent factory, it offers an innovative environment for professional development of young engineers. After getting their degree some of the most gifted students start their career at the UEC. The UEC is a platform for over 250 young researchers, professors and students. Partnerships with Nizhny Novgorod State Technical University and Moscow State technical University have proved to be a success. They gave real projects, including those on electric buses on regular operation on Moscow routes and driverless vehicles.
Vladimir Chetverikov, Director General, UEC:
- What are we fighting for today? For our future - for your engineers and new products. I believe a design and engineering department is the driving force of any company. We are trying to foster engineer who can boost further development of the NEXT vehicles based on their our ideas and solutions. That is our added value and intellectual property which make us a strong and independent player.