The car was built under licence in several other countries.
In 1974, VAZ was given permission to begin producing Wankel engines under licence from NSU.
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.
Avto VAZ exported the original Lada in sedan and station-wagon versions to many markets, and with over 20 million units sold before production ended in mid-2012, it had become the highest-selling automobile to be produced without a major design change.
The Lada logo depicts a shallow-draft river sailing ship (a form of Viking longship) - a lad'ya The common Lada sedan and estate, sometimes known as the "Classic" in the West (VAZ 2104/2105/2107 were known as Signet in Canada, Riva in the UK, and Nova in Germany), was based on the 1966 Fiat 124 sedan and became a successful export car.
The keys to its success were: competitive price, reliability, simple DIY-friendly mechanics and unpretentious functionality.
After 1980, over 15 million Ladas badged as Rivas (UK), Signets (Canada), and Novas (Germany), added to some five million made from 1970 to 1979, badged as the 2101 (Lada 1200 sedan), 2102 (Lada 1200 estate), Lada 2103 (quad headlights, more luxurious interior than the Lada 1200, known as Lada 1500s in Canada), Lada 2106 (improved Lada 2103, known as the Lada 1600 in Canada) totaling over 20 million.
Lada's parent, Avto VAZ, produces nearly one million cars a year in Tolyatti and in Izhevsk in the Udmurt Republic, including the Lada Kalina, Lada Granta, Lada Largus, Lada Priora, Lada Vesta, Lada XRAY, and the Lada 4x4.
For example, Coca-Cola traded its drinks in exchange for Lada cars which were then shipped to the United Kingdom and sold.).The rugged design of the Lada Classic, built with heavier-gauge steel bodywork to cope with extreme Siberian climates, poor roads and few service facilities in many parts of Russia, made heavy usage, such as 300,000 miles (480,000 km) mileage possible.The model range expanded in 1984 with the introduction of the front wheel drive generation of Lada Samara (Lada 2108 a 3-door hatchback, Lada 2109 a 5-door hatchback and Lada 21099 a standard sedan).Exported worldwide in the 1980s and 1990s, Lada was a big foreign currency earner for the hard-pressed Soviet Union and was used in barter arrangements in some countries.
Lada is a brand of cars manufactured by the Russian car manufacturer Avto VAZ based in Tolyatti, Samara Oblast."Lada" was originally the export brand for models sold under the "Zhiguli" name in the domestic Soviet market after June 1970.