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On the territory of the Moscow Automobile Plant named after I.A. Likhachev (ZIL). Author V. Sobolev. October 1957. Main Archive of Moscow

In 1924-1928, the plant produced only 1380 trucks. After the modernization, in the first two months alone, 800 modern cars rolled off the assembly line.

In 1931, after a large-scale reconstruction, the Moscow Automobile Plant was put into operation. On October 1, participants in a working conference gathered in the newly built canteen to celebrate the launch of the plant after modernization.

The Glavarkhiv contains documents that tell about how the enterprise, now known as ZIL, was renewed.

First trucks and lack of power

The production of trucks at the plant began in November 1924. During the first week, ten AMO-F-15 vehicles rolled off the assembly line. This model then became the main truck in the USSR.

However, the equipment at the plant was outdated, the production could not fully provide machines for the huge construction sites that were deployed throughout the country. In 1924-1928, only 1380 trucks were produced. The thousandth car was solemnly presented to the Moscow City Council on March 24, 1928.

American project and Soviet realities

It was decided to modernize the plant. They turned to the Americans for help. In 1929, overseas specialists developed a reconstruction project, according to which the production capacity increased to 25 thousand vehicles per year. The number of workers also increased – from 3450 to 7700 people. According to the project of the American company A.J. Brandt had 13 months to upgrade.

It is interesting that earlier, at the end of 1928, the first reconstruction project was developed. According to him, it was supposed to increase the production capacity to only 4-4.5 thousand cars per year.

The reconstruction dragged on until the end of 1931. The Americans did not take into account the harsh realities of the USSR, so at the end of 1930 a contract with A.J. Brandt was terminated. The Soviet specialists had to finish the work on their own. As a result, on October 1, 1931, a completely renewed plant was launched, and on October 25, the first AMO-2 and AMO-3 trucks rolled off its assembly line.

Modernization results

Almost 84 million rubles were invested in the reconstruction, including 20.5 million in construction. As a result, the capacity of the foundry alone increased 24 times. The old smithy had six hammers and three presses. New – 35 hammers and the same number of presses. The old assembly shop had 360 universal machines and took 482 working hours to process parts for one machine. At the modernized plant, assembling a car from scratch took 3.5 times less time than before.

The conveyor of the renovated plant could produce up to 65 cars daily. Before that, there were up to seven trucks a day. In the last decade of October 1931, 75 trucks were produced, in November – 217, and in December – already 508. In 1932, the plant produced more than 15 thousand vehicles, and in 1935 it closed the maximum design capacity, giving the country almost 31 thousand vehicles.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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