The factory was founded in 1951, and was known as LARZ and then LuMZ before 1967. The original product of this relatively small plant is the "LuAZ"-branded off-road vehicle, sturdy and simple, but outdated. At the moment the company is on the verge of bankruptcy, holding together by assembling cars produced by VAZ.
A major expansion program is planned, which will see construction of a new car manufacturing facility in Cherkasy including a new paint shop, with planned annual assembly of around 60,000 Lada's and 60,000 Hyundai's and Kia's from 2007. Passenger car production will be transferred from Luts'k to Cherkasy, while bus production will move to Luts'k.
From the period of 1984 through 2002, 67 people were killed by faulty exhaust systems. Apparently, toxic carbon monoxide entered the cabin via the ventilation vents and asphyxiated the occupants.
LuAZ vehicles have been notorious for poor crash test ratings. Consequently, countless people have been ejected from these vehicles in accidents. Seatbelts did not become optional until the 2006 model year.