|Headquarters||Armenia (formerly Soviet Union)|
ErAZ (Armenian: Երեւանի ավտոմոբիլային գործարան, Russian: Ереванский Автомобильный Завод, ЕрАЗ, Yerevanskiy Avtomobilny Zavod) was an automobile manufacturer in Yerevan, Armenia mostly known for producing the van RAF-977K (as ErAZ-762) from 1966 to 1996.[unreliable source?] Plans to establish the ErAZ factory came about on December 31, 1964, by the Council of Ministers of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic. The original staff were trained at the Riga Autobus Factory (RAF) in Latvia and UAZ in Russia. ErAZ was privatized in 1995 and declared bankruptcy in 2002.
The company started 31 December 1964, with Minavtoprom (the Soviet agency responsible for the automotive industry, to licence produce the RAF-977 at a local forklift plant. In 1965 was created the first team from 66 people and in the beginning serves to Russian and Ukrainian manufacturers. On 10 September 1965, the company moved to its first factory. The first vehicle, known as the ErAZ 762 (known as Yeraz (Dream), was built 1 May 1966, assembling parts produced elsewhere. Production the first year was 1000 vehicles (about half the plant's design capacity of 2,500 per year). Early products had payloads of 800 kg (1,800 lb) and 1,000 kg (2,200 lb). They are vans and furgons which were produced for the needs of the Armenian country and other republics in USSR.
The company built an improve ErAZ 762A beginning in 1969. Production climbed to 6,500 a year by 1973, and reached 12,000 in 1975, thanks to installation of a genuine assembly line, one of the Soviet Union's first of its kind.
ErAZ designers began work on an all-new van, the ErAZ 3730, in 1971, following the lead of the Commer and Dodge Walk Thru. The first trials models were assembled in 1976; they never entered production, due to a lack of funds.
The ErAZ 762B appeared in 1976. In 1982, the company built their 100,000th vehicle.
ErAZ 762VGP, basing upon RAF-977 minibus
- "Armenia's Short-lived Car Industry". The Armenia Blog. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
- ИСТОРИЯ ЕРЕВАНСКОГО АВТОМОБИЛЬНОГО ЗАВОДА (in Russian). auto.am. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
- Thompson, Andy. Cars of the Soviet Union (Haynes Publishing, Somerset, UK, 2008), p.192.
- Thompson, p.193.
- Thompson, p.301.
- ЕрАЗ (in Russian). auto.am. Retrieved 16 September 2011.