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Finland says farewell to Lada

The days of one of the world's most iconic motoring brands, the Lada, are numbered in Finland. The once-popular car is no longer being imported. The 70s and 80s were the boxy Lada’s golden age in Finland.

Kuvassa punainen lada sivusta kuvattuna.
Image: Kati Siponmaa / YLE

"Tough cars. Tame prices," read a vintage Lada ad. The Soviet-made Lada was the real gem of Finland's trade agreement with its eastern neighbour. It wasn't fancy, but few other cars were as warm in winter 40 years ago.

The Lada debuted in Finland in 1971. In its heyday, 10,000 Ladas were registered in Finland every year before being overtaken by western brands.

More recently, Lada has struggled to meet EU environmental guidelines. The latest models sold in Finland were the Lada Niva and 117 STW station wagon.

"We've had a wonderful relationship, great cars, but we haven't sold any since 2009," explains John Costin, Delta Auto's CEO.

But Lada owners need not worry -- Delta has promised to continue providing maintenance services for these cars, which are often the butt of jokes for their rudimentary style. But that's not to say that some don't wax nostalgic about this cold war staple.

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