Riga Autobus Factory

The Riga Autobus Factory was produced a factory in Riga and Jelgava in the USSR and Latvia, vans and buses.


In 1949, the factory took on the basis of car repair plant # 2 in Riga on the operation, however, produced only bus bodies. 1955, the factory in Riga Experimental bus plant was ( Latvian: Rīga eksperimentālā autobusu fabrika, Russian: Рижский Опытный Автобусный Завод ) renamed. The products were, however, under the name " РАФ / RAF" ( Latvian: Rīga Autobusu Fabrika, Russian: Рижская Автобусная Фабрика ) sold.

The first car was built in Riga, the 22- seater bus RAF -251, which was built on the chassis of GAZ -51. From 1958 rolled the RAF 977 " Latvija " off the assembly line, he was driven by the engine of the GAZ -21 " Volga". From this type of passenger, light truck and special versions were planned. The first 1t- vans RAF 977K went to 1962 when the band, on the chassis of the modernized minibus RAF 977D. However, the production facilities were in Riga not large enough for mass production, so the project to the Yerevan automobile factory in Yerevan, Armenia yet. 1976, the construction of a larger plant with a capacity of 17,000 vehicles per year in Jelgava, near Riga was completed. Here also began the production of the 11- seater minibus RAF 2203 " Latvija ". It was powered by the engine of the GAZ -24 " Volga".

Early 90s came the 2203 RAF and worked with the British design studio " International Automotive Developments " on new models. It models " Roksana " and developed "style" and presented at the fairs, but it never made it to series production. After the collapse of the Soviet Union broke through the new frontiers supply chains as well as the current market and production fell dramatically. An investment offer came from the Russian GAZ group. However, it was rejected by the Latvian government, because it was seen as a threat to the new independence of Latvia from Russia. Even some Western and East Asian investors expressed interest in the work. An investment but was considered too risky, since the national market was to support a large production too small and the Russian market was closed by the difficult political relationship between Russia and Latvia. 1997 ran the last 13 - seater RAF 32119, a Marschrutkaversion, from the band. Ironically, the last car was what the RAF established a hearse version of the RAF 3311th

In 1998 the company went bankrupt. The only division that has survived, RAF Avia is. They fly up today charter flights with aircraft of the company. All the production facilities are now owned by the OOO Balitva. They should be sold to a Western car manufacturers, but this is unlikely. As of 2002, worked all equipment and construction plans were available, every time the production could be resumed. Eraz showed interest, but probably only to the designs.