Izhevsk Machinebuilding Plant (Russian: Ижевский Mашиностроительный Завод) or IZHMASH (ИЖМАШ) is a weapons and motor vehicle manufacturer based in Izhevsk, founded in 1807 at the decree of Tsar Alexander I, and is now one of the largest corporations in its field. It manufactures the famous Kalashnikov series of assault rifle, along with a host of other Russian arms, including medium cannons, missiles, and guided shells. Izhmash also produces other goods, such as motorcycles and cars. As of April 2012 the company was declared bankrupt. In November 2012, A proposal was made to merge Izhmash with Izhevsk Mechanical Plant (Izhmekh) under the new name "Kalashnikov". As of August 13, 2013, Izhmash and Izhevsk Mechanical Plant have been merged and formally renamed Kalashnikov Concern.
IZh first proposed an automobile in 1958, with a prototype four-wheel drive for rural use, the NAMI 048 Ogonyok. It used a GAZ chassis and a 750 cc (46 cu in) flat-twin engine based on the Ural M72. It was not produced in quantity.
The first IZh automobiles were approved for manufacture in 1965. The company started on 12 December 1966 with assembling copies of Moskvitch models 408 (as the IZh 408) with parts shipped in. By he end of the year, 300 had been completed, with the number reaching 4,000 by December 1967. In December 1967, the Moskvitch 412 replaced the 408 on the assembly line (as the IZh 412). This was joined by the 434 sedan delivery in 1968, and later by the AZLK-2138 and 2140, until the IZh-2126 Oda. The Oda bore a very close resemblance to the Moskvitch AZLK-2141 Aleko, but had a completely different rear-wheel drive design.
Styling began to diverge from the AZLK originals beginning in 1970, when IZh kept two round headlamps instead of adopting Moskvitch's rectangular ones, and got a different grille. In 1971, the IZh-built 412 was redesignated 412IE. The IZh-built 412s had a reputation for being better quality than the Moskvitch originals.
In 1970, IZh designed a prototype five-door hatchback (with the same high liftover) and a delivery on the 412 platform. The delivery in 1972 became the IZh 2715; it was powered by a 1,478 cc (90.2 cu in) inline four, had twin rear doors and a box-like cargo area (akin to a cube van ) and could carry a 350 kg (770 lb) load. It and a pickup (what hot rodders would call a pickoupe), announced as the 27151 in 1974, were very popular, both officially in production until 1997, with the final examples built as late as 2001. Pickups were occasionally bought as far away as South America and South Africa, but were forbidden to private owners in the Soviet Union. The 2715 delivery was used by the Soviet post office. A windowed version with rear bed seats, the 27156, appeared in 1987. Top speed was 109 km/h (68 mph) and "roadholding on wet and slippery roads rather minimal". The hatchback reached the market in 1975 as the 2125 Kombi, and it gave IZh another winning model.
IZh produced its one millionth unit in 1977.
AZLK 412-based IZh models, which were completely IZh own designs were 2715, 27151, 2125 and 21251. 2125 was built until 1982, when it was facelifted along with IZh 412 IE, 2715 and 27121. The newer version of 2125 was named 21251. All of the IZh own models were based on AZLK 412 and the bodyshell(with the exception of the rear part, which were different on 2715/27151 and 2125/21251) along with mechanical parts were direct copies of AZLK 412.
Currently, IZh produces one Kia model and two Lada models.
Between 1973 and 1979 IZh was one of the makes marketed by SATRA in the United Kingdom under the Cossack Motorcycles brand; the Planeta and Jupiter models.
IZh Motorcycles now produces four models: the Yunker, Planet 5, Jupiter,and Cornet. They all have 350cc two stroke engines except the Cornet which has a 50cc engine. On the Yunker and the Jupiter the motors are Liquid cooled.
There are also Special Purpose motorcycles for police, cargo carry, and a "Swamp Rover" all based on other production models.
A 650cc Rotax-powered Sport the PS-S 650 Rotax, and what appears to be an updated Planet 5 aptly called Planet 7 are apparently entering production soon.
Upwards of 11 million motorcycles have been produced by the IZh.
IzhAvto, the car building branch of the company filed for bankruptcy in August 2009. Soon after this it was taken over by AvtoVAZ. Now IzhAvto, which changed it name to OAG (Ob'edinyonnaya avtomobilnaya gruppa) produces Lada-cars and is preparing to produce cars of Renault-Nissan alliance.