Melitopol Motor Plant - MeMZ
Privately held company
Industry automobile manufacturing
Founded 1908
Founder Zaferman
Headquarters Melitopol, Ukraine
Products automobile engines
Parent ZAZ

MeMZ is short for "Melitopol Motor Plant" (Ukrainian: "Мелітопольський моторний завод"), a part of AvtoZAZ.

The factory was founded in 1908 by a Ukrainian Mennonite entrepreneur by the name of Zaferman, intending to build diesel engines.[1] After the October Revolution, it was nationalized,[2] and until 1925 operated as the Russian Second Soviet Factory. It was renamed into the artel Pobeda (Victory) in 1925 and was focused mainly on diesel engine for applications in agricultural and construction machinery, and for fishing boats.[3] In 1931, the factory was included to the state owned combinat Soyuzdiesel, focusing on engines for fishing boats.[4] In 1936, it was again renamed, to Mikoyan Diesel-Building Factory.[5] It was evacuated prior to the German invasion, and rebuilt, restarting production in 1944.[6] In 1958, the name was changed again, to Melitopol Motor Plant (MeMZ), when it was refitted for production of automobile engines.[7]


The large industrial city of Melitopol was freed from Nazi occupation in 1944, at which time the National Committee of USSR ordered the factory to resume operations.

In 1958 the factory was renamed MeMZ and started developing micro car engines for ZAZ. In 1960, MeMZ released its first gasoline engine, the 746 cc (45.5 cu in) V4 MeMZ-965, which had been designed for the LuAZ-967.[8] The original engine had a peak power output of 23 hp (17 kW; 23 PS),[9] and was selected for use in the ZAZ-965.[10] It had a magnesium block, oil cooler on the rear of the engine, and accessories mounted high on the engine.[11] Despite being small, the engine produced a great deal of heat, all of which could not be effectively dissipated by an air-cooling system. In 1963 the initial design saw some improvements and the new MeMZ-966 model was released into mass production.

The factory was incorporated into AvtoZAZ holding in 1975.

MeMZ-966 engine

MeMZ-965AE engine of the Zaporozhets

The MeMZ-966 was an economy model; underpowered, but quite cheap to produce. As a result, it was implemented in what the Soviet government hoped would be the first "National" vehicle; the ZAZ (often referred to as Zaporozhets) - short for Zaporozhia Automotive Factory. The ZAZ model-line cars were intended to be affordable; therefore they were neither safe nor reliable; nevertheless they were a success since people would rather have some means of transportation as opposed to none at all. MeMZ continued to upgrade its engines, which eventually found uses in other vehicles.

The engine looks a bit like the VW air-cooled boxer four, except that the two cylinder banks are at a 90-degree angle. As Russian car owners were expected to do much of the servicing themselves, and auto workshops were in short supply anyway, this layout was more practical.


With the establishment of AutoZAZ-Daewoo in 1998, the factory was renamed AutoZAZ-Motor, and then incorporated into the ZAZ in 2002.

Engine Models

Model MeMZ965 965A/966 968 2471/2477 301/3011 307/3071
Type OHV V4 OHV V4 OHV V4 I4 I4 I4
Volume 746 cc 887 cc 1.2 L 1.091/1.197 L 1.299 L 1.299 L
Power 23 hp (17 kW) 27 hp (20 kW) 42 hp (31 kW) 51–58 hp (38–43 kW) 63 hp (47 kW) 64–70 hp (48–52 kW)
Cooling Air Air Air Water Water Water
Used in ZAZ-965 Zaporozhets ZAZ-965A/966 Zaporožec ZAZ-968 Zaporožec ZAZ-1102 Tavria, ZAZ-1105 Dana/Slavuta, Daewoo Sens

MeMZ 307/3071 are fuel injected versions of 301/3011

See also


  1. Thompson, Andy. Cars of the Soviet Union (Haynes Publishing, Somerset, UK, 2008), p.90.
  2. Thompson, p.89.
  3. Thompson, p.91.
  4. Thompson, p.91.
  5. Thompson, p.91.
  6. Thompson, p.91.
  7. Thompson, p.91.
  8. Thompson, Andy. Cars of the Soviet Union (Haynes Publishing, Somerset, UK, 2008), p.89.
  9. Thompson, p.89.
  10. Thompson, p.89.
  11. Thompson, p.90.
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