Page 2 Page 3 Home About Us Events UK Lada History Lada cars in the UK The Written Word Technical Bits Gallery Links Spares SATRA MOTORS LIMITED Background Information The Company was formed in March 1960 and originally traded as Thompson and Taylor (Russian Cars) Limited, dealing exclusively in Soviet car imports. In June 1970, the concessionaires were taken over by the New York-based Satra Corporation and became Satra Motors Limited. Satra is an abbreviation of Soviet American Trading and the company was formed to promote trade between East and West. In mid-1970, Satra Motors started to import the then new Moskvich vehicle and sales increased dramatically over the previous year's figures. Expansion of the Satra dealer network, combined with an energetic sales drive for the new model, accounted for an increase from 20 dealers and sales of 300 cars in 1969 to 268 dealers and sales of 14,500 cars in 1973. In May 1974, the first of the new Lada 1200 range - a saloon and an estate - became available. A new subsidiary company - Satra Belarus Limited - was formed in April 1974 to handle to distribute Soviet Belarus agricultural tractors to the UK market, following a twelve month testing programme with twelve wheeled and crawler tractors. Negotiations for the importation of Soviet motorcycles commenced in the autumn of 1973 and Satra Belarus subsequently took over the UK concession from Wells Motorcycles Ltd of Manor Park, London. The Moskvich 1500 range and the Lada 1200 range were distributed from the Satra Motors Car Importation and Preparation Centre, Carnaby Industrial Estate, Bridlington, North Humberside. Why Carnaby? A deep water port on Britain's east coast was needed for car imports and nearby Hull provided the perfect solution. In 1989, the company's sales and administration departments moved to the Midlands and the following year Satra was taken over by TKM, giving it a solid foundation for the '90s. Shortly afterwards, TKM itself became part of the Inchcape group, the world's largest independent importer and distributor of motor vehicles. And so Motor Vehicle Imports was born.   The 'MET' office where technicians linked an extractor system to the car's exhaust and the shock absorbers and suspension, brakes, steering geometry and handbrake were fully-computer tested to strict limits. Engine power output was also measured as were the exhaust emissions. The Carnaby Car Park, the destination of every Lada bound for one of the many right hand drive markets after it left Togliatti for the Estonian port of Tallin for its 2,000 mile journey to the Lada Import Centre in windswept East Yorkshire. Each car in its parking bay was recorded so that a dealer processed order could be picked easily and quickly, taken through a high-tech de-waxing unit and car wash before entering the main fitting bay, the Mechanical, Electrical and Trim (MET) section. LADA OWNERS CLUB of GREAT BRITAIN