Welcome to Tolyatti
Much of the industrial city of Tolyatti, two hours by bus from Samara, was built in the 1960s and '70s to support the Soviet Union's burgeoning auto industry – particularly cars made by the ubiquitous Lada company. In those times, it was one of the most prosperous cities in the country. Recent days haven't been as kind, as increased competition from foreign producers has put pressure on domestic car-makers. Tolyatti has a local reputation for being a rough town, but the reality is a relatively peaceful city, with a couple of sights and a strategic position beside the giant Kuybyshev reservoir dam, with the Zhiguli Hills starting right across the water.