The Zerve Agriculture & Truck company is a Ukrainian automaker that started out making tractors in the early 1850s. The company was part of Zerve holdings, a Polish holdings company that originated making boats in the early 1800s. The company was dissolved shortly after Ukraine joined the Soviet Union, into its many branches. Its assets were repurposed for production of trucks and was christened DAZ (Dnipropetrovsk Auto Plant) in the early 50s. DAZ continued to produce tractors (still the 4th largest agricultural machinery producer in the world), and trucks for the Soviet Union into WWII. The Jobmaster (DAZ-137) van and Trekmaster (DAZ-159) feild truck (which rode on the same chassis) were originally made for the war, and the boxer-4 engine originated from a small amphibious transport (DAZ-125). The PS32 (DAZ-162) postwar car was based on the chassis of the original WWII DAZ-137, with the same front and rear coil-sprung live axles and 32ps boxer engine. It was a simple 2-door sedan, and was a flop because of the archaic chassis.
In the 1950s, the DAZ-169A (exported as the Zerve PS51), a rear engine 4 door with some sporty pretensions, carried DAZ’s auto arm. It was a popular family car in Ukraine and was a beast in racing. The 174 (JobMaster), 194 (WorkMaster), and 159B (TrekMaster) utilities were often used by the Soviet military.
In the 60s Zerve expanded their passenger car line with three, rear engined cars- the 1659B (not exported), an updated 1659A, the 1723 hatchback (exported as the Korner), and the 1662 sedan (exported as the Kaveat). The 70s saw continuous updates to all models, and in 1977 a 2 new FR cars- the 2145 compact (Kare), and 2122 luxury car (Konquerer, originally a head of state car).
In 1980, Zerve and NAM were consolidated into NAZ, the new Ukranian auto division of the Soviet Union. They would develope vehicles together and sell them as Zerve or NAM badged cars in different regions. By 1982, The Zerve and NAM badges were only for export markets, as Ukranian market models were all badged as NAZs.
Fast-forward to 1995, and the struggling Zerve-NAM Autocorps company was bought by Feller group. Feller repositioned the brands with NAM positioned 7/12 between Feller and Gutwagen (or something like that, I don’t quite remember what marketing said). Zerve was put at the bottom of the brand heirarchy, focusing mostly on trucks but also selling degraded NAMs and Gutwagens. Or atleast that is what was written on the whiteboard on October 23rd of 1995 as Feller Group executivrles gathered up NAZs leaders in a small planning room in the Feller Group HQ in Vienna. FG told NAZ that they could continue selling current vehicles until 2001, but by then they had to have a line of passenger cars based on FG parts…and reach a certain profit quota before they could start any of there own projects cough Korner cough. Trucks were an exception, but they had to be internationally viable, which meant that the LoadMaster medium duty and HaulMaster heavy duty needed to be updated. Lighter trucks like the CabMaster and LandMaster were to be rebadged as Fellers, Onarias, and Gutwagens. This plan, though confusing and painful, saved Zerve.
Utility (Light Duty)
TrekMaster (4WD SUV 1952-today)
CabMaster (RWD/4WD Compact Pickup 1960-1985, RWD/AWD/4WD Midsized Pickup 1985-today)
LandMaster (RWD/AWD/4WD Midsized SUV 1985-today)
WorkMaster (RWD Large Van 1954-1964, RWD/4WD Large Van 1965-today)
JobMaster (RWD/4WD Van 1952-1961, FWD/4WD Van 1962-2005, FWD/AWD/4WD Compact Van 1985-today)
Korner (FWD/AWD A-segment 1965-1995)
Kare (FWD B-segment 1987-today)
Kaveat (FWD/AWD C-segment 1962-today)
Konqueror (FWD/AWD D-segment 2001-today)
CrossMaster (AWD Midsized Crossover/Pickup 2001-today)
SportMaster (AWD/FWD C-segment Crossover 2010-today)
StreetMaster (AWD/FWD B-segment Crosover 2012-today)