Zavasta For Sale. One Careless Owner

Glenn Swanson
by Glenn Swanson

The Associated Press (via The Detroit News) reports that the car company that built the Yugo will be up for sale come springtime. Zastava is government-owned carmaker. Is only one in Serbia. With an asking price of less than $4k, the Yugo (I bet you were thinking the company) arrived in the US in 1986. The lackluster Yugo quickly became the poster child for cheaply made cars; Consumer Reports magazine claimed it “barely qualified as a car." Zastava produced some 15k cars in 2006, which is “far below” the company's potential capacity of 60k cars a year. Looking for a way out of the car biz, the government’s Privatization Agency placed an ad in the Politika Daily newspaper announcing that some 90 percent of the company’s shares will be sold off next April. The asking price for Zastava will be made public in the spring, but privatization minister Mladjan Dinkic says he expects “at least two major international companies to take part in the bidding." Perhaps VW fancies one more European economy brand to add to SEAT, Skoda and VW. Perhaps not.

Glenn Swanson
Glenn Swanson

Glenn is a baby-boomer, born in 1954. Along with his wife, he makes his home in Connecticut. Employed in the public sector as an Information Tedchnology Specialist, Glenn has long been a car fan. Past rides have included heavy iron such as a 1967 GTO, to a V8 T-Bird. In between those high-horsepower cars, he's owned a pair of BMW 320i's. Now, with a daily commute of 40 miles, his concession to MPG dictates the ownership of a 2006 Honda Civic coupe which, while fun to drive, is a modest car for a pistonhead. As an avid reader, Glenn enjoys TTAC, along with many other auto-realated sites, and the occasional good book. As an avid electronic junkie, Glenn holds an Advanced Class amateur ("ham") radio license, and is into many things electronic. From a satellite radio and portable GPS unit in the cars, to a modest home theater system and radio-intercom in his home, if it's run by the movement of electrons, he's interested. :-)

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  • Mel23 Mel23 on Dec 29, 2007

    I was amazed to see a Yugo setting in the parking lot of a shopping mall in TN maybe 3-4 years ago. Wish I had stuck around to talk to the driver. Also, I remember when the US was involved in bombing Yugoslavia a few years ago and being puzzled that we had bombed the Yugo factory where some kind of trucks, IIRC, were made for their military. I thought we'd have better hindered their operation letting them keep producing and (try to) use what came out of the factory.

  • Tdoyle Tdoyle on Dec 29, 2007

    I remember test driving a Red '88 model at Palmetto Ford (which had Yugo and even the Fiat X 1/9, for a short time) and while shifting I could see through the gearshift boot to the pavement. Just one of those things you just don't forget. I went a bought a base model Nissan Hardbody truck later that day. Has it really been almost 20 years ago?

  • Nick Nick on Dec 29, 2007

    I remember a classmate at university purchased one of these new to get around. The car was noteworthy in that it was the only vehicle I have ever seen that rust through the middle of the roof first. Quite a distinction.

  • BlisterInTheSun BlisterInTheSun on Dec 30, 2007

    @PAHASKA: "About every 100 miles, the exhaust pipes would vibrate loose from the cylinders. The noise would slowly increase until I would get out and tighten them up." That's a cool story. @tdoyle: We had a family friend who lived at our compound in Rome, circa 1979, who was fortunate enough o be at a light when her car seat crashed through the rusted-out floor of her immaculate 1978 white X1/9. It doesn't rain in Rome very much at all.