• Dec 27, 2007
When the Yugo first arrived on our shores in 1985, it made headlines with its bargain basement $4,000 USD price tag. Of course, four large didn't buy you much of anything, except for a series of breakdowns and the laughter of virtually every motorist that easily passed you by. While the Yugo hasn't been sold in the U.S. since 1991, for the right price you can now bid for the distinct pleasure of owning Zastava, the Serbian company responsible for producing and exporting the biggest punch line in automotive history. The government of Serbia has announced that Zastava, the country's only automaker, is selling off over 90% of its shares this coming April for an undisclosed amount. While the eastern European automaker employs 4,000 workers and can build up to 60,000 vehicles per year, but currently the factory is only producing 15,000 units.

The Yugo was such a disaster when it hit the States, it seemed as though every comedian was required by law to make at least one joke about it. It didn't help that one Yugo owner was killed when the cheap compact became the one and only vehicle ever to be blown off the Mackinaw bridge that connects the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan. If the price is right, though, we're sure someone will sop up the company, if only for the production capacity and cheap Eastern European labor.

[Source: Detroit News]


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  • 30 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      OK question. So you linked to an internet forum (admittedly, one from the mythbusters website.) This is not exactly an authoritative link. Moreover, the person is asking whether the story is true, and says she came across it on an automotive blog. Interesting.
        • 7 Years Ago
        the story is true.
        • 7 Years Ago
        It is true, I read it on a Serbian news website, but I am to lazy to look for translated pages.

        http://www2.serbiancafe.com/lat/vesti/9/43559/

        Basically, a minister of economy in Serbian government is talking about how he hopes that at least two companies will bid for Zastava. They want to sell 99.1% of the company, and the remaining .9% is owned by the small guys.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Of course you mean Mackinac Bridge.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I had a friend that owned a Yugo for many years, she bought it new, it was a good car, very reliable, it was cheap to buy but it ran like a top.
      Every comedian takes the mickey out of cheap cars, Lada, Trabant, Skoda, Polski Fiat, Wartburg, you name it.
      Wait till the cars from China hit our shores, comedians will have a field day.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Awww memories! I knew someone who had one. It was very unreliable to say the least. Kind of like the original Hyundai Excel--but Hyundai lived on to produce far better vehicles in the US.
      • 7 Years Ago
      hahahahaha..... OMG, my sides are splitting... For REAL. I can't believe there are people defending this utter joke of an "automobile" True story - In 1991 I bought a Yugo for $600. It was an '86. Only 5 years old for $600 should have been my first clue that it wasn't a smart thing to do. I knew they had a disastrous reputation, but I took a chance and bought one anyway. The water pump didn't just fail, it FELL OFF THE CAR. I was (ahem) driving down a 2 lane road when I heard the most horrific squeal/clunk clunk clunk and the car abruptly stop dead. I lifted the hood to find the water pump drive belt spewed all over and the water pump hanging from the lower bolt. This "car" was a disaster and it's a mystery how Bricklin ever got the right to bring this nightmare into the American car market.
      • 7 Years Ago
      while living in Croatia i saw Yugos all over the place, and they seem to be in running order. Basic transportation, and parts are plentiful in the former YU
      • 7 Years Ago
      As I recall, this car was originally designed with a wood frame (I might be SO wrong on this and have bought into a stupid rumor) and the car actually performed fairly well. To meet US regs, it was switches to a steel frame which the car wasn't capable to handling. Who knows; I am still waiting for their larger Weallgo.
        • 7 Years Ago
        yep, you are soooo wrong on that one :)
      • 7 Years Ago
      If I was an automaker I would buy that car company and make a retro modern yugo with all the luxuries of today, with a reliable 1.8 Toyota engine.....

      Hey it worked for the Mini cooper and that was another joke of a car aswell....
      • 7 Years Ago
      I was the owner of a Yugo, while it had some problems; they were fewer than what would be expected from a car that cost three times as much. I wouldn't hesitate to buy a new one at the right price. No, it wasn't cutting edge technology, but for seven years of reasonably efficient service, I got what I paid for and much more. As I liked to say back then, "it got me from point A to point B."

      Looking back at that era, I wonder why the Yugo generated so much hostility and spew. In reading the these and other posting on the Yugo, and the bile that still exists after nearly two decades, it is also apparent that most of these people have never been in a Yugo, or even known a Yugo driver. It was the same back in the day, every blown fuse was treated as if the transmission needed to be replaced.

      All I can figure is that Americans did not want the option of a cheap and economical car. For decades Americans have whined about the cost of automobiles, saying how they wish that they had a simple and economical alternative. However in reality they wanted their five digit Japanese and Swedish prestige symbols. When the Yugo came and actually offered them that economical alternative, it was a threat that had to be exterminated with all due prejudice, (before people might discover that they actually liked the Yugo.)

      This is my opinion, and it is only my opinion. Still the hatred towards the Yugo, eliminated the line from America. The Yugo was an option that I wish I still had. For that I will never forgive anyone who ever told a stupid Yugo joke.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Story is true - Zastava is for sale
      Yugo is still a good car for Serbia and the rest of eastern Europe
      Cheap to buy, drives from A to B and cheaper to maintain
      Having a Yugo is better then not having a car - statement is 100% correct
      Zvezda!!!!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Jos jedan zvezdas :)

        Koliko to srba dolazi na ovaj forum? Odakle ste momci?

        Zrenjanin - Denver.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Kninska Krajina - Wisconsin
      • 7 Years Ago
      The best car that Zastava ever made was not the Yugo, it was the 1300/1500 from 1960's and 70's.

      p.s. Au kolko srba cita autoblog. Pozdrav iz Iindiane.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Jos jedan, iz Beograda sada na Floridi. Stvarno nas ima dosta.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yugo was a great car. Problems are people in the States who drove them and never took any care of them. I'm from Serbia and I see many older Yugos on the streets.

      YUGO JE ZAKON OD AUTA.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Slazem se zemljak :)

        Napred Zvezdo!
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