News is trickling out of the Serbian factory that's responsible for Fiat 500L production that work has stopped due to a delay in parts delivery. Fiat has been mum on the reasoning for the stoppage, which is going on its tenth day, according to Automotive News. "Production ceased on Wednesday and we still don't know when it will resume," said a spokesperson for Fiat's Serbian operations.
Several years ago, we were surprised to discover that the Yugo was still being made. Sometimes dubbed the worst car in history, Serbian automaker Zastava continued producing the Yugo through 2008 when the last one rolled off the assembly line in Kragujevac after a twenty-year production run. That was only months after Fiat inked a deal to buy the company and its assets, including the factory.
Fiat has a long and storied history in Eastern Europe, though not in the way you might expect. For years, outdated Fiat vehicles were built in mildly modified form in Serbian factories wearing such historic nameplates as Lada and Yugo. As such, it only seemed natural that Fiat would enter into an agreement to purchase Zastava when it went up on the market back in 2008... until, that is, the economic conditions of the entire planet took a major dive.
Reports of Toyota F1's demise may prove to have been exaggerated as the latest rumors from the racing world suggest that the Japanese automaker is in discussions with a Serbian outfit about taking over the Cologne-based racing team.