A promising fiasco
At least, that's what it looked like on paper. Where Giorgetto Giugiaro also had put a few lines on to give this Zastava Yugo a nice taste. That always helps, despite all prejudices. Just ask Doutzen. But in this case it wasn't enough.
No Fiat. Anyway
The design of the Zastava Yugo looked pretty nice. The journal was moderately to fairly positive about it. Or determined that the newcomer at least had “a face of its own”. About the same phenomenon as calling The Newborn Scare In The Cradle a sweet baby. Be that as it may, the Yugo was not just a slightly modified Fiat design, as Zastava's formula had always been until then. However, the basis still came from the Italian car manufacturers, because under the skin the Zastava Yugo was largely based on the popular Fiat 127. The technology of this small Fiat was adopted, but the success was certainly not.
Not without problems
That was for a number of reasons. Where Fiat was already heavily associated with rust, the Zastava Yugo became more or less the identification with it. The self-resolving power of this Yugoslavian was phenomenal and terrifying at the same time. However, it was possible to extend the life of this budget Balkanner by about a week by immediately ordering an anti-rust treatment. Or a matte black front and rear spoiler, plastic hubcaps, go faster striping and a reflective plate between the rear lights, that was also possible. Then you had the ultra-sporty S version standing at the curb. But not for long.
The title holder
Because in addition to the rust sensitivity, this supermini also had to contend with enormous quality problems. Inferior quality parts, poorly assembled. As a rule, this is no guarantee for success and that was not the case. Although… Malcolm Bricklin, the successful American businessman who imported Subaru, among other things, saw something in a dirt cheap no-nonsense city car for that huge home market and started importing this Yugo, under which brand name the car became famous there. Infamous, actually. He managed to sell just under 1985 between 1992 and 150.000. And wear it did. In addition to the poor quality and poor handling thereof, the supply of parts was also poorly organized and the Zastava Yugo thus conquered the dubious title of “Worst Car In The World”. At least the model was on the map.
In the Netherlands too
From 1983, Lada guru Gremi in Groningen imported this value-for-money model into the Netherlands. At least the Zastava Yugo was cheap; less than ten thousand guilders for the starter. And then there was a very nicely lined car in front of the door that was relatively spacious and drove quite reasonably too. It was not very luxurious, it had to be clear from the length or width. The front seats had to sit properly by chance, the backrests were not adjustable. Or they had to abort. In any case, that was not caused by being pushed too forcefully into that seat due to a surplus of power: the well-known Fiat one-liter four-cylinder in the front brought it to 45 horsepower in the Yugo 45. And ten pieces more in the Yugo 55, you already guessed it. Later, even more powerful 1.3 liter versions became available in some foreign markets with power outputs of 60 or 65 hp. If instead of the power the quality had improved considerably, this sympathetic Yugootje would have had a good chance of success. Šteta.
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