Yugo(slavia)
A. Krajina

Even though it was not aesthetically the best solution ever, had low power, felt as if it would fall apart any second, we cannot get over this token of Eastern Bloc nation history. Therefore, Yugo found its place on M-Factor plate again. This time, we are bringing you the story of Yugo entering the US market.

Admit it or not, it did break into the US market as well with a catch phrase:

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That’s how Yugo went about trying to sell its late 1980s sedan in this 30-second TV spot. Indeed, low price was the draw. Interested in how everything started? Let us give you a short history review.

The Yugo entered the United States by means of Malcolm Bricklin, who intended to introduce a simple, low cost car to target market. In the period from 1985 to 1991 total 141,511 cars were sold in the US. International deal maker Armand Hammer had been asked by the Yugoslavs to identify business areas in which they could generate exports to bolster their economy. Hammer thought the idea of exporting the small cars made in Kragujevac, Serbia, by Zavodi Crvena Zastava would be a good idea.

The first three Yugo vehicles (Red, White & Blue) were introduced to the American public at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show in May 1984 held at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The story says that Malcolm Bricklin attended the Los Angeles Auto Expo Show and during the show he flew to Yugoslavia to “seal the deal” and import the Yugo to the United States himself. YugoCars, Inc. however already held the exclusive import contract for the 1985 model year to be sold in California only and the California Certification was already in progress. However, in November 1984 the marketing rights were sold by YugoCars, Inc to International Automobile Importers (owned by Malcolm Bricklin). And the rest is history…

The detailed story can be found here.

Love it or hate it, the Yugo did end up on the list of the worst cars ever. Nevertheless, there are still stories and memories closely connected to this Yugoslavian icon.

References: http://ireport.cnn.com/