By Andy Bannister
This week sees the end of an era as the very last Zastava-badged car drives off the production line in Kragujevac, Serbia, finally killing off the often-ridiculed marque responsible for the unlikely survival of the infamous Yugo.
The move comes as something of a shock. Earlier this year, at the Belgrade Motor Show, state-owned Zastava Automobili seemed to have renewed confidence, with exports resuming to eastern Europe. With some desperately-needed development of its elderly models it was showing a new-found determination to compete at the ultra low-budget end of the market against rivals like Lada and Dacia.
Despite the jokes that have dogged it, Zastava has always been a proud concern. Its boast is that not even modern NATO jets armed to the teeth could finish off the factory during the Kosovo campaign, when it was a prime bombing target. Continue Reading →