Over the years, we have been one of the few outlets to give Serbian automaker Zastava a fair shake. This fact did not go unnoticed by the Zastava PR staff, who never saw it in their hearts to give us a press car to flog, but they did have frequent contact with our former (and missed) writer, Andy Bannister.
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 →
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