Yugo 45 50 55 60 65 range
|Also called||Yugo Innocenti Koral|
|Production||Nov 1980–Nov 2008|
|Body and chassis|
|Body style||3-door hatchback 2-door convertible|
|Related||Fiat 128 Fiat 127|
|Transmission||4-speed manual 5-speed manual 3-speed automatic|
|Wheelbase||2,150 mm (84.6 in)|
|Length||3,485 mm (137.2 in)|
|Width||1,548 mm (60.9 in)|
|Height||1,390 mm (54.7 in)|
|Curb weight||825 kg (1,819 lb) to 920 kg (2,028 lb)|
The Zastava Koral (Serbian Cyrillic: Застава Корал), also known as the Yugo, is a subcompact car built by the Yugoslav/Serbian Zastava corporation. It was designed in Italy under name Fiat 144 as variant of Fiat 127. The first Yugo 45 was handmade on 2 October 1978 as a Fiat 127, under license from Fiat, with a modified body style. The Zastava Koral was sold with an updated design, priced at about 350,000 dinar (3,500 euro; 4,300 USD), until 11 November 2008, when production stopped with a final number of 794,428 cars. The Yugo entered the United States by means of Malcolm Bricklin, who wanted to introduce a simple, low-cost car to that market. In total, 141,651 cars were sold in the United States from 1985 to 1992, with the most American units sold in a year peaking at 48,812 in 1987. Sales in 1992 were only 1,412 cars. Like the Lada, they were a common sight on the urban landscape in the cities and towns of Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the late 1990s. The Yugo is still a common sight in Serbia, however they are very rare in other ex-Yugoslav republics, particularly in Slovenia and Croatia.
Yugo 45 derivative models have included the Yugo 55, 60, 65, Koral, Ciao, Tempo, Cabrio, GV, GV Plus, GVX, and GVL. Yugo engines were fitted with a carburetor until well into the 1980s before fuel-injected models (starting with the Koral 65) were introduced beginning with the GVX-EFI (an Electronic fuel injection system), which featured a 1300cc engine.
The fuel injection system was a Motronic MP3.1, which was later developed with Bosch to Motronic M4.6 MPI on 1.1L and 1.3L engines and had Multiport fuel injection with a three-way Bosal Catalytic converter and "Lambda" sensor.
Near the end of its production run, Zastava sold an updated version of the Yugo Koral model, known as the Zastava Koral IN, which had Central locking, a three step rotary switch on the dash marked "0", "1", "2", and "3" for a headlamps leveling control in four height positions, a 4-speakers audio system, electric windows, folding electro-adjustable side-view mirrors, alloy wheels, an optional air conditioner, and also an optional Renault-designed three-speed automatic transmission. Zastava sold these in Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, the Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, and Egypt. Besides all the Koral versions available, other models included the Florida and Skala. In October 2003, an agreement with Fiat was reached for production of the Fiat Punto by Zastava for Eastern European markets, which was known as the Zastava 10.
The Koral IN L, with a Peugeot fuel injected 1.1 L-60 PS (44 kW) engine, met the European Union safety standards in a test supervised by the German Technischer Überwachungsverein (Technical Monitoring Association), a necessary step for importation to E.U. countries.
|0.9L||4 speed manual|
|1.1L||5 speed manual|
|1.1L (US)||4 speed manual|
|1.3L||5 speed manual||3 speed automatic|
|1.3L (US)||5 speed manual||3 speed automatic|
Parts production by Yugoslav republics
Most of the electrical parts were produced in Nova Gorica, Slovenia. The interior fitting were made in the Croatian city of Split. Brakes were produced in Varaždin. The engine's electrical parts were produced in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Macedonian city of Ohrid was the production site for seat-belts, locks and mirrors. The rest of car's parts and final assembly were done in Serbia.
Zastava was founded as an arms manufacturer in 1853. By the late 1930s the company had expanded into automobile production supplying Ford designed trucks to the Yugoslav Army. Vehicle production continued until 1941 when World War II reached Yugoslavia. Following the war Zastava was permitted to produce Jeeps under license from Willys-Overland until production was halted in the early 1950s.
The first passenger models were produced on 26 August 1953 using designs licensed by Fiat of Turin. The first model designed by Zastava was a sedan called the Milletrecento ("one thousand three hundred") powered by a 1300 cc engine. Some of the most successful models were those based on the Fiat 128 model, marketed under different names: Zastava 101, Zastava 128, Zastava 311, Zastava Skala, etc.
Zastava continued to produce vehicles for the Yugoslav and European markets until exports were limited by sanctions imposed by the United Nations in the 1990s. In 1984, automobile entrepreneur Malcolm Bricklin tested the United States market for Zastava vehicles, now branded as Yugo. As a result, in mid-1986, Yugo America began selling cars at a starting price of $3,990 for the entry-level GV ("Great Value") hatchback equipped with the 1100 cc overhead-cam five-main-bearing engine and four-speed manual transmission. The similar GVL offered a plusher interior, but the sporty top-line GVX was powered by the 1300 cc engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission, and included as standard equipment a number of deluxe features such as a ground-effects package, alloy wheels and rally lights. However, even though the GVX was billed as an upscale, sporty version of the base GV, it went from 0-60 mph in 13.56 seconds, just a half a second faster than the GV. When the political instability in Yugoslavia intensified in early 1992, Zastava was forced to stop exports.
Today there are various models available in the former Yugoslavia, including an agreement signed with Fiat for the production of the 2003 Fiat Punto model.
Many mechanics and even Zastava factory workers agree that the "best" Yugos ever built were built between 1988 and early 1991. Quality control was good, high standards were set in terms of plastic quality, seat cloth, and "well screwed together" interior. Paint and rust coating was also done very well during that period, as evidenced by many cars still showing no signs of rust and tear of the seats, or major engine issues, after more than twenty years. 1989 was considered a "golden year" for Yugos because almost 200,000 were built that year, and many can still be seen on the road today. Also cars were usually branded Yugo instead of Zastava during that period, because the company was taking pride in its (at the time) good sales and reputation established in the export markets, especially in the United States. In 1990 a batch of 450 cars with automatic transmission and air conditioning was shipped to the United States. With political problems starting in 1991, quality dropped significantly, coming to such low standards such as plastic parts of the dashboard not fitting correctly.
Because the Yugo was built as a "Yugoslav" car with political problems and civil war breaking out in 1990–91, production slowed down and the supply of parts was interrupted. Most of the plastic came from Croatia, while the alternator and electrical equipment came from Slovenia. With the start of civil war, economic and transportation ties were broken, resulting in shortage of most parts coming from the two seceded republics. Though the sanctions were not in place until May 1992, Yugos built between June 1991 and early 1996 were built with a variety of "leftover" parts: as an example, it was possible to get a car with a blue dashboard which had a brown steering wheel, seats that were mismatched in color, and most likely an "American" instrument cluster with speeds printed in MPH rather than km/h, and with written labels like water and oil instead of small drawings, and a seatbelt safety warning light. In some extreme cases the car would come with different interior panels and a steering wheel from other Zastava products such as the Zastava 750. When exports to United States (and the rest of the world) stopped, there was a number of federalized Yugos still left in the factory's parking lots, and many people got these "American" Yugos instead of the European ones. When Yugoslavia broke apart in the early 1990s, production rates steeply declined to 14,000 in 1992, 7,000 in 1993 and 1994, and 9,000 in 1995. In 1996, when sanctions were lifted, production rates slowly increased as living standards in the former Yugoslavia started to improve. Even so, problems for the factory started once again when it was put out of production in mid-1999 as a result of war with NATO.
In the United States
International Automobile Importers (IAI) was the company founded by Malcolm Bricklin to import the X1/9 and 2000 Spider after Fiat halted their manufacture. Bertone and Pininfarina carried on production under their own names and Bricklin's IAI took over their American importation. Bricklin wanted to import additional brands, and international dealmaker 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 viable. Zastava had, since the mid-19th century, been a quality armaments producer and sponsored its own museum.
As Zastava celebrated its 100th anniversary, it started producing vehicles made under license from the Italian company Fiat, located just across the Adriatic Sea. For three decades, Zastava produced the rear-engined 600 and the 101, a bustle-backed version of Fiat's 128. On its own initiative in 1980, Zastava introduced its Jugo or Yugo model which, though still using Fiat 128-type power train and underpinnings, was an update of the Fiat 127. Styled in Turin, the two-door hatchback's lines were reminiscent of the original VW Golf or VW Rabbit. Zastava was already exporting its new offering to other Eastern European markets, installing the bigger 128 overhead-cam engine for a top speed of 90 mph (145 km/h).
In 1982, American entrepreneur Miro Kefurt (also responsible for the Oka NEV ZEV) contacted Zastava in Kragujevac (ZCZ-Zavodi Crvena Zastava) with an idea to export the Yugo 45 to the United States. The vehicles were to be renamed Yugo GV for the United States market and YugoCars, Inc. was formed in Sun Valley, California by Kefurt and Ray Burns. The proposal required approval by FIAT in Italy due to existing restrictions that were in effect in FIAT — ZASTAVA collaboration agreements.
The first three Yugo vehicles (Red, White, and 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 car was promoted with a 10 year/100,000 mile warranty, free maintenance, and a price of only $4,500 - front page articles about the Yugo appeared in the Los Angeles Times (Business Section), New York Times, and The National Enquirer. However, problems soon arose as one car was sent to the California Air Research Board (CARB) for emissions testing - it failed abysmally. The Yugo needed lots of reengineering, and with no help forthcoming from Zastava, Kefurt was in a problematic situation.
Reportedly, Malcolm Bricklin attended the Los Angeles Auto Show, and while the show was still in progress, flew to Yugoslavia to "seal the deal" to import the Yugo to the United States himself. Kefurt and YugoCars, Inc. however already held the exclusive import contract for 5,000 vehicles for the 1985 model year to be sold in California only and the California Certification was already in progress. In November 1984 the marketing rights were sold by YugoCars, Inc to International Automobile Importers (IAI) for $50,000 ($10 per car). Additionally, Miro Kefurt obtained an exclusive dealer franchise from IAI to sell the Bertone X1/9 in North Hollywood, California. Both companies, YugoCars and IAI, were satisfied with this arrangement.
YugoCars, Inc. had intended to fit their YUGO 45 with the 903 cc four (45 HP) with a ZEUNA catalytic converter and Lambda feed back - planned gas mileage was 42 to 45 MPG at 70 mph, the emission system was largely identical to the one used on FIAT/BERTONE X1/9 since the 1980 model year. In late 1983, Zastava had added a version called the Yugo 55, powered by a bigger engine used in the 101/128. IAI's Tony Ciminera preferred using this larger, 1,100 cc engine (55 HP) with air-injection and a fuel economy in the 30 MPG range. Thus equipped it was faster and more able to keep up on American freeways, but even so, with an 86 mph (138 km/h) top speed, it was the slowest car sold in the United States.
Setting up Yugo America to import the car, Bricklin assigned Bill Prior to sort out the distribution and Tony "Hurricane" Ciminera to fine-tune the Yugo for United States markets. Ciminera carried out a bumper-to-bumper audit that resulted in more than 500 changes to meet the needs of the American market, including the safety and emissions improvements that United States laws demanded. The vast Yugo facility was patterned after the Fiat factories of the early 1950s and employed 50,000, divided among 85 basic associated labor organizations and 25 work committees. For American production models, a separate assembly line was built with handpicked elite staff earning extra pay ($1.23 per hour extra), building Yugos destined for the New World. The first shift began at 6:00 in the morning and after an eight-hour day many employees left for their second jobs in other workplaces.
The chief engineer and head of Zastava's Research and Development Institute was Zdravko Menjak, who responded to the many changes needed to qualify the car for sale in the West. Bricklin had his own people at the plant to monitor the effort, constantly stressing the need for high quality. A team of British quality experts sent a cadre to Kragujevac to study the factory and recommend improvements.
At first, five models of Yugo were sold in the United States for the 1987 model year: the basic entry-level $3,990 GV (for "Great Value"), the GVC with a glass sunroof, the nearly identical GVL and GVS with minor trim and upholstery upgrades, and the race-inspired GVX with the 1300 cc engine, five-speed manual transmission and standard equipment including a plush interior, ground-effects package, alloy wheels, rally lights, and a centre high mount stop lamp. The Cabrio convertible was introduced in 1988.
In the late 1980s an automatic transmission was being sourced from Renault and a larger model (named the "Florida") had been styled by Giorgio Giugiaro and was in the early manufacturing stages. With communism's collapse, however, Yugoslavia began to unravel.
By 1990, the GV, GVL, and the 1100 cc engine and four-speed manual transmission were replaced by a 1,300 cc OHC engine and five-speed manual transmission, and an optional Renault-designed three-speed automatic transmission, and also an optional air conditioner with a holder for cooling two soft drink cans on the 1990 Yugo GVX model was offered too. The standard model became the GV Plus.
In 1990, Yugo America introduced an EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection) version of the YUGO GVX to replace the less expensive carbureted fuel system. It arrived too late as the result of a recall by the United States Environmental Protection Agency of over 126,000 vehicles sold in the United States due to a failure to meet exhaust emissions. The recall effectively caused Yugo America to cease importation and fold in 1992. The faulted emission system used an "emissions" carburetor of outdated design, a two-way catalyst that required an air pump, and an EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculator) valve; the outdated, power-reducing application of this equipment on an already under-performing drivetrain was one of the major problems that caused the vehicles to get a reputation for poor drivability and the inability to meet emission standards.
By the early 1990s, the effects of the United Nations sanctions on Yugoslavia forced Zastava to withdraw the car from every export market. After embargoes stifled production, the coup de grâce was NATO's 1999 bombing of the company's automotive division, instead of Zastava's arms manufacturing division. Only in 2000 could production be restarted and not until 2003 was the Florida launched.
Malcolm Bricklin signed a deal with Zastava in 2002 to bring the Yugo back to American shores with a model tentatively called the ZMW. Under Bricklin's direction, 'Zastava Motor Works USA' expected to sell 60,000 cars in 2003. However, Bricklin instead turned to marketing the Chery line of Chinese cars. Bricklin's foray into importing and marketing Chery cars from China folded in mid-to-late 2006 when Bricklin could not come up with the investment required to fund United States-specification vehicles from Chery. As of early 2008, Bricklin was working with several universities to develop a car powered by advanced lithium-ion batteries.
United States sales by calendar year:
In the UK
Zastava (GB) LTD set up its headquarters at Reading in 1981 and the first cars seen by British motorists were the 1100/1300 series in the autumn of that year, badged as Zastava ZLC (5 door) and Zastava ZLM (3 door). These cars were based upon the FIAT 128 which had been voted European car of the year in 1969. The Kragujevac factory produced faithful copies of the 128 saloon, known as the Zastava 128 (Osmica) and then from 1971 also began production of the Zastava 101. The legendary “Stojadin” was a FIAT 128 with a re-designed rear which was available in 3 and 5 door hatchback versions. In 1982-3 as sales slowly improved, Zastava (GB) LTD introduced special trim levels in the form of the “Mediteran” and the “Caribbean”. The United Kingdom market was the only market catered for that had Right Hand Drive versions.
By the time the first British users were getting used to their new Yugoslav machines, attention in Yugoslavia had moved away from the Stojadin towards the new “Yugo” series which began production in October 1980 and appeared on British roads from 1983 onwards. The “Type 102” answered a call for a small, economical family car and was based mechanically on Fiat’s 127 hatchback. The styling of the car also owed much to the contemporary small Italian Autobianchi Abarth, which was never available in the United Kingdom.
The “Type 102” morphed into the early production Yugo 45 with a 903 cc engine, later into the 55 with a 1,116 cc engine and then the more powerful 65 fitted with a 1,301 cc engine also became available in the British market. The new Yugo competed with indigenous cars such as the Austin Mini-Metro and Ford Fiesta MK1/MK2, captive imports such as the Vauxhall Nova (Opel Corsa A), as well as French models like the Citroen Visa and Talbot Samba.
In 1984 only, Zastava (GB) LTD imported small numbers of the Zastava 128. After that, with the company’s branding altered to “Yugo Cars”, relegating the Zastava name to the small print, Zastava (GB) LTD concentrated on selling the 101 range, branded as Yugo 311/313/511/513, and the 45/55/65 series. The cars sold steadily throughout the decade and even though they managed to avoid the dreadful reviews reserved for Lada and FSO, commentators in the British motoring press were rarely more than lukewarm in their praise of the car - A headline from 1986 read “The Yugo 55 is a good small car, but would you be seen in one?” Brand snobbery in the United Kingdom was just as prominent then as it is now.
In 1988, Zastava launched the first of its new “Florida” range, envisaged as a long-term replacement for the ageing Stojadin. Styled by Giorgetto Guigiaro, the car was a modern design for the time, and bore more than a passing resemblance to the Citroen BX and future Citroen Xantia. The “Florida”, marketed as the “Sana” in the United Kingdom, first appeared in Britain in 1990 and seemed set to fare well with positive early reviews. The Stojadin range ceased to be exported to the United Kingdom in 1991, with sales of the Sana under way.
By the end of the 1980s, Yugoslavia was on the brink of a disintegration that many anticipated under the leadership of Josip Broz Tito. Slovenia was the first to secede from the Federation in the middle of 1991, swiftly followed by Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and finally Macedonia. Hostilities, other than in Macedonia, began not long afterwards.
This had direct implications for the company at Kragujevac. The Yugo had been envisaged as an all-Yugoslav car; the alternator came from Slovenia, the plastics and the interior from factories in Croatia, and the seats and rear trunk-struts from Kosovo. The disintegration of the Yugoslav federation suddenly saw supplies dry up at Kragujevac and production rates declined steeply. The Sana may well have established Yugo as a fixture in the United Kingdom market in the 1990s but political developments left this prospect unrealized.
As the events of the wars of Yugoslav succession (1991–95 and 1999) unfolded, Zastava (GB) LTD became a barely noticed casualty. During Easter 1999, the Zastava factory in Kragujevac was targeted by NATO forces during the Kosovo campaign, and whilst severely damaged, was not put out of action. Supplies of vehicles to the United Kingdom were however reduced to a trickle in 1991-92 and with the imposition of United Nations sanctions on Slobodan Milosević’s rump Yugoslavia (consisting of Serbia and Montenegro), the company folded in 1993. The remaining Yugos on dealer forecourts were sold at drastically reduced prices or written off altogether as economically unviable.
The Yugo was vigorously marketed in the late 1980s as a car that would fit into everybody's life, providing basic economical and reliable transportation along the lines of the Volkswagen Beetle and the earlier Ford Model T. The car was promoted as a uniquely affordable new vehicle — providing an option for buyers who would otherwise have chosen a used vehicle — and as a reliable second car for wealthier buyers. The Yugo carried the tagline "Everybody Needs A Yugo Sometime." This marketing appealed successfully to its target market of low-budget new car buyers, as well as wealthier people looking for an affordable second or third car. A popular ad included the 39-90 campaign, a play on the $3,990 price of the car.
Criticism and response
Along with other Central and Eastern European vehicles marketed in the West during the 20th century — such as the Lada and Škoda - the Yugo was subjected to derision by critics who pointed to its use of old-generation Fiat technology and to alleged issues with build quality and reliability. The Yugo was voted Car Talk's worst car of the millennium.
Defenders of the vehicle have counter-argued that the Yugo's reputation suffered due to an issue that also appeared with initially inexpensive cars as the Chevrolet Chevette, Rambler, Crosley, and others — dealers were finding that too many owners were considering inexpensive cars as "disposable", and were failing to perform basic maintenance such as oil changes.
One critical maintenance issue specific to the Yugo 55 & 65 (the 45 was a 903 cc pushrod engine, with a timing chain) was the need for regular replacement of the interference engine's timing belt — every 40,000 miles (64,000 km). In a non-interference engine, timing belt failure does not cause further damage to the engine. However, in an interference engine, failure of the timing belt disrupts the synchronization between pistons and valves, causing them to collide with one another (hence the name interference engine), thus potentially destroying the engine. Though this requirement was stressed in owners' manuals, it was frequently overlooked by owners.
The factory also stresses the need for 89-octane fuels for the low compression engines. Some Yugo owners have reported that regular oil changes and appropriate maintenance allow the cars to remain dependable and trouble-free.
In 1989, 31-year-old Leslie Ann Pluhar, driving a 1987 Yugo over the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan, died when her Yugo went over the bridge's 36-inch (910 mm) railing during 50 mph (80 km/h) winds. The incident was widely publicized, with the make of car prominently identified. Many retellings claim that the car was physically lifted and blown off the bridge However, a lawsuit by the family of the victim made no such claim, but proposed that the wind contributed to a loss of control that ended with the car going off the bridge. Expert testimony disputed whether the winds were a major factor. Another proposed explanation is that a collision with a guardrail on the bridge's median "launched" the car onto the opposite guardrail.
Owners of the Yugo and related models in the former Yugoslavia benefit from a ready supply of inexpensive spare parts due to general continuity in the car's design; local mechanics' ready familiarity with the Yugo also lowers the cost of ownership. All parts for the Yugo are readily available in the United States.
End of production
With the 794,428th and final car, production of the car ended on November 11, 2008. Out of that number, around 250,000 were exported to various countries.