Zastava: Wikis

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Zastava Automobiles
Застава Аутомобили
Former type Public
Founded 1953
Defunct November 21, 2008
Headquarters Kragujevac, Serbia
Area served Worldwide
Key people Miljko Erić, Zoran Radojević
Industry Automotive
Products Automobiles
Revenue Green Arrow Up.svg~US$500 Million
Subsidiaries Zastava Trucks
Zastava Special Vehicles
Website zastavanacionale.com

Zastava Automobiles is a Serbian industrial conglomerate based in the city of Kragujevac, 86 miles (138 km) southeast of Belgrade run as a joint venture between the Fiat Group (67 %) and the Serbian government.[1] It is most known for its Fiat-based automobiles, which began assembling in 1955 for Eastern European markets. The firm also manufactures military and sporting small arms, most of them based on Russian and German design, under the name Zastava Arms.

On 28 July 2008, Fiat signed a letter of intent, undertaking to take control of the automobile division, investing €700 million in return for a 70 percent stake in the company (currently owned by the state) and an additional €100 million of investment from the Serbian government.[2] This was later revised to €300 million. Fiat pledged not to cut any jobs and to make good a backlog in wage payments for employees and hinted that the plant may become a dedicated Fiat production site. With this major investment, production is set to reach 300 000 units by 2011.

Contents

Automotive history

The company is best known for its locally built versions of the Fiat 128.

During the 1970s and '80s, Zastava sold its compact cars in North and South America and Western Europe under the "Yugo" brand. Its final model, the Yugo Sana, was styled by Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro and launched in 1990, but its career was cut short by the Yugoslav wars, and Yugo had disappeared from most Western markets by 1993. In 1999, the factory came under NATO bombing during the Kosovo War missions.

Like the Eastern bloc manufacturer AutoVAZ, maker of the Lada, the post-communist era has been difficult for the company, and following its withdrawal from Western markets, has developed few new models such as Yugo Florida and continues to manufacture the Fiat 128 based range of cars for the various Balkan states.

In September 2005, the company signed a new agreement with Fiat - under the name Zastava 10 the factory will produce a version of the 2003 Fiat Punto for the Balkans. It is scheduled to make up to 16,000 cars yearly. In October 2005, Zastava concluded an agreement with the US weapons manufacturer Remington Arms to offer its sporting arms in North America.

In December 2007 Serbia announced that Zastava would go on sale in April 2008.[3]

Promotional material depicting Zastava factory. Particular emphasis was added on making clear Yugoslavia was not aligned with the USSR.

Timeline

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Origins

The roots of Zastava lay in the 1851 founding in Kragujevac of the Vojno-Tehnicki Zavod (Army Technical Institute). The institute developed a cannon foundry division in 1853, becoming a military vocational school in March 1854. At the end of the 19th century the cannon foundry changed its name to the Military Engineering Works. The firm rapidly expanded its production program and the complexity and quality of its products. [4]

The 1950s

After World War II, the plant was renamed Zavodi Crvena Zastava ("Red Flag Plant"). In a referendum held on 26 August 1953, 96% of the employees of then Zavodi Crvena Zastava voiced their desire to produce automobiles. That year, 162 Willys Jeeps would leave Kragujevac lines.

On 12 August 1954 Zastava signed a historic agreement with Fiat .[5] Three months later, Kragujevac began assembling the Fiat 1400, the Fiat 1100 B and the Fiat AP-55 Campagnola.

The 1400 marked Zastava's first automobile, but not its most iconic: the Fića, Zastava's licence built version of the Fiat 600 is known across the ex-Yugoslavian countries. 923,487 of the cars were produced,[5] with several different engines and in various equipment levels, from 18 October 1955 through 18 November 1985.

Total vehicle production in 1955 was 1,044, by 1958 it rose to 3,596.[5] 1957 and 1958 are generally viewed as the years in which Zastava's supplier network was established. By then, Zastava was turning out chassis and motive parts while the Rakovica-based supplier 2. maj manufactured the engines.

The 1960s

Zastava's annual production climbed to 13,719 units in 1960.[6] The company entered the new decade with a replacement for the 1400: Fiat's 1100, shown in Geneva as the successor to the 1100 B.

With the advent of the 1961 1300 and 1500 came Zastava's 1300/ 1500 series, produced as both sedans and wagons. With all-around disc brakes, rear-wheel-drive and up to 72 horsepower, the "tristać" was Yugoslavia's favorite upmarket car. Today, many across the former Yugoslavia recall the 1300 as Zastava's best automobile ever: the Jugoslovenski Mercedes, they call it. 201,160 copies of the 1300 and 1500 were produced from 1961 through December 20th, 1979.[6]

The fića had started life as the 16 kW 633 cc Fiat 600, designed by legendary Fiat engineer Dante Giacosa. In 1962, Zastava began production of the Fiat 600D, badged Zastava 750, boasting an 18 kW 767 cc engine capable of propelling the car to 110 kilometres per hour (68 mph).

The floorpan of the 1300/ 1500 was used as the basis for the Polski-Fiat 125p, which was produced by Polish FSO from Zastava CKD kits. The 125p was created by mating the body of the Fiat 125 to the mechanicals (engines, gearbox, transmission and suspension) of the 1300 and 1500. On the Yugoslav market, the 125p was known as the Zastava 125PZ.

1965 marked the official beginning of Zastava exports, with 6,000 cars sent to Poland.[6]

In 1967, Zastava produced about 52,000 trucks and passenger cars; in 1968, 53,000.[6]

Zastava in this decade signed a new contract expanding production and technological cooperation with Fiat. A $10 million investment pushed annual capacity to 85,000, with plans in place to reach 130,000 units within a five-year period.[6]

In 1969, the Zastava Kamioni (Zastava Trucks) division split from Zastava Automobili and began producing Italy's Om trucks, rated for between 2.5 and 4 tons. Today, Zastava Kamioni continues to make trucks through a partnership with Iveco.

The 1970s

1976 Zastava 101 (from Kragujevac, sold as Zastava 1100 in Czechoslovakia)

In 1970, Zastava rolled out the 750M, fitted with a new 795 cc engine boasting a thermostat-controlled closed cooling system.

In the beginning of the seventies Zastava made another arrangement with Fiat. In 1971 Zastava introduced the Zastava 101 (4cyl, 1116 cc OHC, 55 hp, front wheel drive), which is based on Fiat 128. It had a restyled rear panel, and later became available as a hatchback, a style that had not ever been released in Italy.

It was said that model 101 should be produced in Yugoslavia for both Yugoslav and Italian market, and vice versa, in the Italian market would have been sold under the marque Innocenti. It was soon nicknamed Stojadin as a pun on sto jedan (101) (Stojadin is a male name, although folk etymology also associates it with sto jada, "a hundred woes", due to the poor performance of the first models). In spite of this negative record, the car was a good seller in the domestic market. Yugoslavs used to buy it because of its moderate price, simple mechanics, cheap spare parts and low maintenance cost.

For 1979 came the 750S (Special), which offered Fiat 126-inspired fascia upgrades (including a tachometer), a new steering-wheel and a 22 kW engine which raised the car's top speed to 120 kilometres per hour (75 mph).

A 1989 Zastava 311 (Zastava Skala) in the UK

The 1980s

"Go New, Go Yugo" UK Promotional Leaflet
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In 1980, the Zastava 850 was launched, with a 23.4 kW 848 cc engine propelling it to 125 km/h. A fully-synchronized transaxle and front disc brakes were introduced. Production of the 750 and 850 continued through 1985 in L, LE and SC versions until, finally, the design was sold to the Tofas factory in Turkey. Tofas continued to produce these cars under Zastava license into the '90s.[5]

In the mid-seventies, Zastava management decided to develop a new model, still based on the same Fiat engine. It was originally to be known as Zastava 102, but the name was dropped in 1981 and the car released as Yugo 45. It was styled by Zastava with some help from Fiat engineers. Technically it was related to the Fiat 127 but keeping much of the Fiat 128 mechanics; externally it followed the style of the Autobianchi A112 but with a more square appearance. Several variants were made with 903 cc, 1116 cc, and 1301 c engines. The 1116 cc and the 1301 cc versions were sold in the USA as the Yugo GV, GVL, GVS, GVX, GV Plus, and the Cabrio, a convertible.

The Yugo, the only Zastava to be marketed in the United States

Later in the eighties, the Yugo 45 went through several modifications, most importantly the adoption of a 5-speed gearbox. The marque used for passenger cars was changed from Zastava to Yugo. The Yugo 45 and its derivative models were later renamed Yugo Koral, the Zastava 101 range (based on the Fiat 128, available as sedan or hatchback) were also unified under a single model denomination, Zastava Skala. Nonetheless, the numerical classification would still stand for some export markets, as it was the case for the United Kingdom.

These were Zastava's best years in number of cars assembled, around 230,000 cars a year. Zastava cars were to be sold in 70 countries at the time, with 27,000 exported to Western markets. The factory also started to make trucks, under IVECO licence.

Zastava Yugo Florida from the early 1990s

The 1990s

In 1988 a new model was released called the Zastava Florida (known as Yugo Sana or Yugo Sana Miami, in some countries). Its exterior was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro, with a body shape similar to a Fiat Tipo or Citroën ZX.

In the early 90s, Zastava was affected greatly by the Balkan Crisis. The factory production became unstable because of a problem with supplies. Exports were impossible during those years, because trade sanctions imposed on Yugoslavia. Between 1992 and 1995 it was under UN sanctions, and then between 1998 and 2000 it was under EU and US sanctions. As a result, many of Zastava subsidiaries abroad were forced to cease trading, as it was the case with Zastava (GB) Ltd, in the United Kingdom, and Yugo Cars, in the United States.

In 1999, during the Kosovo War, NATO aircraft deliberately bombed the Zastava conglomerate plant in Kragujevac, as it was considered a military target as Zastava Arms infrastructure was also located on site. Nevertheless, the bombing did not completely halt the production, as there were still three working shifts even during the height of NATO bombing (Zastava factory has operated continuously since it was built).[citation needed] Some of the car manufacturing buildings were damaged and workers injured.[7]

The 2000s

After the war, there were trade talks with Hungarian firms to assemble Yugos in Hungary, but no agreement was reached because of the Yugoslavian partner's hesitation. However, Zastava Trucks are assembled in Hungary, near Pécs, with IVECO engines.

Yugos were face-lifted and new versions are introduced in the Belgrade International Motor Show in 2002. The new Yugo Koral IN had a 1,3l 80HP motor with BOSCH electronic injection, the transmission designed by Porsche, slightly new internal and external design, improved safety, and lots of extra details which were missing from former models.

The new generation of Yugo was granted a FIA certificate, so it was in compliance with European standards.

In October 2000, Vojislav Koštunica (also a Yugo owner) became the new president of Yugoslavia, and soon after the sanctions against the country were lifted, so the export market was once again open. The production had fallen to a mere 9 percent of its pre-1990 230,000 vehicles annual capacity, with exports of around 4,000 vehicles. The new Yugoslav government a $50 million reorganization effort in cooperation with the World Bank, which resulted in mass layoffs, and its intention to privatize the company.[8]

A new prototype for the Yugo Florida, known as Florida 2.0, was made, equipped with the same engine as in Fiat Bravo 2.0.

2005 onwards

The Zastava 10, based on the Italian Fiat Punto Mark 2b, is currently Zastava's most modern car.

Optional features include dual front airbags and air conditioning, as well as power windows. Although the Zastava 10 is Zastava's newest and best model, it faces fierce competition in its home market against cars like the Volkswagen Polo. However, it has some advantages over many of its rivals, including price. As of December 2007, prices of the Zastava 10 start from Euro 7,550 in the Serbian market. In March 2007, the Zastava 10's share of the Serbian car market was 11% and the company started exporting cars to former Yugoslav republics in the first half of 2007 and, with plans to add to Bulgaria and Albania as well.

Production of all Zastava cars (Yugo, Skala 101 and Florida) has ended on or before November 20, 2008.[9] After that day only car in production will be Zastava 10 which will change name to Punto.

CEO of Zastava cars Zoran Radojević has declared that the company has received offers from African countries for technology transfer. It is believed that Congo is interested in starting production of the Zastava Florida and Egypt of the Zastava 128.

Cancelled project: Zastava Motor Works (ZMW)

In 2002 the American entrepreneur Malcolm Bricklin, who had previously imported Yugo into the United States, signed a deal with Zastava to re-introduce the company's products back into America.[10][11] Bricklin's intention was to sell the cars for less than $10,000, under the brand name ZMW (as in Zastava Motor Works) which in the United States would, of course, be pronounced Zee-M-W. However, even though a website proclaiming the brand's arrival was produced by Bricklin's company, by 2006 his intentions had switched to importing products from Chinese car maker Chery instead.[12]

Zastava influence

Zastava currently sells Zastava Korals in Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Lebanon, Libya, Syria, Tunisia, Poland, and Egypt (where Zastava cars are produced under the marque of the state owned Nasr car company). As well as all the Koral versions available, other models include the Florida and Skala.

In October 2005, an agreement with Fiat was reached for production of the Fiat Punto by Zastava for Eastern European markets, which would be commercialed as the Zastava 10.[13][14] The Koral IN L, with a fuel injected 1.1 L Peugeot engine, met the European Union safety standards in a test supervised by the German Technischer Überwachungsverein (Technical Monitoring Association). This may pave the way for export to E.U. countries.

In addition to the Zastava 10, Zastava is currently negotiating with Fiat for the production rights to another model not yet in production, a C-segment sedan, codenamed Project D200, to be manufactured for Fiat by Zastava and/or Tofaş of Turkey. It will compete with the Dacia Logan.

2008 memorandum of understanding between Fiat and Zastava

Fiat Group Automobiles (FGA) unit has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Serbian government for the acquisition of Zastava's Kragujevac plant on 7 May 2008. The memorandum of understanding foresees a new company being set up in which the Italian group would have a 70% percent stake and the Serbian government retaining 30% percent.

The new company would make a total investment in the region of 700 million euros, with the government contributing 200 million euros to this. The Zastava plant will produce two new Fiat models, rejecting recent reports the plant could produce the 500 compact city car.[15]

The last Zastava branded car rolled out off factory 21 November 2008.[16]

List of Zastava vehicles

Cars produced by the Zastava factory in Kragujevac (in Serbia) :

See also

References

  1. ^ "Fiat to start making 200,000 cars in Serbia in 2010". reuters.com. http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssAutoTruckManufacturers/idUSLT55960720080929. Retrieved 2008-12-06. 
  2. ^ "Fiat Investing $1b into Zastava". macedoniaonline.eu. http://macedoniaonline.eu/content/view/2551/2/. Retrieved 2008-11-29. 
  3. ^ "Serbia puts carmaker Zastava on sale". autonews.com. http://www.autonews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071227/ANE02/832686332/1128/ANE. Retrieved 2007-12-28. 
  4. ^ "Zastava Automobili:". Zastavanacionale.com. 2008-08-26. http://zastavanacionale.com/Default.aspx?lng=en-us&mode=heritage. Retrieved 2009-07-08. 
  5. ^ a b c d Zastava Automobili: 1950s
  6. ^ a b c d e "Zastava Automobili: 1960s". zastavanacionale.com. http://zastavanacionale.com/Default.aspx?lng=en-us&mode=heritage&id=1960s. Retrieved 2008-12-06. 
  7. ^ All Our Dreams Were Destroyed - Meeting and tour of Zastava factories in Kragujevac
  8. ^ "The Skoda Model". globalpolitician.com. http://www.globalpolitician.com/22058-czech-slovakia-eastern-europe. Retrieved 2008-12-06. 
  9. ^ "Zastava: End for Yugo, Florida and Skala". emportal.rs. http://www.emportal.rs/en/news/serbia/68963.html. Retrieved 2008-12-06. 
  10. ^ "Entrepreneur plans U.S. comeback for the Yugo". invest-in-serbia.com. http://www.invest-in-serbia.com/archive/2002_05/2002_05_12_1.htm. Retrieved 2008-12-06. 
  11. ^ "Yugo Redux". forbes.com. http://www.forbes.com/2002/04/23/0423yugo.html. Retrieved 2008-12-06. 
  12. ^ "Chinese autos to land in area dealership". dispatch.com. http://www.dispatch.com/live/contentbe/dispatch/2006/02/22/20060222-D1-03.html. Retrieved 2008-12-06. 
  13. ^ "ZASTAVA 10". zastava10.com. http://www.zastava10.com/. Retrieved 2008-12-06. 
  14. ^ "ZASTAVA-AUTO.DE - BELGRAD SHOW 2006". zastava-yugo.de. http://www.zastava-yugo.de/pageID_2968427.html. Retrieved 2008-12-06. 
  15. ^ "Fiat signs agreement with Serb govt to acquire Zastava's Kragujevac plant". CNBC. 2008-04-30. http://www.cnbc.com/id/24383883/for/cnbc. Retrieved 2008-04-30. 
  16. ^ "21.11.2008 NEW CHAPTER OPENS FOR ZASTAVA AS LAST CARS ROLL OFF THE PRODUCTION LINES". italiaspeed.com/2008. http://www.italiaspeed.com/2008/cars/industry/11/zastava/2111.html. Retrieved 2008-11-22. 

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