company_name = Zastava Automobiles
Застава Аутомобили
company_type = Private
foundation = 1953
location = flagicon|Serbia Kragujevac, Serbia
key_people = Miljko Erić, Zoran Radojević
industry = Automotive
products = Automobiles
parent = Fiat S.p.A.
num_employees =
revenue = ~US$500 Million
net_income =
subsid =
homepage = []

Zastava Automobiles is a Serbian industrial conglomerate based in the city of Kragujevac, 86 miles (138 km) southeast of Belgrade. 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 Euro 700 million in return for a 70 percent stake in the company (currently owned by the state) and an additional Euro 100 million of investment from the Serbian government [] This was later revised to Euro 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 2010 Serbian government []

ee also

* Fiat
* Zastava Trucks
* List of Serbian companies
* List of automobile manufacturers

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.Cite web|url=|title=Serbia puts carmaker Zastava on sale|accessdate=2007-12-28|]

List of Zastava vehicles

Cars produced by the Zastava factory in Kragujevac (in Serbia) :
* Fiat Campagnola - Production from 17 November 1953 until 1962, 4,640 units were built without modification.
* Fiat 1400 - Production from August 1954 until 1961, without modification
* Fiat 1100D - Many thousands of cars were produced.
* Fiat 600 - Production of the Zastava 750 (later 850), nicknamed "Fićo", started in 1955 until April 2000. The model was very popular, 923,487 "fića" were produced by Zastava in 45 years without modification.
* Fiat 615 - medium truck produced by Zastava Kamioni from 1957 - 36,000 Zastava 615 were built.
* Fiat 1300/1500 - the same of Fiat original. The Zastava 1300 production was from 1962 until 20 December 1979. 201,160 Zastava 1300 were built without modification.
* Fiat 850, Many thousands of cars were produced
* Fiat-OM 40, produced from 1969, to replace the Fiat 615
* Zastava 101, this car used the Fiat 128 base with many body modifications. Launched in October 1971 in Belgrade. The model Z101 was very popular. The vehicle is still in production today in 2007; 1,100,000 units were built thus far. Many CKD cars were exported in Egypt to Nasr car company.
* Fiat 128 : the production of the Italian original model started in 1980, and the production of the 128 ceased in 2001. The model was called Skala 128.
* Yugo 45 : Launched 2 October 1980, the production of the Yugo (or Z102) continues today. 750,000 units were built before the conflict of 1999. More than 150,000 units of the cabrio version were exported to the USA.
* Fiat Daily : IVECO - Fiat V.I. division - from 1 January 1991 IVECO has held 46% of “Zastava Kamioni”.
* Zastava Florida : the production of Z103 Florida continues today in 2007, more than 160,000 units were built before the Kosovo war in 1999.
* Fiat Punto : it's currently Zastava's most modern car and badged Zastava Z10 by Fiat. The production started in October 2006; 100 units daily.


The 1950s

The ancestor of the factory was a cannon-casting plant, founded in 1853.

The automaking branch of Zastava began as a Kragujevac-based gun factory named the Vojno-Tehnicki Zavod (Army Technical Institute). Its first vehicles were Ford trucks, assembled exclusively for the Yugoslavian Army in the late 1930s. A small number of vehicles was made through 1941.

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

Zastava signed a historic agreement with Fiat on August 12th, 1954 [ [ Zastava Automobili: 1950s ] ] . Three months later, Kragujevac began assembling the Fiat AP-55 (aka "Kampagnola)," the Fiat 1400 and the Fiat 1100 B.

The 1400 marked Zastava's first automobile, but not its most famous; that would be the legendary "fića," as Zastava's version of the Fiat 600 was known across Yugoslavia. 923,487 [ [ Zastava Automobili: 1950s ] ] were produced, with several different engines and in various equipment levels, from October 18th, 1955 through November 18th, 1985.

At 10am on October 15th, 2005, hundreds of fića owners gathered outside Zastava's offices in Kragujevac [ [ Zastava Automobili: 1950s ] ] . They had come from across the former Yugoslavia to mark the 50th birthday of Zastava's most celebrated line: its smallest car ever, and the car which put Yugoslavia on wheels.

The fića was a small, frugal vehicle that could transport four; a successor to the prewar Fiat 500, or "Topolino." In most variants barely capable of 60 mph, the robust little car was nevertheless perfect for commuting, and mobilized Yugoslavia as Austin's Mini had Britain, and Citroen's 2CV, France.

On April 4th, 2000, Novi Sad's "Privatni Pregled" newspaper elected the fića the ex-Yugoslavia's Car of the Millennium.

In 1955, Crvena Zastava made 1,044 vehicles; in 1958, 3,596 [ [ Zastava Automobili: 1950s ] ] . 1957 and 1958 are generally viewed as the years in which Zastava's supplier network was established. By this time, Zastava was turning out its own chassis and parts, while the Rakovica-based supplier "2. maj" was producing engines.

The 1960s

Zastava's annual production climbed to 13,719 units in 1960 [ [ Zastava Automobili: 1960s ] ] . 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 [ [ Zastava Automobili: 1960s ] ] .

The fića had started life as the 16kW 633cm3 Fiat 600, designed by legendary Fiat engineer Dante Giacosa. In 1962, Zastava began production of the Fiat 600D, badged Zastava 750, boasting an 18kW 767 cm3 engine capable of propelling the car to 110 km/h.

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 [ [ Zastava Automobili: 1960s ] ] .

In 1967, Zastava produced about 52,000 trucks and passenger cars; in 1968, 53,000 [ [ Zastava Automobili: 1960s ] ] .

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 [ [ Zastava Automobili: 1960s ] ] .

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

In 1970, Zastava rolled out the 750M, fitted with a new 795cm3 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 cm3 OHC, 55HP, 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 km/h.

The 1980s

In 1980, the Zastava 850 was launched, with a 23.4kW 848cm3 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 [ [ Zastava Automobili: 1950s ] ] .

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 903cc, 1116cc, and 1301cc engines. The 1116cc and the 1301cc versions were sold in the USA as the Yugo GV, GVL, GVS, GVX, GV Plus, and the Cabrio, a convertible.

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.

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 90's, 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 [ UK Companies House record ond Zastava (GB) Limited] , 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). [ "Human chains guard Nato targets", "BBC News". Friday, April 9, 1999 Published at 09:37 GMT 10:37 UK ] Some of the car manufacturing buildings were damaged and workers injured. [ [ All Our Dreams Were Destroyed - Meeting and tour of Zastava factories in Kragujevac ] ]

The 2000s

After the war, there were trade talks to Hungarian firms, to assemble Yugos in Hungary, but this agreement haven't been concluded because of hesitating of the Yugoslavian partner. (But Zastava Trucks are assembling in Hungary, near to Pécs, with IVECO engine.)

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. [ [ Global Politician - The Skoda Model ] ]

A new prototype for the Yugo Florida, know as Florida 2.0 was made, equipped with the same engine of 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.

BELGRADE, April 30 - Italy's Fiat is teaming up with Serbia to invest 700 million euros ($1.09 billion) to produce two new car models in local carmaker Zastava's plant in the town of Kragujevac. Serbian officials said Fiat would own 70 percent of the joint venture.

"Fiat plans to start production of one new model by the end of next year, and of a second model by the end of 2010," Serbian Economy Minister Mladjan Dinkic said after the signing.

"Fiat will increase production to reach 300,000 cars a year by end-2010," he said, adding there was a possibility of the deal also including the manufacturing of car parts.

Zastava's annual production is now around 15,000 cars, well below its capacity of 60,000. The plant, home of the Yugo car, was hit by NATO air strikes on Serbian industrial sites in 1999, and reconstruction has been slow.

A Fiat spokesman told Reuters the two new models would be under the Fiat brand. Under a separate deal with Fiat, Zastava assembles Punto cars and sells them in Serbia and the Balkans under the Zastava 10 brand.

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 in America [ [ Entrepreneur plans U.S. comeback for the Yugo ] ] [ [ Yugo Redux - ] ] . 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 brands arrival was produced by Bricklin's company, by 2006 his intentions had switched to importing products from Chinese car marker Chery instead [ [ The Columbus Dispatch - Local/State ] ] .

Zastava influence

Zastava currently sells Zastava Korals in Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, the 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 [ Zastava 10 Official Website] [ [ www.ZASTAVA-AUTO.DE - BELGRAD SHOW 2006 ] ] . 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 Serb ministry of economic and regional development for the acquisition of Zastava's Kragujevac plant on 7th 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 Serb government 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 [cite web|title=Fiat signs agreement with Serb govt to acquire Zastava's Kragujevac plant|publisher="CNBC"|url=|date=2008-04-30|accessdate=2008-04-30] .

Zastava Arms

Zastava, in addition to producing cars, is the sole producer of military firearms in Serbia. Most of its line of small arms is derived from the Soviet Kalashnikov design.


External links

* [ Official site] Dead link|date=September 2008
* [ Another official site]
* [ Official site for press releases and information]
* [ Official Zastava 10 site]
* [ Zastava Arms Official Site]
* [ Zastava Trucks Official Site]
* [ Zastava German Club]
* [ Zastava Czech Club]
* [ Auto oglasi] Zastava cars from owners
* [ Fiat i Zastava Oglasi]

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