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Yugo Makes A Comeback

By Associated Press

DETROIT — A decade after the Yugo was last imported to the United States, an American entrepreneur plans to import a successor to the discount automobile.

Malcolm Bricklin, who first brought the Yugo to the United States in 1985, said he has signed a deal with former Yugo manufacturer Zastava Motor Works of Serbia.

Bricklin will import Zastava’s latest product, tentatively called the ZMW, Forbes reported on its Web site.

“We are going to set up 12 distributors across the United States,” Bricklin said.

Bricklin, 63, said he expects to import the first ZMWs in about a year. He said his new company, to be called Zastava Motor Works USA and headquartered in New York City, could sell 60,000 cars in its first year.

The ZMWs will come in a two-door, four-door, convertible and pickup truck models, Bricklin said. He said the engines will come from a major European carmaker, such as Volkswagen or Fiat.

Bricklin said the price will range from $5,000 to $10,000.

That would make the ZMWs the cheapest cars on the market, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association in McLean, Va.

The lowest-priced cars currently sold in the United States include the Daewoo Lanos at $9,694, Hyundai Accent at $9,494, Kia Rio at $9,590 and Toyota ECHO at $10,480.

“This will be the first time in the last decade that someone could go out and buy a new car with a new car warranty for half the price of the lowest-priced car out there,” said Bricklin, who also introduced Subaru to the United States in 1968.

The average price for a new car is $26,670. Used cars sell for an average of $13,542, according to the association.

Copyright 2002 by Associated Press

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