The ancestor of the factory was a cannon-casting plant, founded in 1853. The last Yugo, once the pride of communist Yugoslavia's automobile industry, rolled off its Serbian production line on Thursday, November 20, 2008.
The first vehicles in Kragujevac were Ford trucks. They were made exclusively for the Yugoslavian Army in the late 30's, since today's "Zastava" was a gun factory named Vojno-Tehnicki Zavod (Army Technical Institute). A small number of vehicles was made until the outbreak the war in 1941. Then in the early 50's some number of Jeeps was made, but the deal with Willys-Overland (Chrysler) went off, and the production stopped.
After the 2nd world war the factory got a new name: Zavodi Crvena Zastava (means: "Red Flag Plant"). (Later the "Crvena" has left from the name.) It first started building passenger cars in 1954. The first Zastava cars were varients of the Fiat 1400, 1300 and 1900. In the same period, Zastava introduced another car. It was 1300 cm3 four door sedan, known in Italy as "Milletrecciento", it was a modern car at that time. (FIAT introduced it in 1961.) Many people in Yugoslavia think it was the best car ever made by Zastava, despite to the fact it is forty years old model.
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