The best known product of late 20th century Kragujevac industry is YUGO – the model of car created in the factory "Zastava" ("Flag") in Kragujevac, the only car factory in whole former Yugoslavia.
Right now I can remember several movies in which YUGO had a "cameo" as a symbol of poverty and subject of laughter: "Dragnet", "101 Dalmatians", "The Crow"… and one in which it was in "leading role" – "Drowning Mona". Although YUGO is considered to be the worst car of the millennium it is still in use not only in former Yugoslavia. The special thing about YUGO is that it has probably more vivid "life" than any other car. It is not only the "movie star", it is the subject of the book (which is not user's manual), it was transformed into art in projects YUGO Art and YUGO Next, it is the subject of many jokes and, above all, it was a symbol of the country that no longer exists, and the time it seemed to be prosperous.
The last sentence of this tip made on the 21st of December 2006 was: "You can still buy new YUGO in Kragujevac!" That has changed. Production of the car has officially ended. The last YUGO (No.794,428) was made on the 11th of November 2008.
Trg heroja – Heros' Square is known by the more often used – Kod krsta (by the Cross). It is center point of Kragujevac and the most common meeting point. The majority of the public events take place there. Many protests against Slobodan Milosevic regime took place there too.
Just by the Cross there is sphere with inscription:
East Longitude 20 degrees, 54 minutes, 37 seconds
North Latitude 44 degrees, 0 minutes, 36 seconds
173 m Above Sea Level
Center Point of Kragujevac
(see photo 3)
Just a few would know what is Zastava 750 or Zastava 850. Mentioning FICA – it is completely different story. FICA was the most popular product of 20th century Kragujevac industry, and the most popular car in former Yugoslavia. Originally it was Fiat 600 and, produced in Kragujevac – Zastava 750 (and later 850).
During 60s and 70s FICA was like the member of the family. For this short story I have to quote Dejan Ivanovic and his essay "Fica Internacionale!": "Fica is the means of transportation with four wheels, and, if you are very generous – it is a car. Its purpose was to be used by small persons for short distances, but whole families […] used it to travel across whole country to visit cousins […]". One of FICA’s achievement was to be in "leading role" in "National Class Category Up to 785 ccm". FICA was produced in Kragujevac for 25 years, untill 1985.
There is a fun club of FICA, and FICA can often be seen all over former Yugoslavia, even nowadays.