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More Yugos arrive for U.S. sale

By JAN A. ZVERINA, UPI Auto Writer

DETROIT -- About 2,000 more Yugos arrived last weekend from Yugoslavia for U.S. sale, but Yugo of America Inc. President William Prior said Thursday orders for the $3,990 subcompact are still ahead by several thousand units.

The third shipment, which arrived at the Port of Baltimore, brings the total U.S. Yugo population to 3,564 cars. The next shipment of 2,300 cars will leave Yugoslavia Saturday and arrive in the United States on Dec. 10, Prior said.

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Next month two more shipments will arrive, adding 3,000 cars to bring the total to more than 8,800 units for stateside sale, he said.

'By the first half of January we will have about 10,000 Yugos here,' Prior said. 'We are extremely pleased that Zastava, the manufacturer, has been able to exceed its original production schedule.'

The first shipment of the cars, 500 in all, arrived last August.

Prior said Yugo America appointed 115 dealers so far, and will have about 200 in place by April 1986.

'We have concentrated our distribution in the eastern corridor, down from Boston to Washington, D.C.,' he said. 'We have also distributed a small number of cars in major metropolitan areas like Miami, Chicago, Detroit and Pittsburgh.'

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Yugo America would be signing the first 30 California dealers this week, and that a small number of cars have also been placed in Houston and Dallas.

A national network of about 240 import and domestic dealers will be selling Yugos by the end of 1986. But a wait for a Yugo could still be between five and six weeks, Prior said.

'We have worked very hard to not have exclusive dealers,' he said. 'Since the Yugo is a new brand, we felt the best thing we could do to assure people of parts and service was to have the car sold through the very best possible dealers in the communities.'

'One of 10 dealers in the country applied for a dealership,' Prior said. 'It was more a case of quality of the candidate than 'let's go find a Chrysler dealer because they don't have a low-priced car.''

The dealer number will be kept low on purpose so that each one has enough area and revenue potential to keep them interested in the car.

'They have made investments in parts and services so they do not want to have to compete with another Yugo dealer nearby,' Prior said.

The Yugo GV model -- GV stands for great value -- will be followed by an upgraded version with a larger engine and five-speed transmission that should sell for under $5,000.

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