CGN-blog

2021-01-24 Yugo Cobra

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From “Cobra – A few dead men” episode

Recently I was watching an episode of “Cobra“, a 1990s action TV-show starring  Michael Dudikoff. Partly, I am watching Cobra since it was broadcasted in Bosnia after the war. One of those “Americanising” shows that many people enjoyed despite all anti-American behaviours as among larger parts of the Bosnian Serb population. 

“Y” as in Yugo

In the first parts of episode 18th called “A few dead men,” there is a scene when “Scandal” (played by Dudikoff) is arriving at a military base belonging to the Marine Corps. Here, the view can see that Scandal is driving a “Yugo”, a car that was produced in Yugoslavia and exported to the USA during the 1980s. 

“They see me rollin”

During its existence, the Yugoslav state had a production of cars. In general, the vehicles produced were based on inspiration or licence from car producers in Western Europe as a FIAT and Peugeot. For more information about Yugo, I recommend the book by Barry Eichengreen about the economy in Europe during and after the Cold War period. The information there is interesting because the truth is more absurd and less romantic than how the Yugoslav authorities presented it to the general population. 

Scandal and Yugo

One of the more known moments in Yugo’s history was it being sold in the USA. One famous saying in Yugoslavia was that Yugo in would be used by Americans as “a second car”, as by housewives when doing shopping. Around 140 000 Yugo cars were exported from Yugoslavia to the US market. However, in reality, Yugo was more used as “a third car” and not at all because many American consumers saw Yugo as something strange and outdated.  

From a Yugo car commercial in 1986. 

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