From the house of the famous Czech auto maker Skoda Auto
was launched the Skoda Favorit in 1987 at the Brno Engineering Fair. The car was the first car of Skoda to be designed with a front engine that was mounted traversely. The car also featured a front-wheel drive. Favorit is remembered for its practical features and for the low cost, of 4,997 Pounds. The car has however been ridiculed for an outdated design which appealed only to a few. The engine was found to be excessively smoky, which forced the company to modify the engine in their subsequent offerings. The 1990 Skoda Favorit was however rated amongst the 'Top Ten Cars of 1990' by The Guild of Motoring Writers. The 1990 model was a 5-door hatchback with five gears and a 1,300 cc engine with a two-year unlimited warranty.
Launched in 1953 by Zastava Yuho Automobli Company, Yugo is remembered best as the car, which many Americans loved to hate! The car sold well in the local Serbian markets but failed to click in the United States. Auto enthusiasts initially had high expectations of the car priced at $3,995, but the interest waned after negative product reviews. Yugo became a butt of many jokes and was voted as the 'Worst Car of the Millennium' in a survey conducted by Car Talk. Despite a number of shortcomings including premature engine failure, unreliable gear box, loosely fitted doors and others, the little car produced and even managed to sell about 8,00,000 units.
Lada, a product of Russian Automobile manufacturer Avto VAZ, the Lada
did not disappoint during the eighties. The subsequent models however failed to take off. The car, priced economically and based on the Fiat model, was popular amongst the taxis, police cars and other public service sectors in many parts of Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. The Lada was sold under the brand name of Zhiguli in the domestic Soviet markets since 1970 and enjoyed popularity in Russia and Eastern Europe, becoming the symbol of city life. The only large market, which did not import many Ladas, was the USA. The car featured a heavy gauge steel body, designed to survive poor roads. In March 2008, Renault took up 25 percent stake in Avto VAZ for US $1 billion. The company is now a part of the Renault-Nissan-Lada Group, the third largest automotive group in the world after General Motors and Toyota.
Produced by GM Korea, an automaker of South Korea, Daewoo Matiz
has been marketed in the global markets since 1998. The city car is available solely as a five-door hatchback, available with two engine configurations. Though more than 2.3 million units of the Matiz have been built between 1998 and 2006, the car has been one of the poor-selling ones, failing miserably in its crash test. The car scored three stars in the crash test as there was found to be a high risk of life-threatening injury to the chest in side impact. The pre-2005 model of the company however scored better in the side impact Euro NCAP, with a rating of 72 percent. The car is currently saddled with an international property rights controversy with Chinese company Chery, which launched its car, QQ, copying the design of the Chevrolet Spark M100 (the name under which the Matiz is sold in the Chinese and Indian markets). The car has however been well accepted in India.
Launched by Fiat in late 1991, the Fiat Cinquecento
was the first Fiat model to be completely manufactured in Poland. The car featured a very unpopular design with a small, angular 3-door hatchback design. A favorable drag coefficient of only 0.33 however made it a great rally car. The car featured independent suspension both in the front and in the rear, front disc brakes, side impact bars with crumple zones and galvanized body panels to avoid corrosion. Power steering, central locking, power windows, sunroof and air conditioning systems were offered as options, which could be ordered. The car was however ridiculed for its style and design, considering the general Polish trends towards stylish designs.