BRUNSWICK, Ga. (AP) _ The maker of the Yugo has resumed sales in the United States and said it expects to ship at least 20,000 cars through the Brunswick and Houston ports this year.

A shipment of 506 of the cars passed through the Brunswick port last week, and was the first such shipment since the U.S. subsidiary went into bankruptcy reorganization last year, John A. Spiech, president and chief executive of New Jersey-based Yugo America Inc., said Thursday.

The cars are made by the Yugoslavian-based company Zastava. The Brunswick shipment consisted of two Yugo models, the Cabrio, a four-passenger convertible that will sell for $8,990, and the GV Plus, a $4,435 two-door hardtop. The cars are more reliable and less expensive than previous models, Spiech said.

Angelo Bruni, Yugo America distribution manager in Upper Saddle River, N.J., said 1990 Yugos will probably be available at dealers by late May.

Yugo America filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in January 1989 and emerged from bankruptcy protection in December 1989. Spiech said Zastava paid roughly $3 million to creditors and plans to send $4 million more to other creditors.

Spiech said Zastava expects to ship at least 20,000 vehicles through Brunswick and Houston in 1990 and could send as many as 40,000 if sales are better than expected.