After overcoming any number of hurdles with production, distribution, and design, all explained rather rivetingly by Vuic, the Yugo finally made it to America, where it went from "Yugomania" media sensation to late-night joke staple almost overnight. (Leno: "Yugo has come out with a very clever anti-theft device: They made their name bigger.") But it sold. As Vuic writes, the Yugo was the "fastest-selling first-year European import in history." For some, it was a perfect third car; for others, it was a rare chance to own a new car. The ad campaign bore a cheeky, pragmatic message of thrift ("the Road Back to Sanity"). But as the new-car smell began to fade, Yugo's reputation began to catch up with it. Consumer Reports panned it, saving the deadliest line for last: "If $4,400 is the most you can spend on a car, we think you'd get better value from a good used car than a new Yugo."
Read the rest of the Slate article here.