An intriguing story that looks at good, bad and well-intentioned decision-making in which unintended consequences throw everything off balance. You don't need to be a car lover or gear head to enjoy this book. The author weaves distinctive characters and events throughout including Malcom Bricklin, the Cold War, every car company, lawmakers and car dealers into a rich mix of historical events of the 20th century. It is hard to imagine the audaciousness of the Yugo business model and narrator entertainingly mocks the Bricklin bunch throughout.
I was captivated at the beginning. However, as the story continued, I found that I started to care less about the actual events and wanted more as to why? How could this possibly happen? Although it gave a very good history, I wish it included through the book opinions from key players and outside sources to give more commentary.
Do you read the book before you dislike my reviews?
There are many reason why the Yugo failed, too many to mention, but I think the #1 reason why the Yugo fail is because the ownership of the company. Like the big threes in Detroit, Yugo was run by greed and bad craftsmanship. Unlike the big three, they didn't get a multi billion bail out. The author only focused on foreign cars and how bad they were, but there were many junkers, clunkers and pos from domestic car makers. The whole auto industry wasn't making good cars when the Yugo came out. There were a lot of lemons from other auto makers beside Yugo. If you want to know how Detroit' failures, read Crash Course: The American Automobile Industry's Road from Glory to Disaster.
The Yugo jokes was a laugher.
This, to me, was a very well written and detailed history of a venture that should have done better, a car that should have succeeded but didn't. To learn all the political connections, the complete back story was just awesome. Well done.
You probably already know the story of Yugo. A car so bad that Consumer Reports said "You'd be better off buying a good used car for the same money than buying a Yugo". The car was a decade or more behind the times. Totally lacking in innovation, and having the reliability of cheap battery operated toy.
So why was it built? Why was it imported into the US? Just who thought it was a good idea? What factory built it? Why was it called a Yugo? (The answer may surprise you).
The story tells you, in great details, all of this and more. You learn about the car, the design, who imported it, their background, the finances of the company, the car business in general. The book is extremely thorough. In fact, by the time I was done, I felt like I'd earned a couple of college credits in Automotive History and Technology.
Unfortunately, the story drags at time due the exhaustive details. The author obviously did extensive research and when you're done you'll feel ike you understand the situation completely.
I didn't really notice the narration at all. That's a good thing, it means it didn't get in the way, it wasn't annoying, it was well paced and easy to understand. For me, a great narrator fades into the background and lets the story take center stage. That was the case for this book.
A movie? I don't think so! Way too much detail and historical background. The story line isn't exactly compelling. "The car sucked, and, as you might expect, they went broke!"
Besides, it's a Yugo, so car chases are going to be problematic. "Dang, it broke down *again*?!?"
However, this would be a good subject for a class in economics and/or business.
Yes. It is an interesting story. there is a lot of background info about importing cars in the late 60's and 70's that I found interesting.
Of course I have heard of the Yugo but I never knew anything about its story and how it ended up in North America.
I have also heard of Malcolm Bricklin because of the Bricklin Sports car built in Canada but had no idea he was involved with Subaru , and Yugo.
I also had no idea he was basically a con artist.
Fascinating how he built his companies up and then ran them into the ground.
Also included is a succinct explanation of deregulation of the US banking system that I found fascinating.
The most interesting thing that I found was that I ended up pulling for the Yugo to succeed. I can't stand crummy imported economy cars but really this car did not sound at all as bad as I originally thought. Some people just want to get from point A to point B as cheaply as possible and this car delivered.
My 63 years of activities have been varied: Professional musician, USAF (and Private) pilot, radio personality, Steinway piano salesman, writer, and--above all--fanatical researcher of many subjects. Aviation and the Civil War are only two of them. I fulfilled an ambition to live in and visit all 50 states before I was thirty, and I've traveled many parts of the world. I began reading when I was 3.
While these authors chose a book title that attracted me to it, they failed to inform me much about what their title implied it would.
Write about the rise and fall of the Yugo, not tedious and barely relevant details of world politics of its time.
A few descriptions of the Yugo's manufacture, much more easily searchable elsewhere.
I saw this book on a Dollar General store's cut-out shelf for $1.00. And there were several crisp copies.
Well read, good amount of information about the sales of the Yugo in the US as well as the surrounding businesses.
I like automobiles. I was surprised when I listened to this book, thought back to the glowing reviews and surmised there must be a disconnect somewhere. While the book was interesting for the most part to listen to, it rambled on about barely Yugo related subjects like Yugoslavian politics. Yes, some political facts are necessary to present a full picture, but to blither on about country politics, for me, just didn’t add anything to the book. If one removes all of the excess detail that was provided about the people and places that Yugo touched, the book would be reduced by half and probably be a more interesting listen. Luckily, I have long drives with the patience to get through it all.