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It took more than six years to do it, but when Renault introduced its economy- minded Logan in 2004, it made its target price of 5,000 Euros ($6,000) — low enough to make it a hit in Eastern Europe's emerging markets. Notwithstanding that the car's original design brief was reported to mandate a vehicle that could transport, "four adults, a pig, a sink, and 100 kilos of potatoes," the little, Romanian-built Logan gained a following in the West, and the company began selling them in France, Germany, and Spain this year. According to a BusinessWeek interview with the car's designer, Kenneth Melville, creating a cheap car may be the most technologically rigorous exersize ever.

Online Extra: The Making of the Logan [internal]