22 August 2011
Failed Euro Brands In The USA
Many European brands have entered the USA car market, but they often failed. Usually the reason was poor reliability which the US public place high importance. Below is a wrap up of those embarrassing retreats.
Renault: The marque has a long history in the US. In 1959, 90,000 cars were sold, so quite a popular brand back then. Sales slipped from that high and meandered along until a sales spike when they briefly colaborated with AMC in the late 70's. However, by the mid 80's Renault had gone from the market. They haven't been back since.
Peugeot: Arrived in the mid 60's but never cracked even 20,000 sales in a year. The marque pulled the plug in the mid 80's and hasn't returned.
Fiat: A car brand with a long association with the US. In 1990, just over 100,000 cars were sold but that wasn't sustained. By the mid 90's, it was over. Fiat has just returned with the 500 model to begin with, but that has had a slow sales run so far.
BLMC: British sports cars were popular after the war and that initially accounted for much of what became BLMC's sales. The big push came in the late 60's, peaking in the mid 70's with 70,000 sales. From there it was downhill until the early 80's. An attempt to get back in the late 80's under the Stirling brand also failed, with 15,000 sales the best managed. MG may be back one day, but from China (See pic on left).
Yugo: In the mid 80's, this Serbian brand entered the US and 50,000 cars found a home in 1987. By the early 90's it was all over though. I'm surprised they sold at all!
Japanese brands replaced these Euro ones, mainly because they were reliable. The lesson learned about taking on the US market is simple. It is quite an exercise to get established there, so don't mess it up with unreliable vehicles.