Peugeot And Sterling Pull Out Of The U. S.

With U. S. car sales mired in the worst slump in a decade, France's Peugeot and Britain's Sterling Motor Cars, a unit of Rover Group, have decided to bail out.

Peugeot's U. S. sales reached their peak in 1984, when it sold 20,007 cars, mainly diesels, and it never found a niche after diesels went out of favor. Sterling's luxury sedan, which went on sale stateside in 1987, suffers from quality problems, such as leather interiors that turn green in bright sunlight. Through July, with overall U. S. car sales off 13%, Sterling sold only 1,878 cars, down 28% from a year earlier. Peugeot's sales fell 17%, to 2,257 cars, in the same period.

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