New 4x4 - www.crosslander4x4.com - arnold2
This is being launched in the U.S. ...

"Cross Lander USA announced today that it has completed the purchase of Romania?s Aro 4x4 vehicle manufacturing facility that is located 60 miles north of Bucharest. With the plant now under the operational control of Cross Lander, the company expects to begin immediate production of its new sport recreation vehicle (SRV) that will be introduced to the U.S. in March 2004.
Acquisition of the 8.5 million square foot facility completes the Romanian government?s efforts to privatize its auto industry. Cross Lander has committed to an investment of $12 million during the next several years to enhance the production capabilities at the facility.
Cross Lander USA chairman and CEO John Perez said, ?The agreement concludes a nine-year effort by him and his investment group to solidify its commitment to the Romanian government, plant management, and the 2,200 employees working at the plant.?
?We firmly believe all parties will benefit greatly from this team effort,? added Perez, a thirty-year veteran of the automotive industry.
Perez said the first year of production will reach 10,000 with 6,000 four-wheel drive SRV's already sold to a U.S. dealer network that presently exceeds 90. He expects to have 150 dealers by the time the vehicles start arriving in March 2004. The remaining 4,000 vehicles will be sold in Latin America and Europe. Year two production is projected to reach 15,000 vehicles.
Cross Lander?s new 4x4 SRV is designed clearly for those drivers who want to take their vehicles off-road and not worry about ?keeping them pretty,? Perez said. ?Off-roaders, hunters, fishermen and campers will find the vehicle fits their needs in the SRV segment.?

The first vehicles are expected to sell for under $20,000. They will offer a 6-cylinder engine and high durability powertrain system."

Thing is - it looks like a Land Rover Defender ??

Anyone any ideas. Under $20,000 should mean £12K here !
New 4x4 - www.crosslander4x4.com - No Do$h
Anyone any ideas. Under $20,000 should mean £12K here !


Except that the importers are usually too lazy to bother with currency conversions and so charge us in £££ what the rest of the world pays in $$$. And still we can't get enough of all things American.

I never cease to be amazed at our ability to accept this disparity in pricing on US cars. Can anyone explain that one to me?

Hmmm, feel a trip to London coming on next week. Where's those old sheets, lengths of batten and paintbrushes........ All joking apart, I have a meeting in the City on Thursday... right in the middle of the expected protests. Where's my mummy!
New 4x4 - www.crosslander4x4.com - No Do$h
Just looked at their site www.crosslander4x4.com (be warned, the aggressive guitar riff playing on this site gets really boring after the 39th repetition) and was amused to see that the mighty 4litre 6 can muster 238lb/foot of torque. So less than my Alfa 156JTD then.......

If it's as tough as they suggest the ride will be truly dreadful and it won't get any customers at the usual US-UK mark up.

We may be in the market for a relatively rugged 4x4 in a couple of years as Mrs No Dosh is planning on setting up a rural business down here in the wilds of Dorset (possibly with smallholding, Hugh Fearnley-Whitingstall style), so a workhorse will be on the shopping list. Be interesting to see whether a diesel model is developed for European sales (at a sensible price).
New 4x4 - www.crosslander4x4.com - arnold2
hmmm point is, since it's in Europe, why not do a fly/drive to buy one - bet there cheap in Romanian !

This is from IHT.com ...
www.iht.com/articles/117663.html


MIAMI Communist soldiers once drove them on maneuvers in the Transylvanian Alps. The former Romanian dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu, owned one outfitted with Persian carpet on the floorboards and trapdoors on the roof. Now, if a Miami entrepreneur gets his way, Americans will get their chance to own one.

Romania's answer to the sport utility vehicle, the Aro, recently rechristened the Cross Lander, is trying to move into the U.S. market.

John Perez, a Cuban-born businessman who recently acquired the Aro factory near Bucharest, wants to tap the market for military-style four-wheel-drive SUV's.

Perez's quest to sell a Romanian SUV is testament to the belief that American consumers will buy just about anything that resembles a descendant of the rugged, Jeep-like military vehicle. His obstacles include doubts about the vehicle's ability to pass stringent emissions and crash tests, an SUV market that is robust but showing signs of becoming saturated, and lingering ill will related to failed efforts in the 1990's to bring Romanian vehicles to the United States.

Still, Perez is soldiering on with the project to gain a foothold for the Cross Lander, a no-frills four-wheel-drive vehicle that, aesthetically at least, resembles an ancient Land Rover.

"This isn't a vehicle for the soccer mom," Perez said. "It's for the outdoorsman, the hunter, the weekend adventurer. It really isn't for everybody."

The Cross Lander, whose bulky design has changed little since the 1960's, lacks amenities like power windows and surround-sound stereo; its foam seats have been derided even by some dealers who plan to sell it. Perez said he expected it to sell for less than $20,000, low enough to make it accessible to drivers enticed by bulky but costlier military-style SUV's like the G500, made by Mercedes-Benz, or the Hummer H1 sold by General Motors, which is modeled after the military Humvee.

Before Perez gets to whet the appetite of such drivers, there is the pressing matter of restructuring Aro's operations in Romania. Perez's plan to lay off 1,400 of the 3,200 workers at the company's factory in Campulung, 97 kilometers, or 60 miles, north of the capital, Bucharest, is already coming under scrutiny in Romania. The factory can make 20,000 vehicles a year, but current demand is for fewer than 2,000.

Perez and a small group of investors bought the factory in September for about $170,000. The deal also requires them to assume debt of about $10 million to banks and suppliers. Perez's group has also pledged to invest about $15 million in its operations.

He made his first foray into Romanian business a decade ago with a soft-drink bottling venture but quit that some time ago. He said he thought he could overcome low morale at the Aro factory and public suspicion about the purchase.

Persuading U.S. dealers to sell the Cross Lander after a botched attempt to introduce the vehicle in the 1990's appears to be less difficult than fixing Aro's Romanian operations.

So far, Perez, who started in the automobile business as a Dodge dealer in the 1980's, said he had assembled more than 90 dealers interested in the vehicle.

Many people are signing up even after other dealers lost thousands of dollars in the late 1990's after investing with another Florida company, East European Imports, of which Perez was an investor. In an interview, Perez said the earlier failure of East European Imports to bring the vehicle to the United States made it more difficult for him to persuade Romanian officials that his venture could succeed. He said he lost about $500,000 when the Romanian government discontinued the previous plan.

A separate Florida company, Eurasia Motor of Fort Lauderdale, also came under scrutiny in the late 1990's for efforts to sell SUV's from Romania, Brazil and South Africa. Perez said that his new venture, Cross Lander U.S.A., was unrelated to Eurasia.

"I was aware of the earlier import problems but I jumped at the chance to sell the Cross Lander," said Bob Lieke, president of No Boundaries 4X4, a dealer in Arlington, Texas, west of Dallas. Lieke, who praised the Cross Lander for "an old-school style that reminds me of what Jeeps used to be like," said he expected to sell at least 20 of the vehicles a month and had already accepted deposit checks from 22 potential buyers.

Perez said he would like to sell at least 6,000 Cross Landers a year in the United States. Before the first sale is made, the vehicle needs to pass the Environmental Protection Agency's emissions tests and to be prepared to meet the crash and rollover standards set by the Department of Transportation. If those tests go well, the Cross Lander could be on dealers' lots by next spring.

:-)
New 4x4 - www.crosslander4x4.com - No Do$h
Why do I see "Perez" and pronounce it "DeLorean"?
 

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