THOMAS, USA, 2010

Here in the US, Renault made a deal with Peugeot in the 1960s to distribute the 403 and 404 models, and in many ways it hurt them both. The Renault Dauphine, 4 CV, R8, and R10 were very popular, but the Fregate was not. Those people often bought a Peugeot instead. I'm not certain when the R16 began to be imported, but it was around 1968, when the 403 was gone and the 404 was getting old. Also, most Renault dealers also sold other makes of cars--often British Leyland, Oldsmobile, or Pontiac. There was seldom alot of effort in selling Renaults. Some Renault dealers were very good, and knew how to sell and properly service them. They were able to sell the R16 to a wide variety of people, and when the automatic came here, many people bought them as "second cars", usually in addition to a large American car. The R16 began to have the same rust problems as earlier Renaults (and Peugeots), and generally the values dropped very quickly. When something broke, the cost of repairs was often greater than the value of the car. Also, many dealers who couldn't meet the standards for selling other makes of cars could obtain a Renault dealership (This also was the same for many other European car brands.). When Renault and American Motors Corporation linked a while later, the Renault franchise was often taken from good Renault dealers, and given to  American Motors dealers in that area. They knew little about Renault mechanicals, and often didn't service them properly. Apart from rust, most R16s faded from American roads due to low re-sale values, high service costs, and general ignorance of repairing them. They deserved better fates.

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