posted by Ralf K (Don Kincl)
Fun Late 80’s/Early 90’s hot hatches for sure!
AMX revival with some small, turbo charged,FWD giant slayers.
That is what the rumor had been. Joe Cappy’s book talks about how a big ballroom near O’Hare airport had been rented for a “big announcement”. The word was all around AMC Center that a hookup with Peugeot was going to be announced. When the meeting started, all Jerry Meyers talked about was usual upcoming model year changes.
What happened? Meyers wanted technology transfer. Peugeot wanted access to the AMC dealers, but no technology transfer. Renault had gotten wind of the negotiations and was in the process of negotiating a deal, including tech transfer, so talks with Peugeot were abandoned.
Hmm. Interesting. Just off the top of my head, maybe Peugeots might’ve gotten better air conditioners out of the deal, and AMCs might’ve gotten a more comfortable ride?
As for styling, I could see it having gone in either direction: Hopelessly conservative or totally bizarre.
I think it would be like standard murder mystery, but instead of the upstairs butler, it was the downstairs one that did it. There really isn’t much difference, and it still ends the same way.
Adam wins the thread!
A four wheel drive 504 wagon would have been neat!
The French company Dangel converts Peugeot and Citroen vehicles to AWD. They started with conversions of the Peugeot 504, for example:
Chrysler, without Jeep, may not have survived and Daimler-Benz would not have found them cash-rich, the better to merge and bleed dry, so Daimler would have had a hard time, too. Maybe they would have been merged and subsumed.
I don’t think it would have made much of a difference, French automobiles of this period were simply not very good. If AMC and Peugeot had merged, the outcome would have probably been the same; folding after a few years. The fact that Peugeot did not agree to technology transfer suggests they were were merging primarily for AMC’s dealership network. What if AMC had been able to work out some kind of deal with Subaru? Subaru and Jeep would have made an interesting matchup, however I think the only automakers AMC could interest were the French.
I remember reading a blurb in Car & Driver in the late 70’s ( maybe 1978 or ’79) where Honda had politely declined an offer from AMC to build Accords at their Kenosha assembly plant. Any CC’ers out there remember that?
I agree than an AMC/Subaru merger would have been interesting.
It could have been an AWD powerhouse and owned the SUV market.
Or just made the ugliest conceivable cars.
Either way, interesting.
Peugeot made some very good cars at that time. I like to think that with a proper dealer network they would have done at least as well as Volvo.
Having said that, I don’t think American Motors would have been a good fit. American Motors cars were not mechanically sophisticated and it would be a safe bet that (before the Renault alliance/Alliance) there wasn’t a single metric wrench in their entire company.
Further, I have had personal experience with owner’s manual for a piece of French Industrial equipment that had been translated into English. Interesting as it was to peruse, it was worthless to us in diagnosing problems.
They just did!
Knew an Andre Roy in VT 60 yrs ago, and his brother Robert from Montreal…. same?
Peugeot made excellent cars at the time, we loved ours. Americans just didn’t like anything different, and still don’t, mostly
I think the truth is that Peugeot probably failed from lack of dealer support more than anything (although as I said above, AMC was not the right pairing to correct that.)
In the early 60’s in our area a lot of foreign makes got auditions with American buyers. I remember Austin’s, Triumphs, Renaults, Saabs, and Volvos, and there were probably others. However, only the strong survived, and I don’t recall ever seeing a Peugeot….ever.
My family had Saabs from the early 60’s through about 1970. My dad finally abandoned them because the nearest dealership moved to about 60 miles away. Saab always had good parts availability though, but it’s my impression that was not the case with Peugeot.
Paul will know for sure though… he was a Peugeot fan back in the day.
The simple, non-automatic, non-power-accessorized 404s and 504s the world enjoyed in the sixties and seventies have a stout reputation. I don’t doubt they were good cars.
Then Peugeot tried to compete with the premium German sedans here in the US. I had a miserable experience with a ’78 504, laden with an automatic, AC and all power accessories, in the early eighties. It needed a valve job and ultimately an engine rebuild at 50K miles or so. Speaking of parts availability, it was laid up a full month for a new transmission to be shipped from Paris.
The 504’s creators never designed it to be “Americanized” with all that junk. When it ran it was sublime, extremely comfortable, fine handling, excellent brakes, …when it ran. My 504 was a money pit, and definitely a love-hate experience.
I can’t speak to the 505, which succeeded the 504 in 1980. But Peugeot’s attempt to compete as a premium car in the US was a failure, and left the brand with a sour reputation. A merger with AMC would have gone horribly.
The Eagle Premier would still have had the PRV V6.
If they had used Peugeot platforms and suspension, some engines, with American automatic transmissions and restyling, and did not call them Peugeots, but AMCs they would have survived. 505 based Concords and Eagles, 604 based Ambassador. Small cars called Gremlins and Spirits based on some small Pugs but withthe AMC 2,5 engine and good solid automatic transaxle, not a European one as they never perfected that, Good ride , handling and brakes , American electronics, switchgear (horn in the middle of the steering wheel, not on a stalk) Great seats, yeah, would have been a great idea
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