The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's ARO page on 1 June 2017, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
In 1998 a Cuban-born American businessman, John Perez, offered franchise agreements to US auto dealers. Some 200 dealers paid $75,000 each for franchise rights, for a total of $15 million. These rights were offered by a company called East European Imports. The ARO was offered as a Warsaw Pact surplus military vehicle. After the franchises were sold, dealers were pressured to send cashier's checks or wire transfers to start receiving vehicles that were allegedly being held in a port in Florida. Dealers refused and insisted to pay upon delivery which eventually led to East European Imports closing its doors.
In September 2003 the Romanian state sold 68.7% of ARO to Cross Lander, a company owned by John Perez, for $180,000 US. The contract stipulated that the company had to invest $2 million US, which allegedly never took place. Instead, all of ARO's production tooling and equipment were sold off; this was an action which violated the privatization contract. The Romanian state sued John Perez in 2006 for falsifying documents in order to acquire the company.
The ARO 244 model was planned to enter the US market as the Cross Lander 244X, but funding ran out in February 2006. The company Cross Lander USA Inc fired all its employees, sold its headquarters and closed down in February 2006.
ARO went into bankruptcy in June 2006.
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