Sterling Sales Data & Trends for the U.S Automotive Market
For a short period from 1987 to 1991, The Rover 800 series was sold in the United States as the Sterling 800 series, as the Rover brand had been damaged by the notoriously unreliable Rover SD1 a few year earlier. The 800 series was the only model imported to North America under the Sterling brand. The first two years only the sedan version was available, with a 2.5 liter V6 Honda engine, and in 1989 this was replaced by a 2.7 liter. A fastback body style was added at the same time.
Sterling promised to combine British style with Japanese quality, as it was collaborating with Honda during that period, but its infamous Lucas electronics proved that second promise hollow and a very bad score in the J.D. Power reliability survey basically killed any chance of success on the US market even before Sterling had had the opportunity.
One year earlier, Honda had launched the Acura brand in the United States with the Legend, which shared many technical components with the 800 series (but not the electronics), and that became a success thanks to its ironclad reliability. As a result of the similarities, Sterling 800’s still in use can be maintained at Honda or Acura dealerships.
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