ARO (short for Auto Romania) was an off-road vehicle manufacturer located near the town of Câmpulung-Muscel, Romania.
It started production in 1957 and manufactured over 360,000 vehicles, 2/3 of which were exported in some 110 countries (before 1989 about 90% of the ARO production was exported).
In September 2003, the Romanian state sold for a price of 180,000 USD, 68.7% of ARO to "Cross Lander", owned by John Perez. The contract said that the company had to invest 2 million USD, but allegedly, none of this investment was done. Instead, the industrial equipment of ARO was sold off (according to the privatization contract, he was not allowed to do that).
The Romanian state sued John Perez in 2006 for using false documents which helped him to buy 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. The company Amrom Automotive 2006 is negotiating with ARO creditors to purchase the company from bankruptcy, and plans to resume production of the ARO line of vehicles under the ARO name at the Câmpulung factory. Current plans expect a production of 1,200 vehicles by the end of 2006.
For a small amount of time, Daihatsu-powered AROs were produced in Spain and Portugal under the brands Hisparo and Portaro, respectively.
The ARO 10 off-roader was symobolised as one of the rewards given by Nicolae Ceauşescu to women who gave birth to ten or more children.