There are a number of French cars that have had increased popularity both in Europe and in the United States. While many of the French car makers have not had continued success in the United States, a few cars do stand out and were available for purchase. Peugeot, Citroen, and Renault are the most common makers of cars that became popular in the United States, but Bugatti vehicles also have a following here.
Many of the cars that were distributed to the US were sedans such as the Peugeot 300 Series. While they were popular, they never reached the sales levels of competitors such as the Honda Accord. Although Peugeot was still producing cars for the US market, the most popular European model, the GTI never made it to the US. The sporty model may have made an impact and competed against VW, but it was never released here.
The Renault and Citroen also had a small following here and the Citroen 2CV is one of the more popular body styles likening itself to the Volkswagen Beetle and has a cult following much like the VW version. Again, although the French version never achieved widespread popularity, there is a small group dedicated to keeping the popularity of French vehicles alive.
French cars reached the height of their popularity in the United States in the mid to late 80's. While they had increased popularity here, they never reached the same sales figures as other foreign cars and eventually pulled out of the US market completely as a result. French cars were known for their superior mechanics and ability to transfer the positives of a street racing car into one that was effective as a daily driver. French cars made for US markets were usually adaptations of vehicles that were already in production for European customers and although they were good vehicles, they never achieved the sales and popularity of other foreign vehicles. Had France developed vehicles specifically for the US market and advertised them as such, they may have had increased popularity and we would still have French vehicles available for sale today.