Dacia 'to stay true to its budget roots'

Published: 07 May 2010

The global marketing boss in charge of Dacia’s roll-out has promised that Renault’s budget brand won’t move upmarket. Many bargain car marques end up inching – or scrambling – upmarket, with slicker products, big price hikes and a desertion of their value promise.

But Dacia promises it won't follow the likes of Skoda, Hyundai and Kia by starting cheap 'n' cheerful and then raising prices.

‘We have no intention of setting up a successful position in a low-cost market and then moving our range upmarket so our customers are taken by surprise,’ said Stephen Norman, Renault’s global marketing senior vice president. ‘Dacias will always stand for roominess, low prices and quality.'

The Duster, driven by CAR Online last month, is an example of modern Dacia’s DNA: it’s cheap and cheerful, and powered by proven Renault hand-me-downs – and its £10,800 anticipated starting price will massively undercut existing competition such as the Nissan Qashqai and Skoda Yeti. 'We're 25% cheaper than an equivalent Sedici,' boasted Norman.

Dacia: more choice for bargain hunters

Dacia will come to the UK in autumn 2012 – and as CAR revealed last week, partner firm Lada is being primed to return to western Europe and the UK from 2012-2013.

It’s part of Renault’s plan to fight on two fronts the upstart Chinese car makers, whom Norman predicts will be a threat to the established European producers between 2012-2015.

Dacia and Renault have now built more than 2 million cars based on the new low-cost B0 platform since 2004 at one of four plants around the world. They are sold under both brand umbrellas, depending on the relative strength of each name in different territories.

Could there be a Nissan version of the Duster or other Dacia products? Very possibly, hinted Norman. 'It won't happen in the majority of markets, but there could be Nissan versions,' he told CAR.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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