Renault has pulled the UK launch of its budget brand, Dacia. It had planned to launch the cheap 'n' cheerful badge in the UK in February 2009, but that's now gone back a year, the company announced today.
CAR was due to drive the Sandero – the UK launch model – in July 2008, but PRs today took the unusual step of ringing the media to cancel the event. Renault said the Dacia brand would now arrive in UK showrooms in 'early 2010'.
It's a blow for Renault, which would have landed a sub-Clio cheap hatchback priced from just £7000 – just as buyers are looking to rein in their household spending.'Priority going to LHD markets'
A spokesman explained that left-hand drive markets would be getting priority over the UK, as demand there has been so strong. 'We've sold 18,000 Dacias in Germany in 2007, and 36,000 in France,' he said. 'I'm afraid that right-hand drive production has slipped as a result of this high demand.'
The Sandero might be cheap (prices are tipped to span from £7000-£8500), but the Sandero looks pretty impressive. The UK will, from 2010, get two models: a 1.4 and 1.6 petrol, although Continental buyers can also pick a diesel.
It's a five-door hatch that just breaks the supermini-defining 4000mm barrier. The only problem we can see is that it's not actually that cheap: the Clio three-door starts at £7500 these days...