Groupe Renault's design boss says the firm expected Romanian marque to be facing competition from other budget brands by now
James Attwood, digital editor
30 August 2017

Groupe Renault design boss Laurens van den Acker says he is surprised that other major car firms haven’t attempted to copy Dacia’s success by launching low-cost spin-off brands.

Renault bought the Romanian marque in 1999 and started launching new models in 2004, focusing on making "robust", affordable cars. Through a major expansion programme – which included rolling out in the UK in 2012 – Dacia sold more than four million cars last year.

Speaking at the unveiling of the new Duster SUV, van den Acker said: “We’ve been surprised because we know the competition will come, sooner or later. We expected it to be there already, so it’s quite amazing there’s still no straight competitor for the Duster in the market.”

Van den Acker said the company’s commitment to keeping Dacia models affordable has helped it fill a market gap. He added: “Renault has had incredible discipline not to raise prices. Even our German friends have brands that start to bump into the brand above.

“Dacia has been really good at keeping their promise. Not all the money saving comes from cars; it’s in the business model: where we produce the cars, the fact Dacia are sold off the back of the Renault network, often in the same dealership.

“It you took Renault out, you couldn’t sell Dacia as a separate brand; for another company to create a new brand, they’d have to create a new network, which is very expensive, and that would find its way into the [price of the] car. The Renault/Dacia business model is unique and perhaps that’s why it’s hard to replicate.” 

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Our Verdict

Dacia Duster

The Dacia Duster is a no-nonsense machine that wears its bargain price tag like a badge of honour. And we can’t help liking it for that.

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Comments
6

30 August 2017

There is little profit in the budget end, all marques are trying to head upmarket.

Skoda, Hyundai and Kia used to be the budget options, with Skoda particularly robust. However all are now marketed as sub-premium well above budget options.

There were rumours that Peugeot were going to introduce Talbot as a budget marque. They sell some budget cars for emerging markets such as the 301, but as a saloon it wouldn't sell well in most of western Europe.

Fiat have tried a 2 pronged approach with "emotion" models such as 500 and 124, and "rational" models like the new Tipo.

30 August 2017

According to wikpedia production for 2016 was 584139 way less than 4 million quoted they must have meant the Renault group.

30 August 2017

They have found a way to make Renaults that are affordable, robust and reliable.....at last....

Steam cars are due a revival.

30 August 2017

Also a little rich coming from a company that so spectacularly failed to get onto the Crossiver gravey train that it's partner Nissan created over a decade ago !

japester

31 August 2017

Other car firms like being able to provide full spare parts support for their customers so they won't be copying Dacia.

31 August 2017
max1e6 wrote:

Other car firms like being able to provide full spare parts support for their customers so they won't be copying Dacia.

The platforms (ex Clio and Micra) , engines and mechanicals are straight from the Renault Nissan parts bin. Did you have any issues sourcing body panels and interior trim?

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