Stories of rising commercial success have been hard to find in car-industry circles these past couple of years, but there have been a few among budget brands – and none more significant than that of the Renault Group’s Romanian value marque, Dacia.
After its acquisition by Renault in 1999, this firm’s modern story began in 2004 with the launch of the first-generation, Renault-backed Dacia Logan saloon. Steady initial sales growth quickly accelerated and Dacia consolidated its position as a 500,000-units-a-year car maker (not counting commercial vehicles) in 2021.
It now has one of Europe’s top-three most popular cars, in the form of the Dacia Sandero hatchback, and has just introduced its first electric car, the Spring EV. Not bad for a brand that few outside of Eastern Europe had even heard of 20 years ago.
And now, since it’s bold enough not to be bound by the trends that guide so many other volume brands, Dacia is consolidating its place in a part of the car market that many of its rivals have given up on.
The new Dacia Jogger is a seven-seat, C-segment MPV – on the face of it, the kind of car that a great many European car makers once made (think Ford Grand C-Max, Renault Grand Scénic and Vauxhall Zafira) but whose place in the market has lately been usurped by the crossover SUV.