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Three months before it even launches in the UK and after stunning the industry with its "shockingly affordable" Duster prices, the Dacia brand is upsetting its rivals even more by having the audacity to start winning awards. The first trophies to adorn its soon-to-be bulging trophy cabinet come in the form of three Scottish Car of the Year awards, including the overall title, for its Duster SUV.

In a massive coup for a car that doesn't even launch in showrooms until January, the Duster cleaned up with 'Scottish Car of the Year' as well as scooping the 'SUV' and 'Budget' titles.

Owned by the Renault Group, Dacia is not just Europe's fastest-growing automotive brand, it's also a global phenomenon, having grown from under 5,000 sales in 2004 to just under 350,000 in 2011. Known for offering reliable, practical and spacious vehicles, it's won plenty of awards, as well as plaudits, around the globe in recent years. Now it's looking to crack the big time over here. The Duster range kicks off at less than £9,000, with 4x4 versions starting at a whiff under £11,000. Quite simply, no other new car offers the same kind of value for the space and equipment on offer.

Thierry Sybord, Managing Director, Renault UK, said: "Our new brand, Dacia, has really struck a chord with British buyers since pre-ordering opened just a couple of months ago for the Duster SUV, starting at less than £9,000.

"We've watched our European neighbours sell tens of thousands of Dacias to happy customers over the last few years and are now delighted to be bringing the brand and its "shockingly affordable" models to our shores. We're over the moon to be collecting these three awards, our first for the brand in the UK, including Scottish Car of the Year, even before it officially launches in January.

"They also prove what we always suspected. Firstly, that with rugged looks, impressive reliability, great prices and the availability of four-wheel-drive, Duster is perfect for the Scottish market and everything that the weather and terrain can throw at it, whether it's the urban cut and thrust of Glasgow, or a testing drive through the Highlands. Secondly, the Scots know a bargain when they see one. We hope the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers love our next Dacia model, the Sandero supermini, just as much in the not too distant future."
The Scottish Car of the Year awards are run by the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers. Choosing the overall winner after Duster brushed aside the new BMW 3 Series and Volkswagen up!, ASMW President John Murdoch said,"From pretty much the outset it was apparent that it would be far from a one horse race to the finishing post for the 2012 Scottish Car of the Year. The previous 12 months have witnessed the arrival of countless new models and with almost every passing month there has been one which has caught the attention of ASMW members as being a possible winner of our ultimate accolade.

"So many different manufacturers with shortlisted vehicles across so many different segments made choosing this year's champion an incredibly difficult decision. Some members were swayed by packaging, others by dynamics, several by design and many by value. But while we agree that any one of our category finalists would be a worthy overall winner there can be only one Scottish Car of the Year.

"Okay, so our choice may not set radical new standards in any one area, but we believe it's the sum of its parts which add up. Using proven technology, this is a car with huge appeal to the canny Scottish buyer spending their own money and we believe it's completely unrivalled in terms of its mix of ability, space, running costs and pricing. Upgrade to diesel, tick the four-wheel-drive option, choose the top spec and you'll still be astonished at how little the drive-away price is."

They selected Duster as the winner of the SUV category, triumphing over the Mazda CX-5 and Audi Q3,praising it for its price and design. "Off road, on the road and everywhere in between, the modern SUV has one of the toughest design challenges in the motoring world. Add in affordability and our judges could only come to one conclusion. Our winner has blown away all preconceptions of what an SUV should be and what you should pay for it."

Duster also beat the Skoda Citigo and Suzuki Alto in the newly-created 'Budget category' with judges plumping for the Dacia thanks to "unrivalled value in a package particularly relevant to the Scottish market."
Mr Murdoch added: "Us Scots have an eye for a bargain and there's nothing quite like the thrill of a new car ownership but at a price which won't break the bank."

The Dacia brand launches officially in 135 Dacia Centres across the UK in January 2013 with the award-winning Duster SUV and new Sandero supermini. For more information, visit, follow @daciauk or go to for more information.

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