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Just ahead of its world debut at the Paris Motor Show, Dacia has pulled the covers off of its all-new Sandero supermini. Crucially, unlike today's model which is already a huge hit worldwide, this time there's great news for UK car buyers, because it's coming here.

Naturally, with a "Shockingly Affordable" price tag.

Set to arrive in Dacia Retailers in January 2013, the new Sandero from Europe's fastest-growing automotive brand since 2004 will join the Duster SUV to launch a two-pronged assault on the UK car market with an unbeatable combination of equipment, price and space.

Thankfully, for those champing at the bit to find out more about the new Dacia baby before it reaches the UK, they won't be kept in the dark for too long. That's because its tempting prices and specifications will be announced, together with the opening of UK ordering, in the not too distant future. Until then, let's just say Dacia has already scared the competition with its Duster SUV. Sandero is likely to cause just as much consternation in the corridors of power at rival car manufacturers.

Dacia's new exterior style
Together with the brand new Logan saloon which will also be unveiled in Paris next week, the second-generation Sandero showcases a more modern, purposeful and upmarket look. One of the main qualities behind the brand's new styling identity is to give a sense of quality and strength.
At the front, harmonious lines are shared by both new models and highlight the Dacia logo which sits boldly in the grille. The front end's look is made even more expressive through the wide headlights and grille.
Seen in profile, the balanced proportions of the body panels compared with the glazed surfaces reinforce the impression of robustness suggested by the sculpted waistline, more prominent wheelarches and indented flanks which are hallmarks of the entire Dacia range.

More attractive interior styling
Both new models inaugurate the new dark charcoal or two-tone well-equipped, modern dashboard (depending on model and version) which features chrome instrument surrounds and more functional and modern controls.
The air vent surrounds, logo on the steering wheel and gear lever knob are all picked out in chrome (depending on equipment level), while the lower edge of the central fascia features a coloured trim (depending on finish) that co-ordinates with the door pulls and decorative steering wheel insert.
Meanwhile, special attention has been paid to ensuring an immediate impression of quality, which is reinforced by the improved interior materials and overall enhanced fit-and-finish.
More information on the all-new Dacia Sandero supermini will be released a little closer to its UK launch in January 2013. In the meantime, the Duster SUV is already available to see in the metal at 135 Dacia Retailers across the UK. To find your closest Dacia Retailer locator, see www.dacia.co.uk, or call 0800 99 11 99.

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European Malaise Not Slowing Down Renault's Dacia

Nov. 27, 2012

PARIS - Renault begins refreshing its Dacia line of entry-level cars eight years after the 2004 launch of the Logan. Prices remain unchanged despite additional equipment, thanks to a policy of carryover and parts-sharing on a single platform.

The Logan sedan and its 5-door Sandero hatchback platform mate get a revised engine compartment to house the new 0.9L, 3-cyl. TCe gasoline engine as well as two small diesels and 1.2L gasoline and liquefied-petroleum-gas engines.

The Sandero, its best-selling Stepway version and the Logan now share everything ahead of the B-pillar, and 80% of the components in the vehicles are the same. More than half of the parts are carryover, says Arnaud Deboeuf, entry-level program director for the Renault-Nissan Alliance.

The rear-end chassis, for example, is borrowed from the original Logan, and much of that already had migrated from the first-generation Clio introduced in 1990. Much of the front end, including the radiator and other under-hood components, are carried over from the Dacia Lodgy, a van introduced at the Geneva auto show that uses the new small engines.

Thus, the M0 platform, slightly upgraded, continues its life as the basis for Dacia products after having passed 2 million units of production.

Volume is the key consideration in keeping costs low, Deboeuf says, adding, "And where there isn't volume behind an idea, it won't work." He says that means it is unlikely there ever will be a Dacia coupe.

Dacia programs are the descendents of the $6,000 car that then-Renault CEO Louis Schweitzer wanted to develop. Having seen Ladas sell in Russia for that price in the 1990s, he decided it would be strategically good to develop a modern, robust car that would be affordable in emerging markets.

When Renault took over Romanian auto maker Dacia in 1999, his idea began to take shape. Although prices exceed $6,000, Dacia has been a greater success than Schweitzer had imagined, with Western Europe now accounting for about half its sales.

With the higher volumes and consequently less-expensive parts and amortization, the new Dacias could have been sold at a lower cost than their predecessors, but Renault chose to add features to the cars and hold the line on the price.

"Lowering the price by €300 or €400 ($380-$500) wouldn't help sales as much as giving people what they want," says Alain Lehmann, sales director-France.

David Holderbach, product director-entry range, notes that "with all the used cars that are more and more equipped, we anticipate a rise in what our customers coming into the market will demand, principally in the area of comfort."

Requests passed on from dealers to product developers include cruise control and a way to display the outside temperature. Both now are standard on the models, which start at €7,700 ($9,800) for the Logan and €7,900 ($10,000) for the Sandero.

The cars are modern but not gadget-laden. Rear windows are raised and lowered with cranks. The ignition uses a standard key instead of electronics. The handbrake is a lever between the front seats.

Owners want reliable and inexpensive cars, Lehmann says. Whereas Renault-brand models in France earn five stars, the highest rating from the EuroNCAP vehicle-safety program, the Dacias likely will get only three. Customers don't want to pay for more, he says. Still, features include two side airbags and Isofix connections for child seats.

The chrome-accented instrument panel is better-looking than in first-generation Dacias.

"The instrument panel is always under the eyes of the driver," Deboeuf says. "It is there that you have to spend money."

The new Logan has benefited from a facelift, sharing the sleeker look of the Sandero's front end. The first-generation Logan looked boxier, somewhat dated and less appealing than the better-looking Sandero, which was developed for Brazil.

All trim levels now have hydraulic power steering, and new to the lineup as an option is a €250 ($315) 7-in. (17.5-cm) touchscreen with icons for radio, telephone, map, music, GPS navigation and settings, introduced earlier on the Dacia Lodgy and Dokker people-movers.

The Dacia brand accounts for 17% of Renault's volume in Europe. The same cars are sold under the Renault brand in countries including Russia and India. Deliveries of Dacia and Renault vehicles built on the M0 platform will approach 1 million units this year, compared with 813,000 last year.

The availability of reliable, basic cars has caught on with a middle class in Europe that was losing purchasing power. In France, Dacia is the fifth best-selling brand to individual buyers. It rose to 4.2% of the French market in 2010 when government incentives helped boost deliveries of B-segment cars. Its current share is 3.7%, even with the first-generation Logan and Sandero at the end of their runs.

Lehmann says Dacia purchasers in France fit the profile of all B-segment buyers. For the overall segment, 51% of buyers are male and the average age is 51. For the Sandero, 50% are men, with an average age of 50. Of buyers in the overall B-segment, 37% are salaried workers and 27% are retired. For the basic Sandero, 49% are salaried while 17% are retired.

The Sandero Stepway, which is 1.6 ins. (40 cm) taller even before the roof rack is added, attracts a wealthier, more masculine (55%) audience with an average age of 52 and more retired and self-employed customers than the segment average.

Lehmann describes Dacia's French customers as family-oriented, not necessarily unable to afford a costlier car, but decidedly against spending more. "They have other priorities for their money," he says.

"They like Dacia because we don't do rebates, and they don't have to negotiate. People are reassured by the transparency of the offer."

For all customers in the B-segment, style is the most important factor in the choice of a car, followed by cost, cited by 29% of buyers. Among buyers of Dacia's Sandero, price is the biggest consideration, at 71%.

The Sandero has a number of trim levels, including several Stepway versions, and each new level includes more features and options as standard. At the Prestige trim level, the price is €13,590 ($17,250), and the only remaining options are a €99 ($127) GPS map for the whole of Europe and a €120 ($150) spare tire.

More than 80% of Dacia customers in France buy the spare tire, Lehmann notes.

Dacia's policy of price transparency and its avoidance of sales to rental fleets creates a financial advantage at resale time, Lehmann says, adding, "Our residual values are eight to 10 (percentage) points higher than other cars in the segment."

source http://wardsauto.com/europe/european-malaise-not-slowing-down-renault-s-dacia
 

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Dacia Sales Continue to Climb as Europe Market Falls, Executive Says

Mar. 5, 2013

GENEVA - With the MCV wagon version of the Dacia Logan multipurpose vehicle presented at the auto show here, Renault's entry-level brand replaces the last of its seven basic models.

The Duster is the oldest model in Dacia's portfolio, at nearly three years, but at Geneva it gets a facelift version that calls to mind the Land Rover Defender.

Dacia sales are rising in a European market that is falling. Jerome Stoll, Renault executive vice president, says 2012 was a record for the brand, with its European sales surging 700% since 2005.

Dacia doesn't discount in Europe and it doesn't sell to fleets, so customers are individuals who choose the brand, often coming from the used-car market.

The more than 2 million Dacia owners form a community, Stoll says, "and it is their pride that makes the brand strong."

Dacia holds a 2.3% share of the European market and 6.3% in France, where it is the fifth-most popular brand. Last year, the auto maker sold 360,000 cars in Europe, and even more badged as Renaults outside the region.

The Logan MPV is priced at €8,990 ($11,700) in France, well below the average for cars its size, although niceties such as GPS navigation system or rear-parking assistance are extras. The base model sold in Europe comes with electronic stability control, side airbags and power steering.

The MPV first launched in 2006 and has sold 340,000 copies in 40 countries. The new MCV wagon version shown here goes on sale in the year's second quarter.

Additionally, the Duster gets a new limited edition, the Aventure, which goes on sale in April. "Dacia has no competition," Stoll says.

source http://wardsauto.com/sales-amp-marketing/dacia-sales-continue-climb-europe-market-falls-executive-says
 

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ROMANIAN RUNABOUT IS A ROARING SUCCESS

26th May 2013

LET me make this clear, I have no interest in fridge freezers whatsoever.

Lumpy milk obviously isn't great and neither is a penicillin culture on your other dairy products.

It's for these reasons that I chose to buy a fridge freezer. Very nice it is, too.

For some people cars are no different from domestic white goods. A car needs to be covered by a watertight warranty, capable of transporting family members from one place to another and back again without curdling the occupants or causing them to go furry…for as little money as possible.

If you've been to France recently you may have noticed a new car brand that's aimed squarely at these sorts of people. People who couldn't care less about such shallow things as badge snobbery and image. And this new car brand has been very popular in France - a place where, after all, overt displays of personal wealth are seen as vulgar and crass.

It's called Dacia (pronounced Datcha). It's Romanian but has been owned and masterminded by Renault since 1999.

Dacia is reputedly the fifth-largest car brand in France by volume - an amazing feat considering its relative newness. And it's all about its Ronseal-style offering. It's a car. A car with a three-year warranty. A car for under six grand new. Or, looking at it another way, a car for those people who thought they might have to buy second-hand.

I drove the Duster SUV (£8,995) cross-over thingy a fortnight ago and have been tooling around in the entry-level Sandero (£5,995) this past week. People spend more on an Aga cooker, ferrchrissakes.

Let's concentrate on the entry-level Sandero.

It's basic. There are no electric windows or plip central locking (you've got to put your key in the lock and turn it, like the window winders).

The trim is very shiny plasticky plastic and the seats are covered in a material last seen in about 1984. The wheels are made of steel, not alloy.

But it really isn't a bad car to drive.

It rides well, with good body control and pliant damping, largely thanks to the Renault parts-bin-sourced suspension components.

The accelerator pedal may spend most of its time flat to the floor but you're not exactly going to hold up other traffic. In fact, it's nippy enough if you work it hard.

There may only be five gears but fifth is high enough to keep the revs acceptably low at motorway speed.

The brakes brake and the steering… er…steers.

In practical terms, there's enough head and legroom to carry five people and, with the versatility of a fold-down rear seat, there's enough scope to transport most items.

Ventilation is simple but very effective and the switchgear and instrumentation is refreshingly unconfusing.

It's also very easy to drive and cheap to insure so it could be the perfect car for a new driver. What more do you want? The Dacia Sandero is in UK showrooms now - get used to the idea of seeing them practically everywhere.

source http://www.dailystar.co.uk/motoring/view/316761/Romanian-runabout-is-a-roaring-success/
 
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