Having owned my Duster for nearly a year and been on this form slightly longer the disappointing thing for me is that reviews in the popular press and on TV never give the complete picture. So comments about a low NCap rating or the lack of a radio, air con, electric windows etc etc, are only relevant to certain models but are thrown around as general criticisms of the whole range. If anyone were to rely on some of the press reviews they wouldn't buy one - but no-one ever buys a car with a vague idea about what they want it for and what they will get for their money. I guess a lot of journalism has its agendas though.
Top Gear in it's current format is simply an entertainment show, and it does that well. It provides most of the viewing public with a good laugh. As such it's extended it's viewing audience and viewing figures keep it going.
A pure motor show it's then got a niche market of petrol heads and people seeking info on a certain class of car to help their purchasing (and blokes in flat caps standing in a Welsh forest watching the odd Rally car fly passed). If you want Top Gear to provide you with actual real world motoring facts then buy the Top Gear magazine.
Dedicated motor shows are the domain of specialist channels like Motors TV and Discovery Shed/Turbo.
The UK is already full of whiners going on about the price of the TV Licence, give them a show that's just about motoring facts and you'll have the push iron brigade telling us all how they pay £12 a month for a show that doesn't relate to them!
Top Gear used to have more real-world motoring advice, and then it effectively split into two shows.
1) Top Gear - An entertainment show based on three "characters" and their motoring adventures, celebrities, road trips etc. This went on to become one of the BBC's top shows, and worldwide money earner getting 2,000,000 viewers on BBC2 (w/e 23rd March 2014)
2) Fifth Gear - Stayed with the real-world motoring advice, moved to Channel 5, lost viewers, dropped by the station and now on Discovery Channel getting 140,000 viewers.
On that same line I think Dacia's prices and spec will start creeping as their popularity increases.
A bloke at work always bought Kia because like Dacia they where a good cheap car. But he is now thinking of swapping to Dacia as Kia's prices are now on par with everyone else. Cheap to start with to get a foothold on the market then once established you can then make changes.
Well there is customer pressure to add more features and gadgets as you can see on this forum. People want thicker paint, one-touch electric windows, remote boot opening, thicker padding on the back of the rear seats, spare wheel on the Duster 2x4 etc. etc. All these things cost money so if Dacia supply them the price has to go up.
I used to sell washing machines and customer pressure goes the opposite way. Washing machines used to cost about a month's wages and lasted for about 5 years with moderately heavy use, but given a choice of 2 machines most customers will buy the cheaper one with less features "we only use 2 programmes". So over the years washing machines have got cheaper and cheaper and you can now get one for under £200, which will probably just outlast the 12 month guarantee. If they had paid a little more it might last twice as long.
Successful manufacturers supply what customers ask for, whether its in the customers best interest or not.
Although they could add new features as those feature become main stream and thus less expensive or as the feature is standard in other Renault models and designing a new component that didn't have that feature didn't exist and would require further sourcing.
EG. I was surprised to see that if the windscreen wipers where on and I engaged reverse then the rear wiper would automatically come on to wipe the rear window so I can see.
Neat little feature! Not listed in the sales blurb, never had this on any other car and certainly not a feature I'd expect on a budget car. But I'm sure that whatever Renault they ripped this out of had it and it's just a bonus we've got it.
Part of the cheap build of Dacia is most components are stock and as those stock Renault parts get more sophisticated then Dacia could get more sophisticated without getting too expensive. However I doubt this is the plan.
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