Dacia Group: Expert reviews and news
Automobile Dacia S.A. is a Romanian car manufacturer, named for the historic region that constitutes much of present-day Romania. It is now a subsidiary of the French carmaker Renault. The company is the largest exporter from Romania with 7.9% of total exports in 2011.
The Dacia automobile company was founded in 1966 under the name Uzina de Autoturisme Pitești (UAP). The main Dacia factory was built in 1968, in Colibaşi (now called Mioveni), near Piteşti. Dacia acquired the tooling and basic designs of the Renault 12. However, until the tooling was ready it was decided to produce the Renault 8 under licence; it was known as the Dacia 1100. From 1968 to 1972, some 44,000 were produced, with a very minor cosmetic change to the front in early 1970. Also produced in very limited numbers was the 1100S, with twin headlamps and a more powerful engine, used by the police and in motor racing.
The Dacia Logan is the most successful model since the original 1300. It was introduced after considerable media interest in August 2004, and despite design-related criticism, it became one of the top-selling cars in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Russia. The Logan is sold in a large number of countries, occasionally under the Renault brand. It was awarded 3 (out of 5) stars in NCAP crash testing. It is by far the best-selling car in Romania, with a market share of 27% in February 2008. A diesel version was also introduced in 2005. Before its launch, it was known as the 5000-Euro car due to its projected launch price. This was never quite the case, although it is one of the cheapest cars for its size on the market.
In 2006, the prototype Logan Steppe was exhibited. This showed a speculative 4×4 estate version of the Logan. The estate version was launched in late 2006. The van, basically an estate with the rear windows filled in and a separate cabin for the driver, was launched in February 2007 after the stopping production of the classic utility vehicle, the Dacia Pick-Up.
A pick-up model and the Logan-based hatchback Sandero were launched in 2008, the latter at the Geneva Motor Show.
In 2009, a new concept called the Dacia Duster was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, signaling manufacturer’s intentions of releasing an SUV model.
In 2010, the Dacia Duster was exhibited at the Geneva Motor Show. It is the first crossover SUV built by Dacia since the Renault acquisition, in both 4×2 and 4×4 versions. Officially revealed since 8 December 2009, it became available in Europe from 18 March 2010.
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