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Dacia’s 9th birthday brings new Duster model

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About nine years ago, a small car from a very obscure and nearly-defunct Romanian brand was launched with very little international fanfare. The Dacia Logan was, and still is, a very basic vehicle meant to be sold for little money and provide basic transportation for emerging markets.

Not many could have predicted that in almost a decade, the model would become Renault’s top-selling nameplate and bring in profit margins that were once reserved more for premium marques.

September 10th – nine years and one day after the introduction of the original Logan – will see the launch of an all-new Dacia Duster, currently the top-selling vehicle in Renault’s portfolio. Thanks to the low price, solid dynamics and contemporary styling, the Duster was present to ride the worldwide compact SUV boom and rose to the top of Renault’s sales charts amid critical and consumer acclaim.

The Duster, along with the rest of Dacia, is helping to keep Renault afloat while its own lineup is tanking, in tune with most of Europe’s overall car market.

It was once thought impossible in the auto industry, to sell small cars at a big profit, but Dacia has somehow managed to do it, operating margins around nine percent, putting them on equal footing with some of the better luxury brands in the auto world. This works by using old technology – that first-world customers will most likely consider outdated – that has been long paid off and then packaging it well, Dacia can make money even at prices far below mainstream auto makers. Another contributing factor is that the cars are being made in low-wage countries like Morocco and Romania.

Dacia’s cheapest cars sell at about 8,000 Euro however, the brand is looking to introduce a 5,000 Euro car sometime next year which is expected to share technology with the new Datsun line from the Renault-Nissan alliance.

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