Cars | 22 April 2020

Dacia: 15 years disrupting the car industry for Groupe Renault

3 min
Show car Dacia Spring
Dacia, the Romanian car manufacturer was bought by Groupe Renault in 1999. The date which really marked the brand’s renaissance, however, is 2005, with the marketing of the Logan saloon in Europe. To date, Dacia has attracted 6.5 million customers. An incredible feat! Report on 15 years of a true success story.
by Nicolas LE-BOUCHER

Birth of a revolutionary low-cost model


Founded in 1966 in Romania, Dacia, the car manufacturer, has always been linked to Renault: its first model, available only on the local market, was the Renault 8, re-badged as the Dacia 1100 and assembled using parts manufactured in France.

In 1999, Groupe Renault acquired the Romanian manufacturer with a clear vision: to develop Dacia’s expertise and geographical situation to market the cheapest three-box saloon on the market in Eastern Europe, which was then in the midst of reconstruction

A highly ambitious objective that Groupe Renault decided to achieve by breaking the rules. For the first time in automotive industry, the design was completed at a target cost by applying the “design to cost” method. Innovative at the time, this method turned the logic of traditional design on its head: without compromising on reliability and safety, cost optimization became an imperative at every stage of vehicle design. From start to finish, the final sale price was factored into every technical constraint. Under this strategy, the use of proven and amortized Renault group parts and technologies was a considerable asset.

From design to conception and then production, the Dacia project teams operate like a start-up: from scratch, and on a tight budget!

In 2004, the Dacia Logan was unveiled. It revolutionises the market by making a new car widely affordable. With a purchase price comparable to that of a second-hand car, the success is such that it goes on sale throughout Europe from 2005.

An iconic model, the Dacia Logan is on the market to this day. Since 2004, it has achieved sales of 1.8 million units.

A winning trio

Buoyed by the success of the Logan, Dacia extended its range in 2008 with the Sandero and its SUV version, the Sandero Stepway. Combining compactness with a spacious interior, this saloon is versatile enough to meet every challenge.

2010 started a new revolution: the release of the Dacia Duster. This model, now a best-seller, has made the SUV segment, hitherto consisting of top of the range models only, far more accessible.
Faithful to the values that Dacia has made its own (record spaciousness, simplicity, robustness and an unbeatable price), both new models are a commercial success.

The Sandero (including the Sandero Stepway) is the car with the highest private sales in 2018, and totals 2.1 million units since its release. 1.6 million Dusters have been sold since 2010.

The small Romanian manufacturer continues to meet the essential needs of its customers with simple, reliable and robust cars, without any excess. It is expanding its range with Logan MCV (station wagon) in 2007, then Lodgy (MPV) and Dokker (MPV and van) in 2012.

Thanks to the enthusiasm of its customers, the brand enjoys an active customer community. Dacia is now the 5th brand in terms of private sales in Europe. That’s some road travelled!

 

Offering the essentials of tomorrow

Show car Dacia Spring

Customer expectations and the way that we use cars are both changing. Dacia is a modern brand that listens to its customers and so it is aware of the challenges posed by the mobility of the future.
Responding to the environmental challenges, Dacia is the only manufacturer to offer twin-fuel (petrol/LPG) models across its entire private vehicle range. This fuel solution reduces consumption and CO2 emissions whilst lowering running costs.

Because sustainable mobility is at the heart of Groupe Renault's priorities and is already part of everyday life for drivers, the next Dacia revolution will involve affordable electric vehicles. In March 2020, the brand unveiled its Spring electric showcar, its first all-electric model. Moreover, it will be the first city car to bear the Dacia signature!

Dacia has been a gamechanger in the car industry for the last 15 years, but its revolutionary activity is far from over!

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