Dacia, Romania's enduring car trademark

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The story of Dacia, Romania's main automobile producer, started with the construction of the Mioveni-based Car Factory (Arges County, southern Romania) in 1966, under an agreement between the Romanian authorities and French car manufacturer Renault, which provided the assembly of a Renault model under the Dacia brand.

The construction of the plant was completed in record time, just one year and a half later.

The facility was commissioned on August 20, 1968, when the production of the Dacia 1100 model under the Renault R8 license began. According to the agreement, Renault supplied all the parts of the model for the Dacia crew to assemble at the site. Between 1968 and 1972 about 44,000 Dacia 1100 automobiles rolled off the assembly lines, with a slight esthetic change operated at the front of the car in 1970. Dacia 1300 was next, entering production in August 1969 under the R12 license. The model was featured at the Bucharest and Paris motor shows.

Between 1970 and 1980 Dacia developed an entire range of models: versions of the Dacia 1300 sedan emerged in 1970; the break model was launched in 1973; and in 1975 the Dacia 1302 pick-up hit the market (produced in 2,000 units until 1982).

After the expiry of the Renault license, Dacia started its own development program. Between 1972 and 1997 the Romanian car maker produced eight models, the last one, Dacia Nova, standing in no connection with the initial model taken up from Renault. Nova, which was launched in 1995, was the first Dacia model entirely designed and produced in Romania.

In 1998, three decades after the production of the first Dacia motorcar, unit No 2,000,000 left the plant. On July 2, 1999 the contract for the company's privatization was signed and Dacia became a Renault group brand, having the main mission to support the group's development on emerging markets.

The Dacia SuperNova model equipped with a Renault engine and gearbox was released in 2000, as the first materialization of the Romanian-French teamwork. In April 2003 the Dacia Solenza model on gasoline was launched and the Dacia Solenza on diesel followed in September 2003.

Relaunched in 2004 with the Logan model, Dacia has become in the past few years a well-known player on the European motorcar market, winning customer confidence by its enduring values: generosity that translates into the best price-inner room ratio in the market, reliability and robustness.

In 2005 Dacia was selected ?Car of the year' in Serbia and Montenegro and won the Autobest prize as the best-selling car in Central and Eastern Europe. In 2005 Dacia's global sales stood at 164,406 units, of which 134,887 Dacia Logan; 8,354 Dacia Solenza; and 21,185 commercial vehicles. Dacia received the ISO 14001 environmental certification and produced unit No. 2,500,000. 2005 also saw the inauguration of the International Logistics Network centre at Mioveni.

Dacia Logan MCV was launched in October 2006 at the Paris Motor Show and hit the western market in January 2007; the occidental media called it 'the cheapest seven-seat model money can buy.' In an all-time first, Dacia exports topped the 100,000-line, hitting 128,411 units, and the total production surpassed 200,000 units. In a few countries like Russia and Ukraine, the Logan sells under the Renault brand.

The October 2007 Bucharest Motor Show saw the launch of the Logan Pick-Up model. Dacia car No. 3,000,000 was produced in the same month.

The next milestones were the June 2008 Auto Show in Geneva, where the new Dacia Sandero model was unveiled, followed by the launch of the new Logan (July) and the Logan MCV at the Paris Motor Show (October). Exports that year reached 172,886 units, and total sales hit 257,854 units. On June 17, 2009, the Stepway version of the Dacia Sandero was released.

On March 18, 2010, the Romanian automotive maker launched the Duster model, with car No. 500,000 leaving the Mioveni-based plant in December 2013.

Dacia Lodgy was next, displayed at the March 2012 Geneva Auto Show. Its quality-price-showing ratio earned it a large number of awards given by the automotive professionals.

The model was voted the Car of the Year 2011 in Romania and Croatia, it won the trophies SUV of the Year 2011 in Romania, Autobest 2011, The Most 4x4 of the Year 2012 in France, Argus (in the family vehicle category) in France as well as the title of a Champion in Residual Value 2011 in Germany.

On March 5, 2013 the Mioven-based car manufacturer unveiled in a world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show the new Dacia Logan MCV, as well as the limited series Duster Adventure .

The Logan MCV released in 2006 was reshaped to a modern upmarket exterior look specific to break models, receiving also a series of facilities provided from the very first level of standard equipment. The newest version was launched in Romania on May 28, 2013.

The new Duster presented on September 19, 2013 at the Frankfurt Auto Show is the restyled version of Dacia's SUV launched in 2010. A novelty is also the new petrol 1.2 dCi 125 hp engine with fuel consumption of only 6.0 l/100 km and reduced CO2 emissions.

Renault's total investments in Dacia, in excess of 1.6 billion euros, have contributed to the positioning of the car maker as one of the most important companies in the Romanian economy, with a significant boost to the gross domestic product and exportations.

The quality of Dacia products earned the company international recognition. The explanation for Dacia's success is that the Mioveni-produced cars feature an unmatched price — quality ratio and unbeatable reliability. Over 90% of the output of the Mioveni Automotive Assembly Plant is exported to 41 countries on four continents, with the UK, Ireland and Denmark (2013) being the latest additions to the Dacia outlet markets.

In July 2013, the Romanian car manufacturer released in the UK its Duster Black Edition, an improved version of its SUV traded for 17,575 Sterling pounds. The Duster Black Edition celebrates the 2013 edition of the Goodwood Speed Festival and competes with Nissan's new low cost SUV.

Dacia sales in 2012 totaled 308,976 units, by 18,902 units less (5.7%). In Romania, the company delivered 21,308 vehicles and sold 287,668 units on foreign markets. Topping the sales is Dacia Duster (with 133 250 units), followed by Dacia Logan sedan (56,911 units) and Dacia Sandero (50,855 units). Whereas sales of the Dacia Logan sedan were by 14,925 units higher, deliveries of Duster and Sandero decreased by 35,320 units and 9,702 units, respectively.AGERPRES

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