Dacia CEO celebrates company’s recent successes

Dacia are celebrating a string of recent achievements and milestones, with their CEO claiming that their success can continue long into the future.

In the space of just a few weeks, Dacia have passed the milestone of 600,000 cars sold in France and their Sandero model was named ‘The best small car under £12,000’ by UK website What Car?

Dacia will continue to grow

CEO Nicolas Maure tipped his hat to parent company Renault, who took control of the Romanian carmaker in 1999, and praised Dacia, announcing their plans to further expand the company’s growth.

Maure said: “We have some more capacity in Morocco, maybe as much as 150,000 a year, and also in the rest of the world, India, Brazil and Russia. We have CKD production starting in Algeria in 2014. Then we have to look at the model mix, we are increasing Duster capacity and we could add shifts in Romania to maybe four or five.”

The company’s annual sales have risen from around 80,000 a year, mostly in the Romanian domestic market before their partnership with Renault, to more than a million spread across four continents in 2013, which was a new record for the company and 26 per cent higher than their sales the previous year.

Over half a million sales in France in only 9 years

Last week, Dacia reported that they had sold their 600,000th car in France, just nine years after first entering the French market in 2005. More than 232,000 Sanderos, 150,000 Dusters, 100,000 Logan MCVs and 57,000 Logans have been sold, making Dacia the fifth-largest car brand in the country.

Additionally, the Sandero snapped up the What Car? Car of the Year Award for the best small car under £12,000, with judges commending it for its comfort, driving experience and its low cost, coming in at just over half the maximum price allowed for its category at £6,795.

A history of the brand

Dacia was founded in Romania in the 1960s to build the Renault 8 and 12 under licence, but wasn’t directly owned by Renault at the time. “Between 1989 and 1999, Dacia was a state-supported company,” says Maure. “It did its best to renew the product and equipment on its own, but did not have enough money or know-how. Many companies were interested, but because of Renault’s historical links with Dacia and the common engineering standards it was easier for us to communicate.”

In 1999, Renault again turned its attention to the Romanian company, acquiring a 51 per cent stake, which subsequently has risen to 99.43 per cent and Dacia’s modern success story took off in 2004 following the launch of the first Logan.

“Between 1999 and 2004 we modernised the equipment, improved the quality, safety and book-keeping and did a retro-fit of the Supernova to turn it into the Solenza,” said Maure.

Dacia have picked up a number of additional awards in recent history; the Sandero was also named best budget motor at the Scottish Car of the Year Awards as well as the Honest John Small Hatchback of the Year Award. Dacia was also named among the top five brands in a Driver Power survey.

A budget brand that doesn’t compromise on class

The company also lays claim to the most modern model range in the industry with the Logan, Sandero and Sandero Stepway renewed in 2012, the same year as the Lodgy, Dokker and Dokker van were launched, and the current Duster model went on the market last year, leaving the Logan MCV and Pick-up, launched in 2006 and 2008 respectively, as the company’s oldest models.