Top Gear and TTAC have been at the forefront of giving you your dose of Dacia developments for some time now, propelled by my strange obsession with this obscure Romanian brand of budget car. Now, Dacia is getting its 15 minutes of North American coverage, with a New York Times feature touting Dacia as “Europe’s Hottest Car”.
The NYT article is more of a primer on Dacia and its origins than an in-depth examination. If you’ve been keeping up with our extensive coverage of Dacia (all three of you), you’ll be familiar with what’s covered.
I’ve long felt that the story of Dacia is one that is congruent with the “big tent” approach we take at TTAC in examining the social, political and economic implications of cars and the auto industry. The Dacia story goes beyond that, branching into the after-effects of colonialism, immigration, outsourcing and emerging economies. It’s symbolic of economic bifurcation of much of the West, where the high and the low ends are growing, while the middle is simultaneously being hollowed out.
And it’s also another notch on the scoreboard for simple, unpretentious transportation, an endangered species in a world of government-mandated active safety systems, “connected cars” and an overall epidemic of complexity. One Dacia buyer sums it up perfectly, telling the NYT
“I like the Dacia ethos, it fits in with my own mind-set. It’s simple, no-nonsense value for money. A niche the big manufacturers have failed to fill.”
I agree wholeheartedly.