Dacia Gets A New Duster For Its 9th Birthday, As The Low-Cost Boom Continues

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
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dacia gets a new duster for its 9th birthday as the low cost boom continues

Nearly 9 years ago, a small car from an obscure, nearly-defunct Romanian brand was launched with little fanfare. The Dacia Logan was – and still is – a basic vehicle designed to be sold for very little money and provide honest, basic transportation for emerging markets. Few would have predicted that in nearly a decade of sales, it would spawn Renault’s top-selling nameplate while bringing in profit margins that were once reserved for premium marques.

September 10th (9 years and one day after the introduction of the first Logan) will bring about the launch of an all-new Dacia Duster, currently the top-selling vehicle in Renault’s portfolio. With its low price, solid dynamics and contemporary styling, the Duster has rode the worldwide compact SUV boom to rise to the top of Renault’s sales charts amid critical and consumer acclaim. The fact that North Americans would likely reject such a vehicle as a cheap, nasty car for credit criminals is immaterial. The Duster, along with the rest of Dacia, is helping to keep Renault afloat even though its own lineup is tanking, along with most of Europe’s car market.

Dacia has managed to do what was once thought impossible in the auto industry; sell small cars at a big profit. Dacia’s operating margins are said to be around 9 percent, which puts them on par with some of the better luxury brands in the auto world. By comparison, Renault’s is said to be in the neighborhood of 0.4 percent. By using old technology (that first-world customers would likely consider outdated) that has long been paid off and packaging it well, Dacia is able to make money even at prices far below mainstream auto makers. The fact that their cars are made in low-wage countries like Morocco, Algeria, Brazil and Russia doesn’t hurt either.

Currently, Dacia’s cheapest cars sell for about 8,000 euro, but Dacia is looking to introduce a 5,000 euro car next year, which will likely share technology with Renault-Nissan’s new Datsun line. Dacia’s success is not without controversy, with critics accusing it of everything from cannibalizing Renault sales and outsourcing labor to former colonies at the expense of French jobs. Even though Dacia may be hurting one of France’s domestic darlings, a prolonged economic slump in Europe and falling car sales have put Dacia in an enviable position – one that many auto makers seem eager to emulate.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Russycle Russycle on Jul 25, 2013

    I'm surprised nobody's made the obligatory brown wagon!/diesel manual? comment yet. Consider it done, and you're welcome.

  • Vojta Dobe Vojta Dobe on Jul 25, 2013

    Actually, the cheapest Dacia (Sandero in Access trim level - without AC or power anything) costs just €6,300 in Czech Republic. I guess the difference is caused by the fact that cheapest models are not even offered in Western Europe - no one in Germany would probably buy a non-AC car.

  • 28-Cars-Later "But Assemblyman Phil Ting, the San Franciscan Democrat who wrote the electric school bus legislation, says this is all about the health and wellbeing of Golden State residents. In addition to the normal air pollution stemming from exhaust gasses, he believes children are being exposed to additional carcinogens by just being on a diesel bus."Phil is into real estate, he doesn't know jack sh!t about science or medicine and if media were real it would politely remind him his opinions are not qualified... if it were real. Another question if media were real is why is a very experienced real estate advisor and former tax assessor writing legislation on school busses? If you read the rest of his bio after 2014, his expertise seems to be applied but he gets into more and more things he's not qualified to speak to or legislate on - this isn't to say he isn't capable of doing more but just two years ago Communism™ kept reminding me Dr. Fauxi knew more about medicine than I did and I should die or something. So Uncle Phil just gets a pass with his unqualified opinions?Ting began his career as a real estate  financial adviser at  Arthur Andersen and  CBRE. He also previously served as the executive director of the  Asian Law Caucus, as the president of the Bay Area Assessors Association, and on the board of  Equality California. [url=https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Ting#cite_note-auto-1][1][/url][h3][/h3]In 2005, Ting was appointed San Francisco Assessor-Recorder in 2005 by Mayor  Gavin Newsom, becoming San Francisco’s highest-ranking  Chinese-American official at the time. He was then elected to the post in November 2005, garnering 58 percent of the vote.Ting was re-elected Assessor-Recorder in 2006 and 2010During his first term in the Assembly, Ting authored a law that helped set into motion the transformation of Piers 30-32 into what would become  Chase Center the home of the  Golden State Warriorshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Ting
  • RHD This looks like a lead balloon. You could buy a fantastic classic car for a hundred grand, or a Mercedes depreciationmobile. There isn't much reason to consider this over many other excellent vehicles that cost less. It's probably fast, but nothing else about it is in the least bit outstanding, except for the balance owed on the financing.
  • Jeff A bread van worthy of praise by Tassos.
  • Jeff The car itself is in really good shape and it is worth the money. It has lots of life left in it and can easily go over 200k.
  • IBx1 Awww my first comment got deletedTake your “millennial anti theft device” trope and wake up to the fact that we’re the only ones keeping manuals around.