By on January 2, 2013

Renault COO Carlos Tavares may not be exaggerating  when he calls Dacia a “cash cow”. A report in Automotive News suggests that the low-cost marque may be as profitable as some premium brands.

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By on December 21, 2012

Renault’s Algerian plant became a done deal Thursday, with production beginning in mid-2014, which will see the French auto maker become the sole passenger car builder in the North African state.

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By on November 22, 2012

Renault is gearing up to produce a range of cars positioned below Dacia, including a competitor for the Tata Nano.

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By on November 13, 2012

PSA is looking to challenge Renault-Nissan’s dominance of the low cost car segment with a new sedan branded as a Peugeot.

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By on October 16, 2012

Want something cheaper than the Dacia Sandero? Maruti Suzuki will sell you a brand new car for 244,000 rupees. That’s $4,613.

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By on October 16, 2012

Great news everyone! The Dacia Sandero will apparently cost £5,995, or about $9,600 in its cheapest trim level, when it goes on sale in the UK tomorrow.

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By on October 12, 2012

Volkswagen wants to go back to its “People’s Car” roots, and plans to launch a new low-cost brand by about 2015, Reuters says. With a a price range of between 5,000 and 10,000 euros ($6,500-$12,900), Volkswagen wants to emulate the success of Renault’s Dacia. Nissan resurrected Datsun as a low-cost brand to help gain market share in lucrative emerging markets. (Read More…)

By on October 11, 2012

The rise of low-cost cars has captured our attention at TTAC for more than just our love of obscure cars. With mainstream brands being hollowed out in Europe, low-cost cars are becoming the new default choice for the 99 percent, and making them profitably presents an even greater challenge. While Dacia and Datsun get a lot of attention around here, we have to give credit to Chrysler for their novel approach to the low-cost car, long before the Sandero was even a glimmer in James May’s eye. (Read More…)

By on October 9, 2012

The first model to be sold as a Datsun in three decades will start at less than $7,695 when it goes on sale in 2014.

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By on August 23, 2012

Datsun’s association with Africa might be best linked with the East African Safari rally – but 42 years later, Datsun could return to the continent, though not in a motorsports capacity.

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By on March 1, 2012

We have been keeping one eye on the Nissan/Renault plans for low cost cars for a while. All indications have been that the alliance is working on a car that could sell in the neighborhood of $5,000 and still make a profit. The secret of doing this is spreading the development effort over as many units as possible.

Today, The Nikkei [sub] writes that Nissan will resurrect its Datsun brand in order to sell low-priced cars in emerging markets. According what the Nikkei “learned” without naming sources, the cars will initially be built and sold in India, Indonesia and Russia. Allegedly, Nissan hopes to “achieve annual sales of 300,000 Datsuns a year soon.” (Read More…)

By on November 23, 2011

Renault already upset the European car market with its low cost Logan, which goes for around €7,700 (approx $10,000) in France. If the French newspaper La Tribune has its sources straight, then Renault could be coming out with a car that is priced like a high-end bicycle.

Renault allegedly is working on a car that will cost €2,500 ($3,350). France’s wire service Agence France Presse says it is not true, but la Tribune sticks to its guns and says that it maintains that its “proprietary information” is correct. According to TTAC’s proprietary information, AFP is wrong, and La Tribune is on the right track. (Read More…)

By on March 22, 2010

Pictures are supposed to be worth a thousand words, but this one is good for at least two whole life lessons. First: you get what you pay for. If you buy the world’s cheapest car, as insurance agent Satish Sawant did, it might just burst into flames on the drive home from the dealership. Second: Google Adsense has no sense of irony.

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By on January 21, 2010

The extent to which Honda has lost its mojo has been a hot topic in these pages of late. Though the big H has stumbled with Acura, hybrids, design and other crucial areas, one major positive seems to persist: the strength of the Honda name. Which is why it’s so strange to read Bloomberg report that Honda will launch a new brand in China next year. The new brand, named Li Nian meaning “ideal” or “spirit”, will be used for Honda’s new sub-Fit small car, designed to take advantage of China’s reduced tax on engines smaller than 1.6 liters.
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By on November 12, 2009

Everyone has the Nano in its sights (courtesy:

With Tata unable to produce enough Nanos to keep up with demand, more automakers are gunning for its entry-level segment. Renault-Nissan is teaming up with its Indian-market partner Bajaj to produce a car that’s even cheaper to produce than the Nano. “I can tell you the cost of this car would be lower than any car today made in India,” Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn tells Gasgoo, adding that a lower production cost wouldn’t guarantee that the new car would be priced lower than Nano. The Renault ULC, as the low-cost car is being called during development, will be available in India in 2012, by which time GM and Toyota could have competing models on the market. Ford’s recently-announced Indian market low-cost car, based on the discontinued previous-generation European Fiesta, will be positioned above the Nano. And that strategy also appeals to Honda. The Motor Company tells the WSJ that rather than competing directly with the lowest-cost segment, a sub-Fit (Jazz, as it’s known globally) hatchback will be introduced around 2012 to compete with Ford’s model. The Jazz/Fit currently sells for about $15,000 in India, leaving a huge window between there and the Nano’s approximately $3,000 price price tag.

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