Manufacturing at the Dacia plant began in 1968, using completely knocked down kits of the Renault 8, which was sold locally as the Dacia 1100.
As a fun fact, around the same time, Bulgaria, Romania's Southern neighbor, had its version of the Renault 8 manufactured under the Bulgarrenault name. It did not catch on, and production stopped in early 1970.
Dacia, on the other hand, pushed forward with another Renault license, the R12, which was marketed as the Dacia 1300 in Romania. The model started being built in 1969 in Romania, while the last iteration of the design was built and sold in 2004.
At the time, Dacia was already partly owned by Renault, and the Logan was about to be introduced, but that did not stop the Romanian brand from selling its most affordable model up until the its 35th anniversary.
All of Dacia's 1300, 1310, and their derivatives managed to add up to about 2.3 million units in just over 35 years of manufacturing, as the pick-up version of the model was sold up until 2006. In comparison, the Duster, which was introduced in 2010, has already reached 2,1 million units, and it is still an incredibly popular product in the range.
The first million of cars was a milestone that was reached in 1985, while the second million was reached back in 1998. Things got sped up after Renault invested heavily in the plant, and the fifth millionth unit rolled off the assembly line in 2014. In other words, Dacia has built and sold more vehicles from 2014 to 2022 than it did from 1968 to 2014.
There is a reason for the latter, and it is not just industrialization and the use of robots in manufacturing, as well as modern methods. Since Renault took full control of the brand, Dacia vehicles have been made in countries like Morocco, Algeria, and China.
The bulk of the production was handled by the main facility back in Mioveni, Romania, but the two plants in Morocco do a bit of heavy lifting themselves. As a reference, though, the Mioveni facility celebrated building seven million vehicles on January 19, 2022.
Currently, the best-selling Dacia model is the Sandero, along with its Sandero Stepway crossover derivative, which has added up to 2,6 million units made. That is a lot of Sanderos, but only a handful were driven by James May. Someone needs to do something about that, if you ask us.