However, Dacia promises it won’t follow the example of former budget brands like Skoda, Hyundai and Kia, which started by offering cheap cars and then raised prices.
“We have no intention of setting up a successful position in a low-cost market and then moving our range upmarket so our customers are taken by surprise,” Stephen Norman, Renault’s global marketing senior vice president, was quoted as saying by Car Magazine. “Dacias will always stand for roominess, low prices and quality,” added the official.
The Duster is an example of modern Dacia’s DNA: it’s cheap and solid, and powered by proven Renault engines. Dacia will come to the UK in autumn 2012, completing the European expansion of the brand. Renault’s partner firm Lada is also set to return to western Europe and the UK from 2012-2013.
According to Car Magazine, this is part of Renault’s plan to fight on two fronts the upstart Chinese car makers, whom Norman predicts will pose a threat to the established European producers between 2012-2015.
“The UK was one of the few markets where Lada was a success. I'm confident the time is right to bring it back. The Chinese won't get in before us. But they will become a threat between 2012-2015,” Norman said.