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Dacia Duster - Click above for high-res image gallery

Renault hasn't been in the US market since 1987, the year the Alliance and the Encore stopped trickling out of AMC factories. Few have missed the French automaker's presence since it left our shores, though many thought the doors would once again open to the land of opportunity once Nissan was in the fold. That hasn't happened so far, but a story in The Wall Street Journal shows that Renault is at least thinking about once again coming Stateside to sell cars and SUVs. Gerard Detourbet, head of Renault's entry-level vehicle division, told WSJ that the company is studying a move to North America, and the vehicle that could influence the decision is the low-cost Duster SUV.

The Duster, which for now is being build by Dacia in Romania, will eventually be sold as a Renault once production ramps up. If the apparently capable Duster is a success in emerging markets like South America and Eastern Europe, there could be a chance Renault would give the mini ute a chance in the U.S. But Detourbet reportedly doesn't see Renault entering the U.S. market with just one vehicle like it did with the Alliance in late 1982, instead favoring a family of affordable vehicles as the best approach. And with Renault's Logan line already established in many parts of the world, the budget-minded nameplate could be reworked for U.S. duty at some point in the future.

While it's nice to hear that Renault is at least considering a return to America, we're not all that hopeful that anything will happen within the next three to five years. Besides, once the Duster is retrofitted for U.S. duty it'll probably be heavier, more expensive and overwhelmingly diesel-less.

[Source: Wall Street Journal - Sub's Req'd]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hey, at least it would bring more jobs back to America!! Instead of sending them over to the fish eyed people in China and back down to the wetbacks. Oh, I forgot they are up here because of our so called government. they wanna bring up and let them eat up everything we work our butts off for.They expect us as taxpayers to give them handouts and not expect them to pay taxes and aout insurance like we do.
      • 5 Years Ago
      With our domestic manufacturers on the verge of folding like paper airplanes, I would be surprised if Renault enters our market anytime soon. Maybe when the market recovers a bit. Also the Mitsubishi merger rumor was with Peugeot, which is a separate company.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Americans aren't sophisticated enough to appreciate French cars. Man, I could just see all the right-wing pols trying to get Renault to build a plant in their southern state, but only if they sell Freedom Fries in the cafeteria!
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Why do you feel compelled to display your ignorance on a daily basis?"


        Okay, so Ohio isn't a southern state...even though parts of it are more southern than Virginia.

        "It was only four years ago that Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio) and Walter Jones (R-NC) announced the official name change in Congressional cafeterias from French fries and French toast to Freedom Fries and Freedom Toast."



        "Of Russia, China and France, the three nations threatening to veto a United Nations resolution urging war with Iraq, France has been the most unequivocal in its opposition, which is why the French have aroused the ire of House Republicans."

        Yet Republicans will be the first to toss taxpayer dollars at foreign automakers to lure transplant factories to their states.

        You sir, are the ignoramus.
        • 5 Years Ago

        Why do you feel compelled to display your ignorance on a daily basis?
        • 5 Years Ago
        "Americans aren't sophisticated enough to appreciate French cars."

        You jest.

        About the only sophisticated French cars would be those from Citroën, and those guys don't have any plans at all to sell their cars here in the U.S.A. As much as I like the C5, I'm not going to see one driving up and down I-95 anytime soon.

        And, there are Americans, me included, who are sophisticated enough to appreciate GERMAN cars, which are in a class well above French cars.

        As much as I like the Citroën C5, I'd much rather have an Audi A6.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Cleanse yourself from the gene pool, dolt.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Having lived through the eras of Peugeot and Renault here in America I can appreciate French cars for the magnificent pieces of crap they are/were. If Renault wants to try selling cars here again they're going to need to wait until everyone of driving age in 1987 is dead.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Renault did not enter the US market in 1982 with one car. They had been here for decades already at that time.
      bill wood
      • 5 Years Ago
      And let's not forget what a wonderful job Renault did building military vehicles for the French Army during WWII .... the Germans didn't have to fight, they just walked past the thousands of broken down French fighting vehicles, day after day after day.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What about the Clio,Twingo,Megane etc?
      • 5 Years Ago
      A Dacia car means a honest car for honest money. Not else. A car for the people that need a car having enough space in it, decent performances and good driving conditions; a car for the people that do not have money (or do not want to invest money) to buy a more expensive car. Not accessories in excess. Quality: the platform is from Nissan and the engines from Renaults (that have increased the quality of their engines, the last 10 years). No old (or old fashioned, or downgraded) technical solutions:modern, but the basic solutions. Not high expenses for maintenance. Simple as design. Robust, running well on the bad roads too. For the people having more money, excellent as a 2-nd or as the 3-rd car. The Romanians are (sometimes) very critic about their own products: the last year, the sales of Dacia in France and Germany were bigger than in Romania (the country of origin). The arrival of Dacia in US will be helpfully for a lot of people having a limited amount of money.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Renault made several efforts to enter the US and every time it failed. As early as the late fifties they gave us the Dauphine, a rear engine competitor to the VW bug and it was a spectacular failure. When they joined AMC, almost good cars but ones at or very near to the pits in quality all the jokes in the auto world were something like, "well there goes AMC".
      They destroyed AMC looting it's piggy bank and clearing the sale to Chrysler only to dump the car line and get Jeep.
      When times get tough, anything French just puts it's hands up and surrenders.
      • 5 Years Ago
      ...because, of course, North America needs yet another SUV on the market. Don't get me wrong, I'm not an SUV hater or anything - but really, do we need ANOTHER one?

      ...and I'm betting that it won't be a particularly good marketing move to call it 'Duster' over here (although, I'd suspect it'd be under a different name anyway, since the article says that Renault wants to bring it here, not Dacia). Mopar guys would go absolutely nuts if they did.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Umm dont think they can sell it as the Duster here in the USA. Anyone who knows cars knows that Plymouth has the rights to the Duster name. And i do not think renault will pay Chrysler the $$ for the use of the name. and Chris grow some b alls and become a man just cause its French doesnt mean its classy these are the same people who gave us mimes and think jerry lewis is funny. I love how we americans are seen as having no taste cause we gasp hate something french. well cram it with walnuts ugly I will take my challanger over that fugly POS any day.
      • 5 Years Ago
        • 5 Years Ago
        Look out, here comes a big truck! ;-)
      • 5 Years Ago
      The Renault Laguna is actually a good looking family sedan. I prefer it over the Camry, Accord, Fusion, and the rest of the midsizers here.

      I'd love to see that here.
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