With the punishing set of responsibilities that come with command of three automakers, 60-year-old Carlos Ghosn is arguably the hardest working man in the auto industry. While his capabilities can hardly be doubted, it's quite clear that he can't do this job forever. And that's probably going to be bad news for the Renault-Nissan Alliance he so successfully helms.
Barely three weeks ago, Renault-owned Romanian automaker Dacia showed off a pickup-bodied version of its Duster SUV. A special job for Romania's OMV Petrom Group, the Duster pickup isn't available to the European public. The new Duster Oroch, however, could be.
The Dacia brand from Romania is probably best known in the US as a curious obsession of James May from Top Gear, but the company is a growing force. Its inexpensive models just keeping selling better, and the business represents a healthy portion of parent Renault's sales in Western Europe.
As the models continue to grow older, the Ford Crown Victoria is slowly but surely disappearing from US cities as the prevailing taxicab. The same thing is happening in Morocco with its huge fleet of Mercedes-Benz W123-chassis taxis thanks to a little help from the government. The authorities cite safety and environmental reasons for the decades-old sedans to be removed from the road in a cash-for-clunkers-style program slated to start by the end of the year.
If you've ever seen a Dacia up close, it'd probably strike you as one of the least likely vehicles to take racing. The Romanian-made vehicles (also sold as Renault models in certain markets) typically drive around a hundred horsepower to the front wheels through a five-speed gearbox and offer little more. Nor should they, really, because they're budget-oriented forms of transportation, but neither should they be taken racing. Or so you might assume, but apparently nobody has told that to the eng
Of all the international auto shows we report from and keep our eye on, Johannesburg's is not among them. And of all the social media sites we monitor for car news, Pinterest isn't usually one of them, either. But those are the venues which Renault chose to unveil the concept you see here.
All-electric powertrains and low-priced, high-margin vehicle lines don't exactly go hand in hand, but Renault-Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn says not to count out that possibility when it comes to Renault's Dacia division in Romania. With expanding EV sales bringing component costs down and pushing public entities to install more recharging stations, Ghosn says there is "nothing that forbids an electric Dacia car in the future," reports UK's Auto Express.
Our friends at Top Gear (the magazine, not the TV show) are currently celebrating the publication's twentieth birthday. In honor of that milestone, the BBC-owned book is naming what it thinks are the 50 greatest cars from the past 20 years. Now, this is TG's list, which means it's a bit more focused on European brands and models.
Despite riding on a unibody and being more of a softroader than a proper 4x4, the Dacia Duster has always sort of reminded us of the Nissan XTerra. In other words, it's basic, hard-wearing, handsome and affordable in a really compelling way. In the US market, that hasn't worked out to big sales for the Nissan, but globally that formula has chalked up some big sales – 400,000 units in 3 years – for Renault's Romanian bargain brand. In fact, it's worked so well that Nissan has cribbed
Dacia is preparing an updated Duster for next week's Frankfurt Motor Show according to parent company Renault. The facelifted version of this popular SUV features a refreshed front fascia, with a different grille and lower intake, as well as revised "double-optic" headlights. Strangely, the Duster, which is from Renault's budget-minded, Romanian sub-brand, looks thoroughly high class with its new face. 16-inch wheels and roof rails, which are emblazoned with the vehicle's name add a bit of rough
The new Nissan Terrano has appeared in production form after an apparent August 20 launch in India, but the small sport utility vehicle remains sadly aloof from the US market. We've had our eyes on the Terrano ever since we learned it would be produced as an upscale alternative to the Dacia Duster on which it's based, but currently Nissan has no plans to import it here. Blame safety and perhaps emissions laws – the Duster was never designed for our market.
Renault and Dacia will be headed to the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show in a big way, with a new concept car from the French company and an all-new Duster from its Romanian budget brand. The new concept is particularly exciting, as Renault's press release mentions a "new brand identity." We can also count on this car being a bit higher on the luxury scale than Renault's traditional offerings.
You can add Fiat to the admittedly short list of automakers considering a low-cost brand to rival Dacia. The inexpensive Eastern European brand from Renault-Nissan has performed on the balance sheet like a premium model line, and the money the alliance is taking off the table is encouraging other players to deal themselves in. Pretty soon Nissan's Datsun sub-brand will join the Dacia party, going on sale in Russia, Indonesia and India and will claim even more rubles, rupiahs and rupees for the p
No one, not even former Renault CEO Louis Schweitzer whose idea it was to buy Dacia in 1999, had any idea the low-cost Eastern European sub-brand would succeed this well. The Romanian automaker with three wheels in the ground at the time of its takeover was purchased the same year that Renault took its stake in Nissan, and no one had much to say about that smaller deal. Fast forward 13 years, the line that began with the Logan in 2004 is now five model lines on sale in 36 countries, it's year-on
After watching the Tata Nano post sales numbers smaller than its engine displacement, Renault gave up on its much publicized intention to build a truly inexpensive car to rival it. Then, a month ago, reports emerged that Renault was resuming work on a couple of low-priced cars for emerging markets, but this time it would work with its in-house partner, Nissan. That plan envisions an offering for €3,000 ($3,888 US) and another for €5,000 ($6,400 US), both of which would be more spendy t
When it was confirmed earlier this year that Nissan wiil resurrect the Datsun brand for emerging markets, the numbers provided the reason. Nissan sold 60,000 vehicles in Indonesia alone last year, and CEO Carlos Ghosn wants to increase that figure to 250,000 units by 2014. Even then, that would mark just a fraction of that market's exploding growth. Renault-Nissan also has its successful Dacia brand in emerging markets as well as Europe.
The UK-bound Dacia Sandero made an appearance at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. With new exterior styling, a revised cabin and a total of four engine options, the Sandero offers buyers a low buck runabout. The five-door carries an MSRP of €7,900 and may be had in either gasoline or diesel guise. That price will fetch you power steering, a folding rear seat, stability control and the luxury of air bags. That's right: plural.
The Dacia Duster catches a lot of ire from the the Top Gear boys, but the work of 23 students could (but probably won't) put an end to that. The students are part of Dacia's Engineering Projects Auto Program, and have gone about creating a stretched Dacia Duster.
Morocco may not be a place that often pops up on the radar of the international automotive industry, unless it's about al-Qaeda threats on the route of the Dakar rally. So you'd be forgiven for discounting the Casablanca Auto Show as largely irrelevant, but that's the location Renault chose to unveil its latest utilitarian model.