Dacia Duster pickup is what the world needs now

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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.

Dacia's latest model is a Holy Grail of sorts among many Autoblog enthusiasts – the small, inexpensive pickup. However, even Europeans can't just walk into a dealer and buy one – they are being specially built for Romanian oil and gas company OMV Petrom Group. Called the Duster Pick-Up, it's based on rugged, inexpensive Dacia Duster, as its name and appearance suggests. However, the Duster's usual enclosed, SUV-style body has been removed in place of a small, high-sided truck bed.

Each one starts as a standard Duster 4x4 with a 1.5-liter diesel engine making 110 horsepower. There are two seats in the cabin and the bed in the back is about five-feet, seven-inches long (1.7 meters) with a claimed 992-pound (450-kilogram) payload. The other big change is an exterior roll cage that runs over the body and around the rear window for extra protection. It looks like a cute little mountain goat that's ready to go anywhere.

Dacia has a deal to build over 500 Pick-Ups for OMV Petrom, and the company intends to use the trucks to monitor and maintain its 9,000 wells in Romania. Another business called Romturingia has been contracted to do the actual conversions on the Dusters. The first 10 of them are just being delivered now, with the rest on the way through 2015. Scroll down to read the Dacia's full announcement about this attractive little Romanian pickup.
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The first Dacia Duster Pick-Up, produced within a partnership between Dacia, OMV Petrom, Romturingia

Dacia, the main car manufacturer in România, OMV Petrom Group, the biggest oil and gas producer in Romania, together with Romturingia, an independent car body maker, announce the delivery of the first Dacia Duster Pick-Up vehicles.

This vehicle, the result of a conversion project, was especially created to respond to the needs of OMV Petrom.

The ceremony of handing over the keys of the first 10 vehicles was held on Tuesday, 7 October 2014, at the Dacia plant in Mioveni, in the presence of Nicolas Maure, General Manager of Renault Group Romania, of Gabriel Selischi, member of the OMV Petrom management in charge for Exploration and Production, and of Stelian Ion, General Manager of SC Romturingia SRL.

The partnership between the three companies covers the delivery of more than 500 vehicles by the end of 2015.

The Duster Pick-Up vehicles produced for OMV Petrom are derived from the 4x4 series model and are equipped with the 1.5 dCi, 110 HP motor, being adapted to respond to the specific needs of the oil and gas industry. They offer a simple two-seat cabin and a medium size rear window, protected by a grate. The cabin is reinforced on the outside. The bed body is 1.7 m long and may transport up to 450 kg load.

The project of Duster conversion into the Pick-Up version started at the end of 2012 and included building several prototypes, followed by obtaining homologation from Renault Group, obtaining homologation from RAR (Romanian Auto Register) by Romturingia with support from Renault Group and finally the preparation for production.

„Duster Pick-Up demonstrates Dacia's capacity to respond to clients' requirements with products adapted to their needs. In this case we speak about OMV Petrom, a group with whom we have had a fruitful long term collaboration. At the same time Duster Pick-Up is a new benchmark in our partnership with Romturingia, one of the most important companies specialised in vehicle conversions and car body arrangement in Romania. I am sure that Duster Pick-Up will prove the right solution to all requirements of our client", said Nicolas Maure, General Manager of Renault Group Romania.

"Off-road utility vehicles are essential for our activity. OMV Petrom has more than 9,000 active wells, which require monitoring and maintenance. Many of them are far from national roads, hence the necessity for off-road vehicles which can also transport equipment. I am content that we will be able to use Romanian vehicles for these tasks as well, while at the same time reducing costs, said Gabriel Selischi, member of OMV Petrom management responsible for Exploration and Production.

„The project of transforming the Duster model into the Pick-Up version was a real challenge for us, which we managed by mobilising all our teams. We are proud of the result achieved and of the fact that we managed, in a short time frame according to car industry standards, to provide the right solution to the requirements of the very demanding specifications", said, in his turn, Stelian Ion, General Manager of SC Romturingia SRL.


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