FRANCE: Renault's Dacia launches Dodg..., er, Lodgy
Lodgy is intended to lure other brands' used MPV buyers to a new Dacia
It's unlikely, if Dacia retains the name for English-speaking markets, the new Lodgy will be called that by auto industry observers with a sense of humour. Dodgy? Never... Joking aside, it's a new MPV which will be launched at the Geneva show next March and sold with five or seven "genuine" seats, according to its maker.
Dacia, Renault's Romania-based budget brand originally launched in eastern Europe, also built in Russia, India and Brazil and sometimes sold as Renault, suggests the price will undercut the more established brands, saying buyers who have traditionally turned to used vehicles will now be able to purchase a new MPV with three-year warranty.
The car is 4.5 m long and we are told the name Lodgy "is redolent of the English word 'lodge' and refers directly to the model's chief characteristic which is its ability to comfortably accommodate a family and its luggage". Okay....
Our resident production life database (PLDB) expert, *Glenn Brooks, reckons the Lodgy will be the first vehicle on the M-Zero platform. This will underpin the next Dacia and Renault Logan along with a new Dacia/Renault Sandero out later in 2012.
"Lodgy's most logical rival is Chevrolet's Orlando," he said.
Right-hand drive for markets like the UK is not a certainty.
[A] decision on commercialisation of Lodgy in right-hand drive for the UK market is still to be finalised," Renault UK said. "The model could join Duster and all-new Sandero after their January 2013 launches."
Renault UK itself said last month it would restructure its business here, dropping a number of models and reducing the dealer network by around one third over the next year.
The move is aimed at returning the French carmaker's UK operations to profitability without the need to be propped up by headquarters, and strengthening the brand in the country.
From the beginning of February Renault UK will discontinue the Kangoo car, Modus, Wind Roadster, Laguna and Espace while the network will be reduced by the end of 2012 from 190 to around 135 outlets.
*GB note: the production version of the Dacia/Renault J92 project, the Lodgy, is also due to be made at the Alliance's new Tangier plant in Morocco, as is an LCV variant that's codenamed K67. The second generation Logan and Sandero should also be manufactured at this 170,000 vehicles per annum complex. A second line to lift the plant's capacity to 400,000 vehicles is being considered.