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Can Dacia remain the darling of Groupe Renault?

By Glenn Brooks | 15 May 2019

Many new models are expected for the Romanian brand this year and next

Many new models are expected for the Romanian brand this year and next

According to Groupe Renault, the global market for passenger cars and light commercials fell by 7.2 per cent in Q1. Happily for Dacia, its volumes rose by the same percentage, deliveries hitting 184,042 units.

Even though many of its models are approaching the last year of their life cycles, the affordable vehicles brand continues to mine the sweet spot it has found in the market.

The brand is especially successful in France, where base prices of the five available passenger cars range from EUR7,900 to EUR11,990. What Renault must now do is strive to keep the momentum going and not fall into a trap which has ensnared others such as Fiat, namely keeping good cars in production for too long and see volume collapse. Here follows a look at what we should expect from Dacia well into the 2020s.

The car which started it all for Dacia's reinvention back in 2005 will soon be replaced. No longer priced from 5,000 euro (nowadays it's slightly less than 8,000 in France) - Logan generation three should be announced within the next few months. This small sedan and its Logan MCV (wagon) derivative are likely to be based on the Alliance's CMF-A architecture, as introduced by India's Renault Kwid. Expect the public debut to take place at the Frankfurt IAA in September. There could even be a preview at the end of June at the annual Dacia Picnic.

The Logan may no longer be a key model for the brand but that is not something which could be said about the Sandero, which can be thought of as the hatchback version. A new generation of this model is due in 2020 with a world premiere probably taking place at the next Paris motor show. Production should again be in Romania, Morocco, Brazil, Russia and Argentina. In many countries, this car will have Renault badges just as the existing model does.

Mid-2020 is when we can expect to see the second generation Docker, with this small MPV set to be manufactured in Tangiers. Production won't only be in Morocco though: the Santa Isabel plant in Argentina should also assemble a Renault variant but probably not until 2021 or possibly 2022.

The current Lodgy was last facelifted in the fourth quarter of 2016 so it, like other Dacias, is close to the end of its life cycle. A new model should arrive in 2020, probably at the Geneva motor show in March. The new crossover should be built for eight years with a facelift in 2024.

When the latest Duster was announced, many were surprised to learn that it wasn't the new model which it technically should have been. Instead, Renault gave the current version of the then seven year old SUV a major revamp in 2017. The HJD series model should be in production for perhaps four, maybe five years, so the true next generation model will probably premiere at either the 2021 Frankfurt IAA or 2022 Geneva motor show.

There is already a Duster pick-up, although it wears Renault badges. Next though, a model for Dacia is due to be added in certain European countries from later in 2019. This variant will be built in low volume by Romanian specialist firm Romturingia. The same company built 500 units of a Duster pick-up in 2014. The new model will be different to Brazil's Renault Duster Oroch. The replacement for both is due from 2021.

Will Renault expand the brand into the two obvious parts of the European market where it presently doesn't exist, namely the A- and C/D-crossover segments? It's certainly possible but for the moment, if the parent firm is considering putting Dacia badges on the second generation Kwid and/or the Arkana, it is yet to drop any formal hints.

Reports for many other manufacturers' future models are grouped in the OEM product strategy summaries section of just-auto.com.

Future product program intelligence

More detail on past, current and forthcoming models can be found in PLDB, the future vehicles database which is part of QUBE.

The next brand to be featured as part of the Groupe Renault and Nissan Motor series will be Samsung. This will be followed by Lada, Datsun, Venucia, Infiniti, Nissan and Mitsubishi. Alpine and Renault were the focus of the first feature in this series.