Renault’s design boss Laurens van den Acker said that he’s surprised that rival companies haven’t still tried to compete with their budget brand Dacia.
“We’ve been surprised because we know the competition will come, sooner or later. We expected it to be there already, so it’s quite amazing there’s still no straight competitor for the Duster in the market,” said van den Acker to Autocar at the reveal of the new Duster.
Renault’s commitment to keeping Dacias affordable helped the Romanian brand cement its place in the market. “Renault has had incredible discipline not to raise prices. Even our German friends have brands that start to bump into the brand above,” van den Acker added.
“Dacia has been really good at keeping their promise. Not all the money saving comes from cars; it’s in the business model: where we produce the cars, the fact Dacia are sold off the back of the Renault network, often in the same dealership.
“It you took Renault out, you couldn’t sell Dacia as a separate brand; for another company to create a new brand, they’d have to create a new network, which is very expensive, and that would find its way into the [price of the] car. The Renault/Dacia business model is unique and perhaps that’s why it’s hard to replicate.”