Dacia has announced a €100 million ($112 million) investment plan, with €25 million ($28 million) coming from the Romanian Government, to boost local car production by 50,000 units annually, to 400,000 cars, from September, 2020.
Apart from its output increase, the automaker also intends to expand its, currently not-so-big, lineup.
According to the country’s News, who spoke to Dacia and Renault Group Romania general manager, Christophe Dridi, it’s time for their ‘kid’, namely the Duster, to get some siblings, without though going into specifics.
“We’re very proud (of the Duster). We’re selling it in 44 countries, it’s the best-selling SUV in Europe. We believe the Duster is like an ambassador for Romania”, commented Dridi. “Our challenge is to continue the Dacia success, and our ‘kid’ should have some siblings”. Asked when they will launch the next model, the official said: “You know I cannot answer that.”
One derivative based on the budget SUV that’s expected to launch later this year is a pickup truck. The European version of the Duster Oroch will be made in partnership with Romturingia, a coach-builder that already launched a limited-run of 500 units, based on the previous iteration, five years ago.
An electric version remains a possibility at this point, and our spy photographers have already spotted a mysterious prototype earlier this year, with an elongated wheelbase and what appeared to be a zero-emission powertrain.
The so-called Grand Duster, a larger variant of the Romanian SUV, was also rumored at some point. However, the cheaper alternative to the likes of the Hyundai Santa Fe and other mid-size SUVs has reportedly been scrapped, as it would’ve been too expensive for the brand’s clientele.
Another candidate is the Renault Arkana, which could come to Europe rebranded as a Dacia. Moreover, the French automaker also has other high-riding vehicles in its portfolio that cannot be had in Western markets, such as China’s K-ZE and India’s Triber, that are prime candidates for budget-friendly SUVs and fall in line with Dacia’s strategy.