The Carpathian car that could
It all started in a little place called …
When thinking of international business success stories the last place anyone would think of looking is Romania; a country plagued by economic difficulties, political turmoil and social unrest. However it is here that one of the biggest names in the automotive industry, Renault, developed one the most successful low cost cars in the world, consequently establishing a strong national and international brand.
This brand is Dacia.
Dacia came into existence during the Communist Era, one of the many factories built as part of the plan to create a strong national industry that would ultimately be capable of providing for all the state’s needs. It’s somewhat ironic then, that the plans for the first models, as well as the machining technology used to construct them were borrowed from a well established company from France called Renault.
In 1968, with the help of Renault, the first ever Dacia rolled off the assembly line, the 1100. This first model marked the beginning of a fruitful partnership that would last to the present day and result in a series of machines that would capture the imagination of the Romanian people and leave its mark on pop culture.
Leaving a mark
It was the Dacia 1300 in all its forms that would be the company’s most emblematic product, and would serve to define the Dacia Brand. Featuring a robust design heavily inspired from the Renault 12, a highly competitive price and benefiting from a preferable market climate, the 1300 was produced in one form or another up until 2004, well past the date it was declared non compliant with standards imposed for running on European roads.
Even more remarkable is that the company managed to survive Romania’s transition to capitalism, in part due to the very low price of the cars produced.
The secret to this was ultimately that Dacia had the one thing that Romanian