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‘Value’ Logan set to join Renaults in showrooms

Dacia’s new Logan could join Renaults in UK showrooms by 2007 offering retailers the opportunity to sell a £5,100 “value” car.

Renault, which developed the Romanian brand as the basis for a 5,000 Euro (£3,400) budget model for emerging markets, will sell the Logan in western Europe from next spring.

Until recently, it looked as though the saloon and upcoming estate car and pickup would not reach the British market because of a lack of left-hand drive production, but Philippe Talou-Derible, Renault UK’s managing director, confirms that Indian RHD output is expected from 2006.

He says: “If there is any possibility of getting the Logan we will jump at it both in retail and fleet contexts. I cannot be any clearer than that.”

Talou-Derible admits a business case had to be made for a car that uses Modus running gear and is as big externally and internally as a Megane. “Whether or not it occupies the corner of a Renault showroom, or provides a bolt-on franchise opportunity remains to be seen,” he says.

“We can be relaxed and learn from the Continental experience over the next two years.” But, he adds: “We must not dive into the trap of producing something below Renault while elevating the French brand into a more upmarket position.

“Dacia is a value brand for value customers, full stop. Our retailers understand it is a key product for the group, taking 750,000 units out of our four million global aspirations.”

The differential between the basic 1.4-litre petrol-engined Logan’s 5,000 Euro price and its 7,500 Euro (£5,100) western European cost relates to the addition of standard ABS, power steering and airbags.

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