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Renault shelves plans for UK Dacia launch

Renault UK has shelved plans to launch its high-value Dacia brand in the UK because of poor economic trading conditions.

The firm had been aiming to make the Sandero, its budget-priced five-door hatchback model, available at more than half its UK dealerships by next year.

But, speaking exclusively to AM, it now says distribution, sales and marketing costs make Dacia (AM-online search word: Dacia) ‘financially inadvisable’ in the current economic climate.

“We are not saying the plan is dead in the water, but our position has been readjusted. Our UK sales have to be profitable,” said a spokesman.

In a recent interview, managing director Roland Bouchara told AM that a two-year research exercise had identified a ‘huge opportunity’ for Dacia in the UK.

“We are about to make a new car accessible to people who have been used to buying secondhand. It’s exciting and I am a big believer in the Sandero,” he said.

Destined for emerging markets when it was launched six years ago, the sturdy but well equipped entry-level Dacia Logan surprised Renault by attracting first-time buyers across western Europe.

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