Dacia has today announced plans to enter the UK light commercial vehicle market later this year with a commercial version of the Duster SUV, called the Duster Commercial.
The announcement was made at the start of the CV Show 2015, which runs at the NEC in Birmingham from today until April 16.
The new Duster Commercial models – available in 4x2 and 4x4 – have been created at the specific request of Dacia UK and Dacia Ireland, where car-derived vans account for 30% of the LCV market.
Andy Heiron, Dacia brand manager in the UK, said: “With the Dacia brand now established as part of the UK motoring landscape following two very successful years of growth, we now feel the time is right to launch a Duster product in the commercial vehicle sector. Having previously considered local adaptations, the shift of production location to Europe gave us the opportunity to have an N1-homologated product direct from the factory.
“Our aim is to bring Duster the Renault Group’s global best-seller – to the UK’s van buyers in true Dacia style with a value-for-money product and transparent pricing. Owners and drivers will benefit from a practical and functional vehicle that can be serviced and maintained in our network of 223 dealers and service outlets.”
Order books open this month, with first UK deliveries expected at the end of June.
The Duster Commercial has a load capacity of 1,150 litres (4x2) or 1,000 litres (4x4), a payload of 550kg and a flat cargo deck almost 1.4 metres long and more than a metre width between the wheel arches. The new models are expected to appeal to local and regional businesses as a 'mobile toolbox'.
Dacia has sold more than 16,000 Dusters in the UK since launching the car here in January 2013.
The Duster Commercial is available solely with a 1.5-litre, 107 hp dCi 110 diesel engine, but is available in the choice of Ambiance or Lauréate equipment packages, each with the option of two or four-wheel drive.
The availability of all-wheel drive, meanwhile, opens up sales opportunities with landscape gardeners, ground maintenance staff, farmers and forestry, power and communications companies who need to reach remote areas, says Dacia.
Because the Duster Commercial is classed as a van, owners can reclaim the VAT on the purchase price, and they attract flat-rate benefit-in-kind taxation for users.
Standard equipment on all models includes roof bars, a chrome grille, chrome interior highlights, a toughened plastic floor with two anchorage points, electric front windows, a height-adjustable steering wheel and driver’s seat, luggage area lighting, a four-speaker radio/CD player with MP3 compatibility, Bluetooth, AUX and USB sockets, ABS with Emergency Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Control and Traction Control and four airbags.
Lauréate versions add alloy wheels; satin chrome roof bars, side sills and scuff plates; piano black interior detailing; black door sill protectors; a seven-function trip computer; heated and electrically adjustable door mirrors; cruise control with a speed limiter; and air conditioning. All-wheel-drive versions have a centre differential lock with selectable 2WD, Auto and Lock modes.