Renault's on-off plans to bring cars bearing its budget Dacia badge to the UK appear to be back on track again. The company used the launch of the Duster SUV at this week's Geneva Motor Show to say that the new model would spearhead the reintroduction of the Dacia brand on this side of the Channel in 2012
Dacia provides a low-cost Romanian production base for Renault and the Duster will sell for prices starting at just €11,900 in Europe – equivalent to about £10,800. Other models in Dacia's range include the Logan, a small saloon and estate which was the first of the modern Dacias, and the Sandero hatchback familiar to regular Top Gear viewers.
Renault's links to Dacia date back more than forty years to 1966 when the French company helped the then-Communist regime in Romania to establish a domestic motor industry. The mainstay of Dacia's range, a licence-built version of the Renault 12, was a current model when it first went on sale in 1969, but stayed in production decades after it had been replaced in western markets. Renault only took control in 1999, triggering investment in today's modern range of Dacia models.