Romania largest automotive producer in CEE projected – March 2008


The Sandero launched at Geneva Auto Show
Nine O’Clock – Mar 5, 2008

by Anca Bernovici

GENEVA – Dacia’s 2008 Geneva Auto Show display this year marked a wold debut: the new Logan Sandero, a model derived from the Renault Sandero that had been launched in December 2007 in Brazil, Rompres informs. The launching was broadcast live by several Romanian TV channels.

Dacia will build the Logan-based Sandero small hatchback for European markets in Romania. It will be the fifth member of the Dacia Logan range, following the saloon, the MCV (break), the Van and the pick-up.

Prime-Minister Calin Popescu-Tariceanu was also present yesterday in Geneva at the 2008 Auto Show in private capacity. Premier Calin Popescu Tariceanu stated that Sandero addresses younger customers. “In my opinion, it addresses a younger client segment, it is more modern than the Logan, which is a classical vehicle. (…) I believe it is a new model in terms of design, with better performances, and I believe it meets the demands of Romanian consumers to a significant extent,” the Head of Government pointed out.

“I’m glad to see that the project to give fresh impetus to the Romanian automotive industry, as launched approx. ten years ago, gains increasing strength. As you have seen, the production volume in the Pitesti works reaches 350,000 units a year, and this element will consolidate Romania’s position as a leading carmaker in Central and South-Eastern Europe,” Premier Tariceanu pointed out.

Car production to start in May

Dacia will start producing the new Sandero vehicle in May, with the vehicle set to be launched on the Romanian market in June and in more than 40 markets by the end of the year, Francois Fourmont, the Dacia’s General Manager, stated for Rompres.

The vehicle will be launched in June in Romania, in other European states such as Bulgaria, and in Turkey and subsequently the product will be progressively launched in 40 markets by the end of the year, Fourmont has stated before presenting Sandero within the Geneva Auto Show.

He pointed out that the first Sandero vehicle has been produced in Pitesti in October 2007, before the start of the series production.

He underlined that the plant will launch the fifth vehicle in the Logan brand, an SUV, at the end of 2009. Whether the vehicle will use 4×4 or 4×2 traction is yet to be known.

Moreover, company representatives have stated that with the launch of the Dacia Sandero vehicle, Dacia will also launch the new logo of the local brand, the logo being red and not blue as it used to be.

The most complete equipment Sandero will not exceed EUR 9,500,” said the Vice-President of Automobile Dacia, Constantin Stroe, also in Geneva.

Romania will become the largest automotive producer in CEE

Known as automobile passionate, the PM also stopped at Ford stands.

Also, the PM stated, after visiting the Ford stand, that with the American group’s acquisition in Craiova, Romania will become the largest automotive producer in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

He added that the personnel of the Craiova works may be increased by 7-9,000 employees.

“We are prepared to complete the privatisation process in Craiova at the end of this month. This means the actual transfer of ownership rights from the state to Ford,” the Prime Minister added.

Deputies approved overtaking of Automobile Craiova by Ford

Also, yesterday, the Chamber of Deputies adopted with 238 votes for, 16 against and 5 abstentions, the law project referring to certain measures for the privatization of Automobile Craiova.

The law project stipulates the approval of the sale contract signed by AVAS, as seller, and Ford Motors Company, as purchaser, on September 12, 2007. The contract mentions that Ford Company is buying 13,716,318 shares of Automobile Craiova, representing 73.40316 per cent of the company’s registered capital. The Geneva Auto Show – a traditional spring re-union of the car building industry, on its 78th edition this year, displays 130 world and European debuts.

Renault to sell 750,000 Logans in Europe in 2008

PARIS – Renault carmaker intends to sell 750,000 Logans throughout the world in 2008 and over 950,000 next year, helped by its new 2008 release – the Sandero hatchback – and of a planned SUV in 2009, the General Manager of Dacia, the Romanian subsidiary of the Renault Group, Francois Fourmont, told the French daily ‘La Tribune.’ Renault’s intention in 2008 appears to be to raise its Logan sales by 75 per cent compared to the figure of 2007. Dacia General Manager added that, starting from January 2008, Renault’s facilities in Romania had been working at full capacity, meaning an almost double output compared to the relevant period of 2007. He also reminded of the fact that the Mioveni-based plant in January registered a double production compared to January 2007 and that it would produce 320,000 Logans this year, almost 50 per cent more than the 222,000 made in 2007. Automobile Dacia is going to outsource the assembling of over 400,000 CKD part collections to plants in Russia, Columbia, Brazil, Morocco, India and Iran. South Africa will ‘soon’ appear on the list too. quotes the Dacia official stating by the end of 2007 that the Dacia plant in Mioveni was going to produce 400,000 units in 2009, about three quarters of which pending export. Last year, the carmaker exported 53 per cent of all units manufactured in Anca Bernovici