Friday 20 June 2008

Dacia launch delayed (UK)

Dacia has delayed the launch of the Sandero hatchback, next month at the London motorshow because of high demand from left hand drive markets so the right hand drive production has been put back.

Around 100 Renault showrooms were poised to sign-up to sell the Romanian-built model, which will be badged ‘Dacia by Renault’ in the UK. The marketing plan was to price the Sandero from just £7500.

Dealers have been told that the Sandero’s market launch has been postponed by 12 months until late 2009. The company’s preview event for dealers has been cancelled and the UK media launch has also been axed.

The delay is bad news for Renault’s hard-pressed dealers. To add insult to injury, sales of the new Laguna have been slow in the UK as the brand registered a 13.5% decline in sales in the year to the end of May.

Renault bosses in the UK are frustrated by the delay as Dacia is intended to rival Chevrolet, Kia and Hyundai in the budget car market. Frustrations have been compounded by the fact a small Dacia SUV will be launched in other countries by the end of next year and will arrive in the UK in 2010.

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