The chat ‘Dacia Duster’ transcript

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Good morning, we are pleased to welcome Vincent Carré, Global Marketing Director for Dacia.

duster Hello everyone!

tom: What’s the target on the french market for this car?

We think we’ll have two kinds of clients in France and on a broader scale in Europe. First of all,

people who need a 4×4 but can’t afford the vehicles which are currently on the market from 20•40

thousand euros.

These clients are condemned to buy second hand cars. We offer them a new car for the same price.

With a 3•year guarantee or 100 000km. The other type of client is Sedan•owners who have always

dreamed of owning a 4×4 but have never been able to afford one. They can buy a Duster for the price

of a 207 or a Corsa.

Ladib: 1 • When will be launched Dacia Duster on the market? 2• What will be the price on

Morrocan market? What are your prospects in Morroco? Thank you very much.

Duster will arrive in Morocco in May. The price has not been made official yet but I guarantee you a

pleasant surprise. The basic price will be under 11,000 euros in any case. Dacia has become the #1

brand in Morocco this year. We’re counting on Duster to consolidate our leadership.

Forum Dacia: 1• Do you plan a 7 seater version? 2•Will Dacia Brand schedule cross•country training

for Duster owners (on the basis of 2009 picnic)? 3• What are Duster’s Ncap Results? 4• Will an

hybrid Duster be available?

There’s no 7•seater version for the time being, but it hasn’t been ruled out. We’re not in the business

of organizing workshops unless clients request them. For NCAP, the vehicle has not been crash tested

yet but it is in accordance with the European Legislation in 2010 which is the most demanding inthe

world. Of course, we have crash tested the car with highly satisfactory results. No hybrid for the

moment as this technology is much too costly and also because our clients don’t want to pay for it.

The day when hybrid or electric technology will have become affordable, we will very likely use them

on Dacia models.

Sam: will there be a ZE version of this car?

Same answer. We’ll make a ZE (zero emission) Dacia as soon as its price is affordable for our clients.

Cupidon: Besides the participation of Duster in Andros Trophy, which was obviously just a

marketing program for this model, are there any intentions of Dacia to get involved in motor

sport? Especially in Romania where there is a huge interest in that matter and 2010 will be the 4th

year for Dacia Cup that is hardly surviving not being supported by any motors sport or marketing

program?

The Andros Trophy was first and foremost about Alain Prost and the Dacia Team. It was a story

between people. It was a one•off opportunity that was really in line with Duster. It was also a very

affordable marketing operation for Dacia. Generally speaking, we organize very few marketing

operations to keep the price of our vehicles in check. Our clients’ budget will not increase particularly

during the crisis. That’s why we don’t have any racing strategy for the moment unless an opportunity

announces itself. Alain Prost’s second place brought us a lot of satisfaction. We will be on the lookout

for other operations in the coming years.

Eve Auto: is there an impact on the quality of the materials used for Duster to reduce costs,

compared to other Renault vehicles?

Dacia has several indispensible principles. The first one is that we make very reliable cars for

extremely demanding markets (Brazil….). Therefore, all of our materials are designed to last. The

second principle is that the price must be very reasonable. We manage to meet these goals by using

parts and power trains from Nissan. Therefore, the majority of our parts are shared and meet the

same standards for quality.

In some cases, such as the dashboard, we opt for parts that are less expensive but there is no

compromise on ruggedness.

Karl: Why don’t you let to choose 4×4 for 1.5 dCi 86 HP?

This engine will be made available on 4×4 version very soon.

AndreiX: Will more powerful engines be available in the future for Duster? Like a 2.0 dCi or 2.0

16v?

Dacia customers are focused on price. That’s why we think that our engine offer is largely sufficient.

We aren’t planning on making electric engines available. Furthermore, the weight of the Duster

(1,160kg) makes it very high performance with the 110horse power dCi engine.

rc: What evolutions are you planning for Duster?

We are launching Duster first and then we’ll see if alternative versions interest our customers.

Eve auto: Concerning the follow•up of the car: will the maintenance be as affordable as its price?

Like all Dacia vehicles, Duster has a simple design. It will be as economical to maintain as the rest of

the range. What’s more, the level of reliability has been highlighted on several occasions in

independent reports (such as Que Choisir, De Plus…). In France, the Dacia brand is on the podium for

customer satisfaction alongside BMW and Audi.

This is also a tribute to the ruggedness and reliability of our vehicles.

Noname: How different is the exterior body of the Duster rebranded as Renault for emerging

markets? Just the front of the car is different? Or just the grille, like it was the difference between

the first Dacia Sandero and Renault Sandero? Thank You.

The Renault version of the Duster is under development. The outside design has been well received.

However, we are working on the interior of the vehicle and on the engines so we can make a totally

adapted offer to South America and Russia.

Eddy: Will you propose GPL or Bioethanol versions of Duster? If so, when?

These vehicles will be launch before the end of the year. They are currently under development.

Kim: Are you planning to include a GPS Carminat Tomtom kind?

Not in the short term because we don’t have an offer that responds to Dacia’s price criteria. That

said, we are actively working on it for future cars.

Kim: Your models are known to be reliable, so why don’t you propose a 7 year•guarantee, like your

Korean competitors?

The answer is simple. It’s in the price of car. Our clients are not prepared to pay the price of this

guarantee as all of the tests we’ve done prove. That’s why we would rather keep the price extremely

affordable

David: Do you plan to deliver a kind of limited edition Trophée Andros as a replica of Prost’s racing

car?

We’re working on it but it’s not a high priority. We would rather have our team work on its flexibility

to adapt to the demand of our different products.

Dus: Hello, congratulation for Dacia Duster, it is a great car! Our first question: why only dCi engine

can be pair with ESP in Duster range?

Thank you! Until now, our clients were not prepared to pay for ESP.

With Duster, we’ll gain new customers. So we will have the opportunity to test this offer on our top

of the range versions and we’ll see whether we need to extend it to other engines

Eve Auto: This vehicles targets specific customers. What are your expectations in terms of sales?

Duster has huge potential because it will appeal to a wide range of customers. We don’t know how

many we will sell. We’re working on our industrial flexibility: our production capacity in Romania is at around 350,000 vehicles per annum.

CL: Will Duster be launched on the market with a Renault Logo?

Duster will be on sale in the Middle East and in Africa under the Renault brand as early as June. Then

it will be launched in South America and in Russia in 2011.

rallymagazin: What will be the price difference for 4×4 version versus 4×2 one?

The price gap is 2,000 euros. In Western Europe, the base price of 4×4 Duster is 13,900 euros which is

very close to the price of a Fiat Panda 4×4.

Stéph: When do you plan to register Duster in Hungary?

Duster will be launched in Hungary in May.

Kim: What will be the ecologic bonuses?

The tax breaks are different from one country to the next. Duster is one of the lowest environmental

impact off•road vehicles with CO2 emissions starting at 135 grams/km and will benefit from a good

tax break across all countries in comparison with its competitors. We will have a bioethanol and LPG

engines in countries where a tax break is offered.

Maurice: When will you launch Duster and other Dacia vehicles in the UK?

Duster will be launched in the UK in 2012. It will be the first Dacia vehicle. We will extend the range

with several other models but for the time being, that information is confidential.

DCH: In the central console of the car (inside) there is a strange cavity under the radio. What is it?

It the space in which the 4 wheel•drive mode is located • which does not exist on 4×2 versions.

Claude: Have you worked with Nissan for the 4×4 version? Are you opting for the “All mode 4×4”

system?

We worked with Nissan on the 4×4 version. The controls, the torque convector, the rear axel are

from Nissan 4×4 (Murano, XTrail). The control software is specific to this vehicle.

GG: We can recognize Sandero front doors on Duster. Have you taken other parts from other

vehicles?

70% of the parts in the Duster come from other vehicles from the group, mostly from the Logan and

the Sandero. This is the key to an affordable price. Of course, all of the necessary parts have been

strengthened for off•road driving.

DCH: In Romania the basic price of Duster is 10500 euros. In Europe it is more expensive. Why?

Most of the price difference comes from transport costs. Our plant is in Romania so it is very

inexpensive to supply the network. Furthermore, the deep•seated crisis in the Romanian market has

led to a highly competitive market.

Dorine: What will be the next Dacia model?

Dacia’s goal is to enter into new segments at incredible prices. I’ll let you guess which segments we’ll

be entering soon!

Paul: What are the keys of Dacia success in Europe?

The « Lacoste » phenomenon has spread throughout Europe. In air transport, easyJet and its

competitors have conquered more than 30% of the market. Our customers have new consumer

priorities • telephone services, IT, leisures and travel. Cars have become more functional objects and

must fit into their budget.

Our cars fit this deep•seated evolution of the market perfectly.

We offer reliability, roominess, and more and more enjoyable driving at a controlled price.

Eve Auto: Would Dacia build a leisure car, such as a cabriolet?

Yes! But we have many other priorities before we tackle this one.

Dorine: have you taken into account the relative “failure” of Koleos when creating Duster?

Duster is aimed at entirely different customers than Koleos, Qashqai, Tuxon, 3008…that are priced at

20•40,000 euros on a saturated segment. Duster is first and foremost a Dacia that offers much less

technology but that fits most customers’ budgets.

DCH: What do you plan with Dacia brand in the future? Will you do the same what VW did with

Skoda (VW quality on expensive price), or keep your present practice: a cheap car with

compromises?

Dacia makes no compromises on quality, reliability and ruggedness.

Skoda • by moving up on the scale • moved away from its original customers. This explains why its

market share and volume have stagnated. Dacia will remain loyal to its origins while still progressing

in terms of interior and exterior design.

Dorine: What’s the impact of Dacia on Renault’s first range vehicles sales?

Extremely low. Most of Dacia’s customers buy second•hand cars.

Marc: Why have you named that vehicle “Duster”?

Duster is the name of a Dacia pick•up sold in the 1980s. This name is a cheeky grin at Dacia’s history.

It’s also a nice name that clearly evokes the off•road environment.

Philippe: Why is it so different compared to Duster concept car?

The Duster concept car was not to lead to any vehicle. It was an exercise in design that allowed our

Romanian designers to practice.

Its success is encouraging and has inspired us for future vehicles.

Sammy: Is Duster developed on Logan platform?

Of course! That’s one of the secrets of its price and its ruggedness.

Hugues: Is there a transfer box on Duster?

No, there isn’t. For customer•based reasons, above all, Duster is not an « expert » 4×4. It’s a very

good off•road vehicle that can adapt to all types of terrains. That said, we have put a very short first

gear on it, 5,79km/heure that has made it one of the most comfortable 4x4s on the market.

Thank you. A word to conclude?

Thank you everyone for taking part today! Thank you also for the welcome you gave Duster! It

encourages us to go even further! Have a nice day!