Founded in the mid-1960s as a result of a cooperation agreement between the government of Bucharest and the French car manufacturer Renault, Dacia has become a symbol of success and a true reflection of Romania.
The history of Dacia cars
The company was founded with a clear goal – to provide modern, durable and economical cars. The brand name draws inspiration directly from the region that is now owned by Romania, which in ancient times was called Dacia.
Dacia was founded in 1966 in Colibași (today Mioveni), Romania, on the basis of an agreement between the communist authorities and the French car manufacturer Renault to assemble the Renault model under the Dacia brand. The construction of the car factory in Mioveni began in 1966 and was completed in a record time of only one and a half years.
In the 1960s, the priority of the communist regime in Romania was to build a national car, as it was in other Eastern Bloc countries. In order to shorten the time between the design and the launch of mass production of the car, the Romanian authorities found it necessary to produce the car under license from a foreign manufacturer.
The license was sought for a medium car with a displacement of 1,000 to 1,300 cm3 and for the production of 40,000 to 50,000 cars per year. Renault, Peugeot, Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Austin participated in the bid. The following models were also tested: Renault 10, Peugeot 204, Fiat 1100D, Alfa Romeo 1300, Austin Mini Morris.
However, after the historic visit of French President Charles de Gaulle to Romania in 1966, a decision was made at the party level that the Dacia factory will produce cars under the license of Renault. For technical and economic reasons, Renault’s offer of the Renault 12 model has been withdrawn. The prototype was in the testing stage, and production was planned to begin in France in the second half of 1969, and the contract was signed in September 1966.
Renault allowed the Romanian side to start the assembly of the intermediate model early until the Renault 12 was ready for production. Initially, Renault 16 was chosen, but in the end it was decided to install Renault 8.
On July 1, 1968, tests began on 217 stations at the plant, and on August 3, 1968, the first unit of the car was tested. On August 20, 1968, the production of the Dacia 1100, a license model of the Renault R8, a rear-wheel drive sedan, began. The first car that left the factory gates was given to the then president of the Socialist Republic of Romania, Nicolae Ceaușescu.
According to the contract, Renault supplied all parts of the model and Dacia assembled them. Around 44,000 Dacia 1100s were produced between 1968 and 1972, with minor cosmetic changes to the front end in 1970. There was also a 1100S model, albeit in smaller numbers, with 2 pairs of headlights and a more powerful engine, powered by police and in campaign meetings. Few of them are still working.
The Dacia 1100 was followed by the Dacia 1300, which went into production in August 1969 and was presented at the Bucharest and Paris motor shows. This model was a 4-door sedan. Between 1970 and 1980, Dacia produced a variety of models that included several types of passenger and commercial vehicles. In 1970, three versions of the Dacia 1300 sedan appeared, and in 1973 a station wagon was launched.
Black Dacia for longer mileage
More than 2 million copies of this model were produced, and it became as powerful a symbol as the Trabant in East Germany. After 1980, Dacia tried to produce a city model, this model was called Dacia 500 and was produced in Timisoara, later it was discontinued due to quality problems and high price. In the 1980s, Dacia produced the 2000 model, which was mainly aimed at the elite of the Romanian Communist Party and available in black or dark blue, its production was limited.
After many years of waiting, in 1995, Dacia launched the first 100% Romanian model under the name Dacia Nova. In 1999, Renault acquired 51% of the Dacia capital and announced that it would launch a new model, which would be the evolution of the Dacia Nova. Then, in 2004, production of the Saloon and Estate models was discontinued, producing 1,959,730 cars since 1969, and the Logan was launched, a new car that later became one of the most popular and popular models of all Dacia models.
One of the latest models is the Dacia Spring, which was launched in October 2020 and is the first 100% electric Dacia. With the above summary and more than 50 years of history of this brand, it is safe to say that Dacia is not only a national brand, but represents the history of the Eastern European country that is developing, developing and becoming better. (Elena Bolea/ISW) Photo. Dacia.pl
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