PARIS - Renault may sell the future A5,000 Dacia as an entry-level car in western Europe.
When it bought the Romanian carmaker last year, Renault said it would only target former eastern bloc countries and other emerging markets with a new Dacia. Now Renault sources say they are considering selling the car in developed countries.
The news follows Volkswagen's recent decision to develop a A5,000 car to fit below the Lupo in its line-up.
A senior Renault executive said Dacia could become 'a basic global brand' offering a 'simple, reliable car with good longevity.'
He said the new Dacia, expected in 2003, could compete in western Europe with the future Fiat Ecobasic and Korean or Japanese entry-level models. The target price would be A5,000, said the Renault insider.
He said that production volume could exceed the 200,000 units Renault initially planned for Dacia. The plant in Pitesti, near Bucharest, now makes about 90,000 cars per year.
Earlier this month Renault Chairman Louis Schweitzer said he wasn't planning an early launch of Dacia in Europe.
He said: 'Dacia must first recover in Romania, with a plant that must reach efficiency and quality standards, then develop a modern, reliable and cheap car.'