BARCELONA -- Renault announced Thursday that its Romanian subsidiary Dacia would begin selling the low-cost Sandero Stepway crossover in Europe starting in September.
The French carmaker is showing the Stepway for the first time in Europe during the Barcelona auto show, which opened to the press Thursday and runs until May 17.
The Stepway will be the second car in Renault's low-cost Logan range that was designed for the South American market and later brought to Europe.
Dacia has sold about 60,000 small Sandero hatchbacks in Europe since bringing the car here from Brazil in mid-2008, Dacia Marketing Director Vincent Carre told Automotive News Europe during an interview.
The French carmaker has sold an additional 60,000 small Sanderos under the Renault badge in non-European markets over the past year, Carre said.
Debuted in October
Renault designed the Stepway to target sophisticated urban customers seeking a car with stylish "urban sport" feel, yet grounded in the middle of the Argentine and Brazilian price band.
The French carmaker has sold 2,700 units in South America since launch in Brazil last October.
In Brazil, a flexfuel-powered Stepway starts at 41,790 reals (about 14,600 euros), while in Argentina the gasoline-powered Stepway starts at 58,420 pesos (about 11,900 euros).
European pricing -- and engine types -- will be similar to what is already seen with the Sandero, Carre said.
The entry-level Sandero, equipped with a 1.6-liter gasoline engine, starts near 7,500 euros in most European markets, while the entry-level diesel version starts at 8,200 euros.
Dacia expects that the Stepway will account for up to 20 percent of its future Sandero mix, which would signal potential volumes of 6,000 to 12,000 units in the first year of sales.
The European Stepway will be built at Dacia's principal manufacturing site in Pitesti, Romania, and will share about 95 percent of its components with the Sandero and other Logan-based vehicles.
Renault will source parts from existing suppliers in both Europe and South America, where the Stepway is already manufactured.