PARIS -- Renault will play a more important role in the management of its Dacia unit's designs as the company seeks to further differentiate the brand and to continue capitalizing on the low-cost division's sales success.
"Renault will become more emotional and Dacia will remain more rational," Laurens van den Acker, Renault's head of Renault design, told Automotive News Europe in an interview. "The Dacia brand is meant to be more Nordic or Germanic, as well as more robust."
Van den Acker said it is also increasingly important for the Dacia and Renault brands to remain separate to attract the greatest number of potential buyers.
"It is important to position the brands so that they don't cannibalize each other," van den Acker said. "The two brands attract different clients."
Dacia's worldwide sales surged 31.7 percent last year to 348,279 units. Global sales of Renault brand cars were 2.12 million in 2010, compared with 1.86 million units in 2009.
While Dacia designs will remain distinct from those of Renault, future Renault brand designs will be more cohesive and similar than in the past. Van den Acker said part of his mission it to reinvent Renault designs is to help make Renault and its divisions' cars designs more recognizable in an increasingly competitive world market.
"[Brand] coherence is very big on my agenda," van den Acker said.
Renault said in February that it will launch a new family car and a small light commercial vehicle under the Dacia brand in Europe in 2012. Currently, the brand sells the Logan sedan, Logan MCV seven-seat station wagon, Logan van, Logan pickup , Sandero hatchback and Duster SUV.