ECONOMY

Renault’s new locally produced Logan model is taking Romania by storm

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – With 11,000 firm orders and a waiting list over a month long, Renault’s new Logan model is taking Romania by storm, exceeding the company’s expectations by far, officials said yesterday. Romania is the first country where the no-frills Logan is sold and, despite the 50-million-lei ($1,488) advance required to book the car designed for developing countries, there are up to 300 new orders each day, they said. «These people haven’t seen the car, they haven’t tried it,» special sales director Yannick de Carvalho told Reuters. «This exceeds all our expectations.» Analysts say that with a starting price tag of just 5,000 euro ($6,094), the Logan should sell well in the markets Renault is targeting – Eastern Europe, Turkey, the Middle East, Latin America, Russia, China and maybe India. But the real test for the car, which will be sold in Romania this year for between 5,700 and 8,000 euros, depending on the number of optional features, is just beginning. «This boom in sales at the beginning is normal, because a vehicle made in 2004 replaces a model from 1968,» said Andrei Taflan, a car analyst at the Automedia magazine. «But we will have to see if its quality confirms the expectations.» The first Logan was sold yesterday to the Romanian Automobile Club and will be kept in a museum as the first car that replaces the the 35-year Dacia 1300 which still dominates the ex-communist country’s potholed roads. The Logan’s makers say its main advantages are that it can drive on bumpy roads and that, although basic, it offers more space inside and a much more modern design and engine than the Dacia 1300, which was a copy of the old Renault 12. The Dacia plant will produce 60,000 to 80,000 cars annually and officials hope to gradually increase output to around 200,000.