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Dacia Automobile represents a Romanian car manufacturer founded in 1966. The name comes from the original denomination of the region where the borders of Romania currently lay. Dacia is Romania’s highest revenue company and also its largest exporter.
Since 1999, Dacia has been owned by Renault and exists as a subsidiary. The manufacturing plant in Arges, Mioveni is the fifth largest in Europe, providing a capacity of almost 600.000 cars per year.
The original name of Dacia Automobile was UzinaAutoturisme Pitesti (UAP), and the first factory was built in 1968. The first models were supposed to be entirely based on the Renault 12, but the final decision was taken to undergo production of Renault 8 platform under license, the product being known as Dacia 1100.
In 1969 the first Dacia 1300 model was released to the public and one year later two variants become available: the standard 1300 and the 1300L (L stands for Lux in this case). In 1974, the Lux Super was introduced which featured a heated rear window, radio and widescreen mirrors.
In the early 80s Dacia took the Renault 20 and redesigned under the Dacia 2000 badge, however it was built only in small numbers and mostly reserved for the communist party members.
The 1990s brought over the 1320 model also known as the Dacia 1325 Liberta (hinting at the post-communist era state of mind). Four years later, as the older models weren’t selling into the desired numbers, Dacia cars released the Nova, its first three-box design sedan. Although the design was rather outdated, with the project being actually started back in 1983, Dacia Nova was the first car fully designed by Romanian engineers and designers.
After acquisition by Renault, Dacia went on to release Solenza in 2003 and starting with 2004, the Dacia Logan. Dacia Logan quickly became one of the best-selling cars in the Easter-European area although it went through harsh criticism due to its design. In 2009 the first crossover named Dacia Duster was released, along with a Logan-based hatchback Sandero.
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