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Pickup lines: “it’s also for pleasure” September 11, 2007

Posted by danielogan in In the news, Uncategorized.
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Dacia has to wait a while before it can put its badge on the new Sandero, but it wil be the first to market the new Logan Pickup, the fourth model in its lineup, after Logan, Logan MCV and Logan Van.

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There are not too many details about the new Logan Pickup. We know that it will be sold in 2008, at first only in Romania, and that it has a payload of 800 kg, a load length of 1.80 meters and a stowage space of 300 liters behind the seats.

The interesting part, for me at least, is that Dacia/Renault wants to market this vehicle not only as a light comercial vehicle, but also as a car for recreational activities, taking advantage of its load space to pick up a quad, a surf board or any other “tool” for a cool weekend outside the city. In fact, the press release for the new Dacia Logan Pickup states that this is a “practical, robust vehicle for business and pleasure”.

Now, I don’t know if potential clients will buy this line, but it is interesting to imagine how this Pickup would look with a stylish bullbar, sidebars and chunkier tyres. It would be the closest thing to an American pickup truck on this side of the Atlantic.

Dacia needed this Pickup in its offer, after shutting down the production of the old Pickup, based on the Renault 12 platform, at the end of 2005.  

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The advantage of the old model was that it had several versions: Dropside, Double Cabin, and also FWD versions. So far, there is no official intention to develop any of these versions for the new Pickup.

(The source for all photos is Renault/Dacia)

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Here it is: Renault Sandero. Dacia has to wait for 2008 September 10, 2007

Posted by danielogan in In the news, Uncategorized.
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renaultsandero1.jpg 

 As expected, Renault officialy presented today the second model of its low-cost offensive: Renault Sandero. The MC for this event was “El Lider Maximo”, Carlos Ghosn, president and CEO of Renault, speaking in front of an audience of 450 people. Ten new cars were presented on this occasion, among wich the new Logan Pick-up!

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Sandero will be sold in Brazil and Argentina starting from December, and it will arrive in Europe under the Dacia brand in 2008.

Pack your bags for Rio! Or is it Frankfurt??? September 9, 2007

Posted by danielogan in In the news, Uncategorized.
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In a few hours the Frankfurt Motor Show will open its doors for the press and all the secrets will be unveiled. Among them, a very big, big surprise!

Rumors (in portuguese) say that the new Logan hatchback version will make its world debut in Germany, although initial plans indicated a launch in Brazil, where the car will be produced at first. 

The really big news is that the style of the new model is not based on the box-shaped  Logan: the line will resemble Renault Clio III and most probably there will be a new name for it, because of that.

Now, the really, really big news is that I have spotted this new name (or at least I hope I did): SANDERO! Yes, among all the names secured by Renault recently this is the one that makes sense. Renault Sandero / Dacia Sandero. I had to choose between Sandero, Tangara and Taranis, but I believe that the first one is more appropriate for a car “born” in South America.

So, keep your eyes on Hall 3.1 (sector A02) at the IAA in Frankfurt! There will be a new twist in the Logan saga!

In Brazil, Logan talks the talk and walks on ethanol April 24, 2007

Posted by danielogan in Factories, In the news, Markets, Uncategorized.
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Starting from May, Logan will become available under the Renault brand in Argentina, and then, from July, in Brazil.

This comes after Logan’s launch in Colombia, Venezuela and Ecuador, in September 2005. Until now, Logan has been assembled in South America in the Colombian plant of Sofasa, located in Envigado, but the start of the production in Brazil will bring several twists in the development of the X90 project:

1. “Talks the talk”: since Logan has in Brazil a high degree of local content, 80% of parts being produced locally (higher degree than in Romania, as far as I know), the cars produced here adopt a new interior design! The changes are discreet – explaining why most people don’t notice anything out of the ordinary when looking at the official pictures – but the differences are there: the central console is more refined, with knobs and switches better located, in a higher and more accessible configuration. Also, the door panels have a new design. See for yourself!

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For comparison I attach a photo of my central console with its “accessible-find-me-if-you-can” dials and switches:

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Compared to Dacia Logan, the seats of its Renault sibling have a better upholstery as well.

The (potential) good news is that this new design of the dashboard is most likely to be adopted in the face-lift versions of Logan scheduled in Europe for next year.

2. “Walks on ethanol”: you’re right, Logans don’t “walk”, but in Brazil they run on bioethanol, a premiere for the Logan range. This fuel is widely used in Brazil, and Renault was wise enough to take it into account. As a side-notice, in Romania, Dacia will launch in May the first official Logan version able to run on LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas). “Official” because taxi drivers and some private owners have been using this alternative fuel for quite some time, although the producer advised against it.

3. Produced in the Ayrton Senna Complex in Curitiba (Parana State), the “Brazilian” Logan will have an annual production capacity of 110,000 units, according to Renault. This is more than half of the entire production capacity (200,000 units) of the passenger car factory, although Logan is the sixth model manufactured there. The Logan production is aimed not only for the Brazilian market, but also for export, mainly Argentina and Mexico. The interesting part is that Renault announced that a model derived from Logan will be
marketed in Mexico under the Nissan brand, but no further details were offered.

The decision to put a Nissan badge on a Renault model is not new. The four-door version of Renault Clio, known as Symbol or Thalia, is sold in Mexico (and other Latin American markets as well) as Nissan Platina.

It is worth mentioning at this point that Brazil is also the country that will see the international launch of the future hatchback version of Logan, announced for this fall by Luc-Alexandre Menard, president of Dacia, at this year’s Geneva motor show (according to Reuters).

Logan drivers take the right seat. In India April 3, 2007

Posted by danielogan in Factories, In the news, Markets, Uncategorized.
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Renault announced today the launch of its Logan model on the Indian market, available in the first phase in 10 cities (booking starts on April 14), followed in a second phase by 15 other cities (booking scheduled to start in May).

First deliveries are expected 4 weeks after booking.

The “Indian” Logan is the first right hand drive version of this model. It was first spotted last year, during a test session, stripped of any badges.
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In India, the price for petrol engine versions starts at Rs. 4.28 lakhs (little over 7,400 Euro / 9,900 USD), and for the common rail diesel version the starting price is Rs. 5.47 lakhs (9,500 Euro / 12,650 USD).

The announcement was in fact attributed to Mahindra Renault, the joint venture between Mahindra & Mahindra and Renault, controlled with 51% of shares by the Indian partner.

Logans sold in India will be assembled in Mahindra’s plant at Nashik, with an estimated annual production capacity of 50,000 units, comprising a stamping shop, a paint shop with a top quality pre-treatment and an assembly line specific for the Logan.

According to the official press release, the air-conditioning and heating system of the car has been adapted to suit the Indian driving conditions, since it has to suit extreme climatic conditions that prevail in the sub-continent. Compared to the European models, Logans offered on the Indian market have other distinct features as well.

Previous reports stated that the Mahindra Renault Logan project starts with a rate of localisation of 50%.

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