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Automobile Dacia S.A. is a Romanian car manufacturer that takes its name from the historic region that constitutes the present-day Romania. The company was founded in 1966, and has been a subsidiary of the French car manufacturer Renault since 1999. It is Romania's top company by revenue and the largest exporter, constituting 8% of the country's total exports in 2018.
The Dacia automobile company was founded in 1966 under the name Uzina de Autoturisme Pitești (UAP). The main Dacia factory was built in 1968, in Colibași (now called Mioveni), near Pitești. Dacia acquired the tooling and basic designs of the Renault 12.
However, until the tooling was ready it was decided to produce the Renault 8 under licence; it was known as the Dacia 1100.[ From 1968 to 1972, 37,546 cars of model 1100 were produced, with a very minor cosmetic change to the front in early 1970. Also produced in very limited numbers was the 1100S, with twin headlamps and a more powerful engine, used by the police and in motor racing.
The first facility in the area was built between 1942 and 1945, as an extension of the IAR aircraft manufacturer. The new factory, built in the Colibași-Pitești area under the order of Marshal Ion Antonescu (Conducător of Romania during World War II), was scheduled to produce up to 600 aircraft engines per month. The building work was completed in 1945. After the war, the facility was taken over by the Romanian Railways, later generating the Dacia plants.
In September 1999, Dacia was bought by the Renault group, with a view to making Romania its hub of automobile development in Central and Eastern Europe, and investment was consequently increased. The first sign of this came in 2000, with the introduction of the SupeRNova, an improved version of the Nova with engine and transmission from Renault. The top-of-the range version had air conditioning, electric windows and a CD player. Sales were very good, although the outdatedness of the concept was striking. Dacia sold 53,000 vehicles in 2002 and it holds an almost 50 per cent market share in Romania.
Did you Know:
1. Dacia has only been in the uk since 2012. 2. In the UK, the 1310 model was introduced as Dacia Denem. 3. Dacia was the official football sponsor for the 2008–09 seasons.