New Value Auto Brand in the UK

By Mash Bonigala

Economists and marketing experts alike are quick to tell us that value is the new black. People all over the UK are looking for new ways to make their recession pounds stretch as far as possible. Now there will be another choice in value autos: Dacia, an Eastern European brand owned by Renault. This brand is set to make the leap from the continent to the UK in 2012.

Dacia was originally created to appeal to emerging markets in during the late sixties in Eastern Europe. It soon became a favourite among these countries and even had long waiting lists. This popularity has continued in modern times; Renault bought the brand in 1999 and claims to have sold 1.25 million Dacia vehicles over the past five years alone. This success definitely points to hope for the brand’s emergence in the UK, although it should be noted that this is a very different market and a very different type of consumer.

The Dacia brand is known for value along with high fuel economy and low carbon emissions. This is accomplished by simple, no-frills design and efficiency in manufacturing. However, the brand has been working to produce more comfortable models that appeal to modern European sensibilities with a variety of options and upmarket versions of select models. In keeping with this, the first Dacia model offered in the UK will be the Duster, a crossover SUV with off-road capabilities.

Dacia recently adopted a new logo design to complement their gradually shifting brand. The new design is in the shape of a seat belt, which is undeniably associated with autos. It connotes safety, but also speed, as in “buckle your seatbelts!” The use of shiny metal in auto logo design is common and even ubiquitous, which also relates to the industry. This logo shows Dacia as a brand emerging in a more established, upmarket marketplace.

Dacia currently spends very little on advertising in Europe, although it is unknown if this tradition will continue in their UK line. Without traditional, paid marketing, the brand will be reliant on word-of-mouth and non-traditional avenues of marketing to promote their products. Because the UK market is one in which most auto brands heavily promote themselves in a variety of venues, this will pose a significant challenge for the brand, although not an insurmountable one.

Without heavy paid advertisement, Dacia will need to have the best possible brand and logo design, and then flood the market with these visual elements. If the company is successful at this, it may stand a chance in the value-loving UK market. However, it should be noted that the UK is very different from many countries in Eastern Europe in terms of their expectations. While Britons may want a low cost vehicle, they also want one with all the frills. In short, they want it all. In order for Dacia to win over this fickle market, they will have to promote a brand promising that people in the UK can have it all from this car maker.