BRÜHL, Germany -- Renault dealers in Germany support the French carmaker's decision to offer its Dacia Logan budget car in western Europe starting in 2005.
Uwe-Michael Witzel, chairman of Germany's Renault dealer association, says he is happy that the Logan's introduction will come before the arrival of new, low-cost cars planned by Volkswagen, Toyota and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen.
"We like the idea of being the first to launch such an inexpensive car on the market," he says.
Renault's original plan was to sell the Logan, which is built in Pitesti, Romania, by Renault subsidiary Dacia, only in developing countries. It is not clear yet how many of the 1,450 German Renault sales outlets will be authorized to sell the car.
It is also unclear whether existing dealer contracts will be extended to include Dacia or if dealers will need a separate contract to sell the Logan.
German sales targets for the five-door notchback sedan are cautious. The plan is to sell only 3,000 Logans a year, mainly in eastern Germany.
But Renault dealers are optimistic that more will be sold.
Witzel says some dealers planned to buy the Logan in Romania and to export it to Germany.
"Once Renault got wind of dealers' huge interest," Witzel says, "the company decided to offer the car in Germany."
– Franz Rother contributed