Now the European market can have access to the latest Dacia unveiled, whose first appearance was made at the last Geneva Auto Show. A first look wouldn’t take much to classify it only as one more of the multi-purpose vehicles we see every day, but this one has some points who deserve more attention. Some for being interesting, and others for being just curious, but the fact is that it only takes to consider this car philosophy, more than only its commercial proposal, to discover these Romanian vans’ true shine.
It’s widely known that many big automakers divide themselves at different brands, also called divisions. They use this strategy to offer a bigger variety without making its image too confusing, and this concern is way more important than one can think at a first sight. The image a brand makes for itself means how it’s going to be seen and received by the public, and the car industry has shown a lot of examples of this almost since its beginning – Ferrari, Iveco, Lancia and Maserati are all Fiat Group’s brands, for instance. Working this way allows a better offer because each brand gets only one public to dedicate attention for: from their cars to even their dealerships, everything can be designed only to the wealthier customers or the fans of sports car’s, trucks’… This is much better than trying to sell a limousine and a cheap pick-up truck at the same showroom. This strategy is precisely what maintains Dacia through the years, and most recently started to give it bigger attention from this industry – the low-budget Renault-Nissan division learned not to only take a car from those two and cut off its equipments in order to sell it at a much lower price.
Since the Logan family achieved worldwide success, Dacia decided to expand this sedan’s concept to get itself an entire new line based on it. So we could use any other of its cars and the text wouldn’t be different. Dokker doesn’t obtain its low price from offering just a metal box with engine, seats and wheels; it comes because its whole concept expresses practicality. The front end has only the headlight sets and two air intakes, without chrome-painted details or more folds and cuts than necessary. In fact, by this part it can be already noticed that Dokker came from the Lodgy minivan’s project – fenders, headlights and hood are the same. But when it comes to the side, haven’t you noticed the next shared part? Yes, those front doors were also took from Lodgy, and this is the best example of what Dokker has to offer. Those doors are shorter than this car would require, but Dacia decided to adapt the rest of this portion to save money producing one more exclusive part, rather than build a new one whose gain at beauty would also be translated into a bigger cost. And this is what guide this van: there’s no intention of being sophisticated or sporty or to win design awards, but being cheap and reliable. Practical.
This clean design ends at a rear part whose design has the pleasant reminder of Logan Van, especially at the rear glass between the vertical lights with a black part above them – that station wagon isn’t the most charming car either, but maintaining visual identity is usually good. But Dokker’s main focus there was to get an asymmetrical door. This is more useful at the cargo version because it makes the loading process easier when the space is little, but this matter can be better solved with the sliding right door brought at any version. If the interior has to deal with the conventional window opening only at the front doors, it allows itself to pamper the occupants with a LCD touchscreen to control the multimedia sound system and by letting them choose the secondary color of console and seats, which contrast is always made with black. Dokker’s production is made at Tangier (Morocco), but with main focus at the European market. About the engines, it uses 1.2 TCe, 1.6 and 1.5 dCi, only the last one using diesel. The passengers version can take five or seven occupants, while the cargo version uses only the front seats and covers the rear windows.
This car gets bigger importance at the worldwide context because Renault has started to sell Dacia cars to emergent markets too. But at those countries the strategy has to change: since the Romanian brand doesn’t work in them, using it would demand an entire implementation process whose costs would be unreasonable. Therefore, it results better to rely at Renault’s already built tradition an sell the new cars under this name. And that begins to explain that Dokker is the most likely car to take Kangoo’s place at those markets. Now they’re still producing its older generation or even have stopped it, but in both cases it’s not worth to bring the most recent one because besides of the many advances and their additional cost which would be unbearable there, Kangoo’s focus was always different. It still has cheaper and cargo versions, but that weird design of the 1990s used the following generation to evolve. It got much more emotional, with a humour touch to please the younger public, who tend to like versions as the two-door Be Bop and the electric one. So Dokker clearly is the better one to take the emergent markets, who asks much more for a non-expensive passenger car or working van. Who needs a car to be spacious reliable, efficient… Practical.