Renault has promised to deliver an affordable new car to emerging markets around the world with the launch of the Logan.

Renault has promised to deliver an affordable new car to emerging markets around the world with the launch of the Logan.

The Logan saloon is the first model in the budget range and from early 2007, other body styles including estate, MPV and pick-up versions will be added. The four-door saloon will initially be offered with 1,4-litre 55 kW and 1,6-litre 70 kW petrol engines. A more powerful 1,6-litre 16-valve petrol engine with 78 kW, as well as a 48 kW 1,5-litre dCi diesel unit, will be available in 2005.

The car will mainly be manufactured at the Dacia plant in Romania and sold under Renault or Dacia brands. Based on the new B platform used for the Nissan Micra, Renault Modus and the upcoming third-generation Clio, about 550 of the 1 300 parts are carried-over from existing models.

Louis Schweitzer, Renault's chairman and CEO, spoke about his vision of an affordable car for the first time in 1999 after Renault acquired a majority share in Dacia.

At the Logan’s launch, Schweitzer said the adoption of the "design-to-cost" method, use of common parts, and the application of digital design in developing Logan had made it easier to keep to the programme costs down. The Logan was built using traditional types of steel because they could easily be adapted to production methods and equipment at the planned production sites. Bodywork contours were kept to a minimum to simplify the manufacturing tooling, make the stamping and assembly processes more reliable, and restrict costs. Also, the rear-view mirrors and protective mouldings were designed to be placed on the left- or right-hand side of the vehicle.

"Of course, we shall sell this car in many other countries - for example, in South Africa," said Georges Douin, Renault's executive vice president of product and strategic planning and international operations.

"Logan will be on the roads of all the continents, from South America to Asia via Eastern Europe and Africa. So the specifications take account of requirements in the most difficult countries, from the hottest to the coldest," explained Luc-Alexandre Ménard, Renault's senior vice president of international operations, and chairman of Dacia.

Romania will be the first market to see the Logan in September, followed by Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Turkey and Slovakia, and other markets in 2005.

Whether the Dacia or Renault badge is used will depend on the particular market: in Central and Eastern Europe, Turkey, North Africa and the Middle East, Logan will be marketed under the Dacia brand while in Russia, Iran and Latin America, Logan will carry the Renault badge.