Renault design boss Laurens van den Acker claims the Duster is “a little bit like the Mustang for Ford”. Confused? Well, let Van den Acker explain…

“The Duster for Dacia is a little bit like the Mustang for Ford: it’s an iconic model with a big identity that’s stronger than the brand,” he told Autocar.

The Mustang, of course, has been around since the early 1960s and is currently in its sixth generation. Production of the Duster, by contrast, kicked off in 2009, with the SUV having only just entered its second generation.

The latest comments from the Netherlands-born designer come after quotes from September, in which he claimed he wanted Renault to stop selling rebadged Dacia models.

In various markets outside of Europe, the Renault brand sells vehicles that are also badged as Dacia products, including the Sandero and the Duster here in South Africa, plus the Logan in countries such as Brazil.

“My goal is to have a global Renault lineup,” Van den Acker said at the time, adding that “I want that to stop”.

Interestingly, though, Van der Acker said the Duster was likely to be “the only exception” to this new strategy as “it’s one of our best-selling cars”.

The second-generation Duster recently touched down in South Africa, with the local range comprising five derivatives.