Ro­ma­nian car maker Da­cia tar­gets record-high out­put in 2015

Top 100 See - - Top 100 Companies - By Doinita Do­lapchieva

How do you ex­plain the fact that Au­to­mo­bile Da­cia's net profit in­creased faster than its turnover last year?

The net profit was af­fected in 2013 by the fi­nan­cial in­te­gra­tion of an­other Re­nault group sub­sidiary within Au­to­mo­bile Da­cia. The op­er­at­ing

re­sult in 2014, more rel­e­vant to as­sess busi­ness trends re­gard­ing Da­cia's profitabil­ity, is sim­i­lar to 2013 in per­cent­age terms.

Do you plan to launch new mod­els in the next 2-3 years? Can you elab­o­rate?

Yes, there will be nov­el­ties in our range of mod­els over the next few years, but we pre­fer not to elab­o­rate on that for the mo­ment.

In the short-term, we are re­veal­ing many new fea­tures at the Frank­furt mo­tor­show like the Easy-R au­to­mated trans­mis­sion for Lo­gan

and San­dero, as well as the Duster Edi­tion 2016, in­clud­ing the new Sce 115 petrol en­gine and con­nected Me­dia-Nav Evo­lu­tion nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem.

What are, in your opin­ion, the main fac­tors in­flu­enc­ing the com­pany's op­er­a­tions in a pos­i­tive way this year? What about the main ob­sta­cles?

The mar­ket in Ro­ma­nia in 2015 was in­vig­o­rated by the RABLA gov­ern­men­tal pro­gramme for na­tional car fleet re­newal, which re­mained key for the au­to­mo­tive pro­duc­ers and im­porters. It is a gov­ern­men­tal scheme which re­freshes the na­tional car fleet, one of the old­est in Europe, to the ben­e­fit of all par­tic­i­pants in traf­fic, to the ben­e­fit of road safety and of the environment. It is a use­ful pro­gramme for the Ro­ma­nian industry and for the jobs in Ro­ma­nia, in­clud­ing deal­er­ships. Trad­ing new cars is a busi­ness that brings in­come to the bud­get and a busi­ness that en­sures jobs.

There are a few things that need to be im­proved in or­der to fa­cil­i­tate any com­pany's op­er­a­tions in Ro­ma­nia. The first one is the in­fra­struc­ture. Ev­ery week, more than 2,100 trucks - of Da­cia and our sup­pli­ers - drive be­tween Nad­lac and Pitesti, which takes them up to 10 hours. We es­ti­mated that this leads to an ad­di­tional cost of 30 euro for each Da­cia ve­hi­cle. We ap­pre­ci­ate it that the PitestiSibiu pro­ject is a pri­or­ity for the Ro­ma­nian au­thor­i­ties. It is now es­sen­tial to speed up the con­struc­tion of this high­way, aim­ing at com­ple­tion by 2020 at the lat­est.

Then, talk­ing about leg­is­la­tion, mainly the Labour and Tax Codes, any changes can af­fect our op­er­a­tions. We com­mu­ni­cated our po­si­tions on these im­por­tant is­sues to the Ro­ma­nian govern­ment, stress­ing the need to re­in­force our com­pet­i­tive­ness on the mar­ket.

What are the com­pany's main in­vest­ment projects in mid-term per­spec­tive?

The com­pany con­tin­ues to in­vest in in­dus­trial projects which en­abled Da­cia to in­crease the pro­duc­tion ca­pac­i­ties of the Ve­hi­cle and Pow­er­train plants, such as alu­minum high pres­sure diecast­ing, 6 speed man­ual trans­mis­sion ca­pac­ity in­crease, me­chan­i­cal parts,

pro­gres­sive in­tro­duc­tion of ro­bots, etc.

In 2015 we will in­vest around 100 mil­lion euro in the Mioveni plants in or­der to sup­port the in­tro­duc­tion of new mod­els and vari­ants, as well as con­tinue the mod­ern­iza­tion of the in­dus­trial plat­form, with a fo­cus on work­ing con­di­tions, safety and au­to­ma­tion.

Do you plan to in­crease the plant's out­put ca­pac­ity and staff?

To­day, the out­put ca­pac­ity of the Mioveni plant is 350,000 ve­hi­cles per year. There are no plans to in­crease it in the fore­see­able fu­ture. Nev­er­the­less, we may in­crease the pro­duc­tion of pow­er­train units - en­gines, trans­mis­sion - based on mar­ket de­mand.

How many ve­hi­cles does Da­cia plan to man­u­fac­ture this year, how does this com­pare to 2014?

Pro­duc­tion in 2015 will in­crease com­pared to the last year. We will most prob­a­bly en­joy a record pro­duc­tion level this year. In ad­di­tion to com­plete ve­hi­cles pro­duc­tion, we also started sig­nif­i­cant ship­ments of painted bod­ies and com­po­nents to the new Re­nault plant in Oran, in Al­ge­ria, for SKD as­sem­bly of Lo­gan there.

What sales vol­ume and mar­ket share do you tar­get in Ro­ma­nia this year?

As of end of June 2015, Da­cia's sales in Ro­ma­nia to­taled 18,369 units, up by more than 25% com­pared to the first half of 2014, while our mar­ket share reached 35.3%, show­ing a 3 per­cent­age points progress over the same pe­riod of last year.

How do you see the over­all car mar­ket in South­east­ern Europe (SEE) de­vel­op­ing in the next few years? What about Da­cia's per­for­mance in SEE?

The fig­ures ad­vanced so far by the Bel­gium­based As­so­ci­a­tion of Euro­pean Car Man­u­fac­tur­ers at the end of the first half of 2015 show a small in­crease of car sales in this re­gion. We can­not make an es­ti­ma­tion for the whole year. Still, we are con­fi­dent that 2015 will end with a new sales record for the Da­cia brand.

We do not plan to in­crease the ve­hi­cle pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity of the Mioveni plant but we may in­crease the pro­duc­tion of pow­er­train units

Ni­co­las Maure, Di­rec­tor Gen­eral

Ro­ma­nian car maker Da­cia, a unit of France's Re­nault since 1999, sur­passed oil and gas group OMV Petrom as SEE's largest com­pany in terms of to­tal rev­enues in 2014. The com­pany's rev­enues rose 2.2% to over 4.2 bil­lion euro while net profit climbed 10.2% to 83 mil­lion euro on the back of in­creased de­mand for its no-frills, re­li­able mod­els. World­wide sales of Re­nault un­der its Da­cia brand rose 19% to 511,465 ve­hi­cles last year, mainly due to the pop­u­lar­ity of the Duster SUV and of the up­dated Lo­gan and San­dero mod­els. In Ro­ma­nia alone, Da­cia sold 29,625 cars last year, ac­count­ing for a 32% mar­ket share. In 2014 Da­cia pro­duced 339,000 ve­hi­cles at its plant in Mioveni, in south­ern Ro­ma­nia, close to its 350,000 an­nual ca­pac­ity.

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