Dacia was founded in Colibaşi (now known as Mioveni), near Piteşti. in Romania, and following an agreement with Renault, began preparing for production of the R12. Before production of that car was up and running, it sold the R8, badged as the Dacia 1100, built up from kits sent from France. The Renault 12-clone's production line was ready by August 1969, and in early 1970, the first locally made Dacia 1300s went on sale. The car was little changed from the Renault 12 we all know and love, and as Iron curtain motors went, the Dacia 1300 lined up well against the Fiat-based Lada and Zastava.
Dacia ended up becoming to prominence on the UK market in 1981, then it was imported here as the 'Very Acceptable' Denem, which was a rebadged version of the 1979 facelift model, not known as the Dacia 1310 in its home market. Needless to say it didn't sell strongly here. priced out by more well-established challengers from Lada and Skoda. The Denem might have lasted a mere 18 months here, but a pick-up version remained in the price lists until 1990, while a Dacia-badged version of the ARO 10 off-roader sold reasonably well here. You might remember it as the Dacia Duster.
It may have disappeared from the UK price lists, but Dacia carried on - with the all-new Nova going on sale in 1993. But in 1999, the company's fortunes changed, having been bought-out by Renault, bringing much-needed investment. The SuperNova was launched in 2000, before evolving into the much-improved Solenza in 2003, and that was replaced by the Logan, a new budget saloon, cleverly-designed for low-cost build in 2004. Today Dacia is a highly successful budget car manufacturer - which once again appears on the UK new car price lists.