So much for that economic crisis, huh?
The Renault Group certainly isn’t feeling the crunch anymore, not after they recently opened a state-of-the-art test center in Titu, Romania. Yes, in case you’re asking, there is such a place on the planet called Titu.
In any case, the new facility, which was built smack in the middle between the Renault Technologie Roumanie engineering center in Bucharest and a Dacia production facility in Pitesti, will be focusing on a number of tasks including the development and testing of new powertrain components for a number of Dacia vehicles, including the Logan.
The newly built test facility will house high-tech test instruments including simulated benches that can replicate extreme outdoor conditions, all of which could provide crucial data and information on the sturdiness of the vehicles being tested. It may sound like a bunch of mumbo jumbo for those who don’t know any better, but for people who understand the concept of safety and ride comfort, these tests are critical in producing high-quality vehicles.
Apart from the simulated benches, the new Renault/Dacia test center will also have ten different types of tracks, wading troughs, and underbody impact zones, all of which were put for the same auto-testing reasons.
We can only imagine how much this high-tech facility costs, but we won’t dwell on that. What’s important is that Renault is moving away from the vice-like grip the economic crisis had on the industry by not only moving forward with testing and development of their cars, but in the same breath, creating new jobs for people as well.
The next time you find yourself wondering why your car doors can’t seem to close properly, you might want to watch this video of how tedious a job it is for auto factory workers, specifically those in quality control, to ensure that the products they release out to customers are in tip-top shape and working in perfect order.
Needless to say, each and every measure is undertaken to ensure that fixing a potential problem remains priority number one for these factory workers and in this video taken from Dacia’s production plant in Romania, a factory worker does exactly that to correct what looks to be the car’s passenger-side doors’ refusal to close properly.
Undaunted by the problem he’s facing, the worker does everything, from slamming the doors, tapping the panels with a hammer, and even pulling the entire door down to make sure that the doors work properly. We don’t know what came out of all his efforts because the video ended prematurely, but it does show in clear-as-day video footage that no stones are left unturned in building a car.
The Logan sedan from the house of Renault (or Dacia elsewhere) is due for a comprehensive upgrade. Unlike the Indian version from Mahindra which boasted of special paint schemes and interiors alone, the Romanian version will come with a new sporty engine.
Sports car designer Ken Melville was assigned a task by Renault to design a vehicle that could ingest four adults, a pig, a sink, and 100kg of potatoes. He went ahead and created what today we call Logan, a simple, no frills cheap sedan which has sold even in markets it wasn’t intended for.
To add life and possibly numbers to the sales chart, Renault will plonk the 133 horse-power engine borrowed from the Renault Twingo under the Logan’s bonnet for its Romanian customers wanting extra fun without shelling too much of extra money.
Meanwhile the men at Renault are very optimistic that the Logan-based Sandero hatchback will fare well in the EuroNCAP crash test. They expect it to come back with 4 stars, a very respectable result if it happens.
The Sandero will be unveiled at the British International Motor Show in London next month. If the crash test works in favor of them, it will serve as a huge boost to the image of the car and could attract plenty of entry-level buyers in the safety-conscious U.K market, where it goes on sale next year.
There has always been the question of safety whenever an entry-level car is introduced in a matured market. Take for example Chinese cars which come at a rock-bottom price tag but remain in the dealer lots due to safety concerns of the customer. Manufacturers of small and cheap cars target the mileage and cost areas more than the safety of the vehicle which remains the bare minimum required for the vehicle to qualify selling in an overseas market. Dacia’s Sandero is here to prove that wrong and conveys that all cheap cars aren’t necessarily unsafe. For the buyer looking at a 5 door hatch for under £7,000, a 4-star EuroNCAP car is the bargain of the century.