The fall and rise of the budget carFri, 06 Sep 2013 00:00:00 -0700
Twenty years ago, the classic bargain brands like Lada seemed to be going the same way as the Soviet empire that spawned them. Woefully dated and badly made, only a weirdo would have bought a new Lada rather than a second-hand model from Ford, Vauxhall or VW.
However, one of the big trends in the car industry today is the re-emergence of bargain cars. Dacia recently launched in the UK, having been a huge success right across Europe and Nissan has just released the first pictures of its new Datsun range (remember the Datsun Cherry and Bluebird?). Even VW has publicly mused about developing a new low-cost brand – the ultimate irony as Skoda used to be exactly that, before VW pushed it upmarket (you can pay over £30,000 for a top-of-the-range Skoda today). Even Citroen is talking about repositioning itself as a maker of simple, uncomplicated affordable cars.
In these hard times, more and more people are asking themselves, ”Why not?” If a Dacia provides sensible family transport for only £6,000, why pay more?
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By Jay Nagley