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BUCHAREST, Romania — Renault subsidiary Dacia says it will square off against Ford in making small cars to meet increasing demand in Romania.

Dacia Vice President Constantin Stroe said the company is already working on a new model.

According to some reports, this will be the new entry-level product in the Dacia model range, which will compete with the upcoming Ford B-Max crossover recently announced by Ford Romania.

Dacia sales manager Fabrice Cambolive had previously confirmed Dacia's plans to design two new models, without giving details.

The automaker's first SUV, the Dacia Duster, is set to go on sale in the spring. Stroe said the model has been in production at the Romanian plant for about four months. Dacia is expecting a 20 percent market share from the small SUV this year.

Besides the Duster, Dacia currently produces six car models: the Berlina (sedan), MCV, Van and Pickup, all badged as Logans, and the Dacia Sandero and Sandero Stepway.

Dacia sold 311,282 cars last year, some 20 percent more than in 2008, but its sales in Romania declined more than 50 percent year-over-year to 41,862 cars. Stroe said the company expects a 7.8 percent decline in 2010 compared with 2009.

source: insideline

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