On September 6th, 1996, in Bucharest, the framework contract between the Romanian Governement and THE Régie Nationale des Usines Renault (RNUR) was signed, for an initial period of 10 years. 10 days later, on September 16th ,1996, the decision was made to build what would become the future Colibaşi car plant, close to the buildings of the existing UPAC plant.
As the R12 would not go onto the French market until the end of 1969 (it was unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in October of that year), the contract allowed for the temporary manufacture of another vehicle of the same type. Although the R16 appeared to be the Romanian party’s model of choice, it was decided in the end to go with the R8 (the Major version), above all for cost reasons.
At the end of the contract signed in September 1966, the Romanian authorities began fresh negotiations with Renault that would result, in June 1978, in a draft framework agreement for the production and assembly of the Renault 18 in Romania. This agreement was never signed, despite conditions that were highly favourable to the Romanian party. This twist in the tale left the Piteşti plant with a range that was produced almost entirely locally.
At the start of the 80s, the company, which changéd its name to Intreprinderea de Autoturisme Piteşti (IAP), was producing 300 vehicles a day and employed over 20,000 people. The range grew with the launch of a restyled version of the Dacia 1300, now renamed the Dacia 1310. This vehicle will undergo several changes over time, both to its design and its mechanics. Unfortunately, production quality fell after 1980.
« On two trips to Russia, I visited the dealerships of western brands and a distribution centre that was selling several thousand well-equipped Ladas annually at a price of 6,000 dollars. These models were technically outdated but they were meeting a local demand.It was on my return from these trips that the project for a medium-sized saloon, designed for the family, at a price of 5,000 euros was born »