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Romania Table of Contents


Automotive Industry

In 1965 a fledgling automotive industry produced only 3,653 passenger cars. In the 1980s, the industry consisted of three large auto assembly plants (at Pitesti, Craiova, and Cīmpulung in Arges, judet), eight subassembly enterprises, and more than 100 automotive parts factories. Production in 1988 amounted to 121,400 passenger cars and 17,400 trucks--well below the target set forth in the Eighth Five-Year Plan, which had anticipated an annual production of 365,000 automobiles by 1990.

A plant in Pitesti began assembling Dacia passenger cars in 1968 under license from Renault and turned out its millionth unit in 1985. In 1986 an affiliated plant in Timisoara began building a subcompact, the Dacia 500, using exclusively Romanian-designed and Romanian-produced components; the plant expected the car to compete on the world market beginning in 1990. Other automotive centers in the 1980s were Craiova (Oltcit automobiles produced under license from Citröen); Cīmpulung (Aro cross-country vehicles); Brasov (trucks and tractors); Braila (earthmovers); and Bucharest (vans and panel trucks). In 1989 negotiations were under way to set up a joint venture with two Japanese corporations to manufacture buses and trucks at a factory in Bucharest for sale to third-world countries.

Between 50 and 80 percent of the automotive industry's output during the 1980s was exported. Poor quality control, however, damaged the international reputation of Romanian vehicles. Hungary, a primary client, complained that 60 to 70 percent of Dacia cars delivered in 1986 were defective and required repairs before they could be sold to the public.

Data as of July 1989