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It seems a little Top Gear award makes a big difference. Because our 2012 Bargain of the Year, the Duster, has helped Dacia storm Europe this year, making it the fastest-growing car brand in the EU.

According to some large numbers compiled by men with large brains, Dacia shifting 21.1 per cent more cars in the EU in the first 11 months of 2013 than it did in the same period last year.

Obviously we can’t take total credit for Dacia’s explosion, but let’s just say we’re expecting a pretty large Christmas card from Romania this year. A large, very affordable Christmas card, naturally.

Renault’s Romanian brand has also increased its share of the bottom-rung, über-budget market from 1.9 per cent in 2012, to a whopping 2.4 per cent. Dacia’s success has caused Nissan to revive Datsun as a budget brand, with Volkswagen and Fiat threatening to launch their own cheap-as-very-cheap-chips ranges.

But have we created a monster? Using some Top Gear maths, if it continues its 21-per-cent-per-year growth, in just 20 years EVERY SINGLE CAR sold in the EU shall be a Dacia. We think…

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