Dacia etymology: What is it named after? What does it mean?

Dacia is Renault’s increasingly popular low cost automotive brand, but where does the Romanian marque get its name and what does it mean?

Founded by the Romania’s communist government in 1966 as Uzina de Autoturisme Pitești (UAP) or Pitesti Automobile Factory. As UAP wasn’t very patriotic as name, the company chose something from the country’s history.

Between 168BC and 106AD the Dacian Kingdom ruled over an area that stretched from the Danube in the south, Black Sea in the east, and the Pannonian Plains in the west, with the Carpathian Mountains in the centre. It covered a region that incorporates today’s Romania and Moldova.

Since the beginning, the company has produced Renault cars under licence. After the fall of communist regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu in 1989, Renault bought Dacia in 1999 and began turning the Romanian car maker into its low cost brand for Europe and other parts of the world.