The market “conspires” in favor of Dacia, the low cost brand that now aims to become the one that guarantees the best offer on the market. Despite increases of between 4 and 7% depending on model and country, the Romanian brand of the Renault group recorded a 3% increase in sales over 2020, which reached almost 540,000 units (537,095, or almost 200,000 less than to the historic record of 2019), reaching a share of 6.2% in Europe. What’s more: acquired in 1999 by the French manufacturer who relaunched it, Dacia has become the third best-selling brand through the private channel, the fifth in Italy. It is the first time that Dacia has reached the podium, among other things in the most profitable segment. Xavier Martinet, head of sales and marketing, does not rule out the fleet option, but the conditions must not change: “The residual value of our models is on average between seven and ten percent higher than that of other brands – he explains – and we want to continue to guarantee it ”. In short: “We do not close the doors to other segments, but we do not want to make discounts”. “The ranking – smiles the 47-year-old French manager – matters only internally, not to customers to whom we want to offer, even with the electric Spring, the best offer on the market in Europe and the best value for money”.
Customers who have found in Dacia an important reference, despite the fact that in 2020 it had to pass important increases on consumers (Martinet cited those of 66% of aluminum and 100% of steel). The Sandero was the best seller with almost 227,000 units delivered (the second best-selling car in Europe ever in 2020 and first in July), followed by the Duster (186,000), the most purchased SUV by individuals since 2018.
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The Spring, which made its debut in Italy to take advantage of the public incentives that Martinet is once again requesting to support the zero-emission conversion, was the third in terms of volumes: with just under 28,000 units sold, it preceded the Logan by 700 units. Italy accounted for almost 11.5% of the global registrations of Dacia (number one among private individuals in France, Romania and Morocco): with 61,700 branded pieces, it recorded a growth of 15.5% on 2019 with a share 4.23%.
“Italy is a very important market for us (the first after France, which is essentially“ domestic ”, ed) – insists Martinet, who was also general manager of Renault in Italy – and still has potential. Dacia has products suitable for Italian customers ”. To contain costs and limit CO2 emissions, the manager insists on LPG (70% of sales in Italy), whose budget weighs much less on consumers’ pockets: the price difference is one twentieth compared to electricity. Hybrid solutions are in the group’s ropes (internal platforms allow them to be adopted), but according to Martinet, Dacia customers are not ready to spend up to 4,000 euros more for them. The brand has a win rate of 60%, which with Spring has reached 80%. The 47,000 orders went beyond expectations and the manager also points out that the first data on usage are comforting: “We are talking about daily journeys between twenty and forty kilometers, meaning that one refueling per week is enough”. To support Dacia’s growth, the headquarters focuses on more captivating lines rather than technological innovations: “Design is important and it costs less”, summarizes Martinet.
A reflection is underway on Lada, the almost “nostalgic” Russian brand. The glorious off-road vehicle Niva could also be an attractive model in Western Europe, but the group is making the appropriate assessments on the possible interest and costs of any adaptation to Euro 7 emission standards. At least for now, the two Eastern brands are not rivals in any major market.