PARIS — By almost any measure, Dacia has been a success story for Renault Group.
After buying a majority stake in the Soviet-era Romanian brand in 1999, Renault used Dacia as a launching pad with regard to its Logan project — a no-frills small car that undercut the competition by thousands of dollars. Even now, the base Sandero small car is less than 11, 000 euros.
Dacia has sold 7. 5 million cars since the particular Logan’s launch in 2004, and this year is the third-best-selling brand to private buyers in Europe. Its “design to cost” formula, which relies on frugal use of existing Renault-Nissan Alliance technology and low wage production in Romania plus Morocco, has led to margins that handily outpace the group’s namesake brand, although Renault does not disclose exact figures.
Now, Renault is recalibrating the Dacia formula. “Unbelievably low prices” is out, and “best value regarding money” is in.
“It’s not ‘low cost. ’ We are concentrating on the essentials, ” sales and marketing chief Xavier Martinet said Tuesday at a media event outside Paris.
That might seem like a subtle shift, but Dacia executives say it reflects the move across all socioeconomic groups to be more careful consumers, given concerns about climate change and sustainability, inflation plus energy costs, and the particular coronavirus pandemic.
Dacia offers thrived within the past year, which usually has already been marked by the semiconductor shortage and economic uncertainty. The Sandero, the brand’s best seller, ranked second within the small car segment in the first half of 2022, according to figures from Dataforce, and was the only model in the particular top 10 in order to register a sales gain.
Dacia increased its market share to 4 percent within the first half from 2 . 9 percent in 2021, according to industry lobbying group ACEA . Overall sales were up 18 percent, the most of any volume automaker, based on ACEA.
A move into the compact segments away from small cars, which started this year with the particular launch associated with the Jogger seven-seat crossover, will increase the brand’s pool of potential buyers in order to 13 million from regarding five million, brand CEO Denis Le Vot said.
“This is a new stage in our history, ” Le Vot said, as he unveiled the Manifesto electric buggy concept and showed off Dacia’s new logo plus dealership branding.
The Vot, a veteran Renault-Nissan alliance executive with extensive international experience, was chosen simply by group TOP DOG Luca de Meo to spearhead Dacia’s expansion. A plan to boost synergies by sharing platforms and a business unit along with Russian brand name Lada appears to have fallen through after Renault said it would exit Russia after the particular invasion associated with Ukraine, yet Le Vot said that Dacia would still benefit from improved autonomy within the group, including 3, 000 engineers solely devoted to the brand.
The new branding – including the white “spear” logo, de-chromed trim and wilderness-inspired exterior colors – is meant in order to emphasize robustness and reliability. Dealerships are being made over with simple, plywood-based furnishings that can be easily moved around.
The idea is to shift the perception of Dacia from purely a budget brand to one that will appeal in order to buyers who want “value for money, ” Le Vot stated, not necessarily the cheapest vehicle they may find.
One way Dacia is doing this is simply by offering innovative but economical technology solutions, such as roof rails that swing inward to create a rack for gear or roofing pods, plus an integrated clip for a cellphone to provide multimedia than a central touch screen.
It also continues to use off-the-shelf technology from the particular alliance that will has already recouped development costs – for example, the first hybrid powertrain, an option on the Jogger, will not appear until next year, three years after Renault brand name introduced the E-Tech system.
Dacia showcased one future option this week with a folding bed system called Outdoor Life that can turn the Jogger in to a sleeping space. The tent can also be attached to the rear hatch.
In addition in order to the cross Jogger, other scheduled launches include, in 2024, a good all-new Duster based upon the connections CMF platform and a compact SUV based on the Bigster concept from 2021.
It’s not clear, however , what the brand’s electrification strategy will be – the particular Spring EV minicar, imported from China, is its sole electrified model — but executives have expressed confidence that EV powertrains will come down in price enough to retain Dacia’s loyal customer base (60 percent of customers are repeat buyers) in the coming years.
“We do not think our best days are usually behind us, ” Martinet said.