The Dacia models have hardly any modern driver assistance and safety system on board, are not hybrid or electric and an automatic transmission is also limited. In short, everything that a modern car in 2019 according to the marketing machines must have is missing. Yet the Romanian brand is a resounding success. What is that about?
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Measured over the first half year, Dacia has become the thirteenth brand in Europe based on sales figures. The Renault subsidiary has now outstripped manufacturers such as Hyundai, Kia, Nissan and Seat.
Dacia was also the brand that managed to increase its market share in Europe the most in the last six months, according to research agency JATO. The Romanian brand now owns 3.73 percent of the European market. Dacia has a market share of 30 percent in the home market.
The success of Dacia can be explained to a large extent by the fact that it is an important player in the private market. Almost 80 percent of the sales come from this group. Last year, the Dacia Sandero and the Dacia Duster were the most purchased private cars in all of Europe.
Almost 80 percent of the Dacia's are purchased by private individuals. (Photo: Dacia)
Strongly cheaper than the competition
What helps with this is the favorable price tag of the models. Cars from Dacia are certainly considerably cheaper elsewhere in Europe than the competition. Looking at the four largest car markets on the continent, namely Germany, France, Spain and Italy, the average price of a Dacia Sandero is 10,996 euros, considerably less than the next affordable car, the Skoda Fabia averaging 15,781 euros. The gap between the Dacia Sandero and the Volkswagen Polo is almost 9,000 euros.
That is more than the basic price of a Sandero in countries such as France and Belgium, where the model can be purchased from 7,990 euros. In the Netherlands, prices only start at 13,830 euros due to the tax burden. This makes it one of the cheapest cars yet. Moreover, the Sandero is larger than similarly priced models such as the Citroën C1 and Kia Picanto.
A Duster is also just 4,000 euros cheaper in Belgium than a SUV from Suzuki, the brand that is most popular with private individuals in Europe after Dacia. For that, however, you have to miss things like air conditioning and electric windows. The price difference in the Netherlands is negligible due to our tax system. Here a Duster costs at least 18,830 euros.
The brand is also doing less well in the Netherlands. Here the brand occupies 21st place in the sales list.
Cars from Dacia are certainly considerably cheaper elsewhere in Europe than the competition. (Photo: Dacia)
Sandero is the fourth best-selling car in Europe
France is the largest market for Dacia, which is undoubtedly due to the French parent company. In the first half year, 76,000 copies were registered.
"The Duster is doing particularly well in France, it is the most sold compact SUV on the private market with 28,000 models already sold between January and June 2019," says Janet Richter, PR manager of parent company Renault in the Netherlands.
The strongest increase in sales of the brand was noted in Italy: 42 percent to 49,000. Dacia can also count on the necessary popularity in Germany and Spain. There were 41,000 and 33,000 new copies registered respectively.
With 123,000 units, the Sandero is the most sold model of the brand. This is striking, since the model has been on the market in more or less unchanged form since 2012. The Duster follows with 118,000 copies in second place and the Logan with 33,000 in third place.
In June, the Sandero was even the fifth best-selling car in Europe. The Duster finished in sixth place. The models performed better than cars such as the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Tiguan. "The Duster has enjoyed great success since its introduction in 2010. With 1,515,000 registrations, the car is still rising in the compact segment," says Richter.
The Sandero has developed into one of Europe's most popular cars. (Photo: Dacia)
In the Netherlands for almost fifteen years
Dacia was founded in 1966 and the link with Renault was there from the beginning. The brand wanted to put itself on the map with its own version of the Renault 12. Dacia had already bought the drawings and molds of the model, but finally decided in 1968 to start producing the Renault 8 under license. One year later followed the Renault 12-derived Dacia 1300.
It would be well into the nineties before Dacia came up with its own car, the Nova. Not much later, Dacia was taken over by Renault, completing the circle after more than three decades.
In 2005 the renewed introduction to Dacia followed in the Netherlands when the brand introduced the Logan. The model was put on the market as a budget car and was available from 8,495 euros at the time.
"The brand has a growth target of eventually selling around two million cars a year from 2022. Dacia's brand values remain unchanged; producing high-quality, attractive and affordable cars," Richter concludes.
With this car, the Netherlands was introduced to Dacia again in 2005. (Photo: Dacia)
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