By on July 17, 2012

The big winner for Renault in the first half of 2012 was their low-cost Dacia brand, while the losers were…everyone else.

Just-Auto lists the sales breakdown below

Renault sold 182,700 light commercial vehicles, up 0.4%.

Renault brand sales fell 2.4% to 1,113,913.

Dacia was up 2.5% to 181,280.

Sales at Renault Samsung Motors brand plunged 41.2% to 33,244.

The growth of Dacia paints a bleak picture for the French domestic auto industry. Consumers all over the world are jumping at the chance to own one of these well-built, well-priced pseudo-Renaults, whether they’re in India or England. French pundits don’t like it one bit, and are worried that their own auto industry will be decimated by the rise of the Romanian lineup.

And they should be. The Dacias are the right car (cheap, stylish, well-made) at the right time (an eyelash away from total economic meltdown in Europe). If a car purchase is even on your radar right now, would you pay full price for a Renault Scenic, or get an almost-as-good Dacia Lodgy? The middle, where Renault competes, is DOA right now and for as long as Europe’s economy is FUBAR.

But Dacia cars can only stay cheap as long as they’re built outside of France, or other countries that pay enough to sustain a middle class lifestyle. That means that jobs are going back to the former French colonies in Africa. Morocco and Algeria might end up being Renault’s hot new manufacturing base. But nobody thought the Indians would own Jaguar Land Rover in the time of the Raj, did they?

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5 Comments on “Dacia’s Up, ‘Nault’s Down As Low-Cost Romanian Vehicles Cannibalize Their French Overlords...”


  • avatar
    Rental Man

    It is funny to me that the photo above is that of a rebadged Dacia as the Renault.

    On another note, If someone is looking at a used car and a new one even with decontended features is within financial reach yet it still looks good, there is a good chance it will sell well. Very well.

  • avatar

    Nowadays one should really take Renault-Nissan-Dacia-Samsung as a unit. The March/Micra is sold as a Nissan in some markets and as a Renault in others. The same for the Logan. In Brazil and other countries in South America even a Samsung is sold as a Renault (the Fluence).

    In Brazil, Renault-Nissan now commands slightly above 10% of the market. As a whole, they are now bigger than Ford.

    The French may not like it, but apparently Renault will be limited to Europe and South America, while Dacia will be a low-cost brand in Europe, while Nissan will be in North America and Asia with a spinkling in Europe and South America.

    A sale is a sale, right?

    • 0 avatar
      MrWhopee

      And now where will Datsun fit among those brands? BTW Nissan’s started getting big here in Indonesia, but I don’t see any Renaults branded as Nissans just yet, and anyway it’s pretty unlikely. The kind of car Renault makes is strictly for European market, and had very little appeal outside of it, I think. Of course there are exceptions like Brazil, etc. Even the Logan wouldn’t past muster in Southeast Asian market, I think, it looks too simple and cheap. But in these markets any cars (with the possible exception of Tata Nano) isn’t really cheap at all for the average people.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    the problem is that the West can generally only build middle to upper spec vehicles given the profit margins

    the world needs cheap cars that can only be built in places with low labour costs

    this afflicts everyone not just the French

    we want Thai, Mexican, Indian and even Chinese cars


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