Great News Everyone! Dacia Booming In Dismal European Auto Market

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
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great news everyone dacia booming in dismal european auto market

Europe’s car market may still be in the dumps, but our favorite maker of plucky Romanian low-cost transportation is doing just fine, thank you very much.

French business paper La Tribune reports that Dacia is having a strong 2013, with registrations up 17.7 percent in the first 5 months of the year. In Western Europe alone, that number is said to be 21 percent.

The success of Renault’s low-cost brand is a lone bright spot in a rapidly eroding new car market. But Renault also has to contend with falling sales of the Renault brand itself: in France, sales of the “diamond brand” (as its known) plunged nearly 15 percent through May of this year, while Dacia was up 18 percent.

The fear that Dacia is cannibalizing Renault sales seems to be coming true, even in Renault’s home market. Why buy a Scenic when the Duster exists (and is arguably cooler in the eyes of European buyers, since its a crossover, not a minivan)? Why pay more for a Clio when a Sandero will do the same thing? Skoda buyers may be tempted to opt for the more premium VW badge when making their purchasing decision, but Renault has no such cachet.

But then, a little cannibalizing beats eating dust.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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10 of 16 comments
  • Th009 Th009 on Jun 21, 2013

    SEAT also up 9.9%, on the back of some new value-priced models. Same fundamental forces at play as for Dacia.

  • Volt 230 Volt 230 on Jun 21, 2013

    Question: will it take a Chinese auto maker to pull a Dacia-like phenomenon in America?

    • See 5 previous
    • Summicron Summicron on Jun 22, 2013

      @Summicron "I think automakers have given up on that segment" Maybe....dunno. We'd need an insider like Bertel, tresmonos, Buickman, Dr. Olds, etc. to weigh-in on that. But what other kind of volume sales will remain for them if they try to ignore this segment? This pickup frenzy can't last forever. A great number of those sold are already on shaky loans and we're not creating a lot of professional or high tech vocational jobs for future sales of these now near-luxury vehicles.

  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Jun 21, 2013

    I just returned from France 2 weeks ago and I saw a significant number of Dusters there and Dacia cars. The Dusters are quite an attractive vehicle, the grill is acceptable, but Dacia can improve on it. I think the Duster is built on the Renault Clio platform. The Nissan version of the Dacia has a much more attractive grill.

  • Hawox Hawox on Jun 24, 2013

    happy for dacia succes! my old toyota corolla was simple and reliable, i bought it used and put lot of miles on it. i could start it in winter mornings and rev to the limiter everyday for many year. then something went wrong and everybody started to put tons of stupid electronic stuff in every car. so nowdays if you're on a budget and buy a car (in europe taxes on used cars are high) you must hope to not have any problem: ignitors, turbos, flywheels, electric windows, gas pedal sensors, butterfly valves, distribution... on modern cars everything seems to break down! the basic engines mounted on the dacia are the old 1.2-1.6 they were very simple and overenginered so use more fuel than modern engines but never break. in my family we still have an old 1.2 clio, it only has 60 bhp so it's necessary to push very hard every gear just to move it. still the engine runs as new and 4 boys learned to drive in that car. also the duster is the cheapest 4x4 you can buy, nowdays crossovers are everywere but all 2wd!! i hope the dacia lesson will make ppl think!