To answer the question, which is traditional in this series, it is enough to compare two numbers. What’s Dacia like? We can’t do better. In the first half of this year, while the French market showed a 15% drop in sales, the Romanian brand grew by 5.9%. Who says better? Few people and not even Porsche, the very different German brand known for its good health, excellent profitability and good margins. In terms of margins, Dacia is not left out.
Dacia, works and marginalizes
It is a secret, but the Romanian earnings would be, according to the head of the Renault group, Luca De Meo, “two digits”, without giving more details. More than 10% margin with the cheapest cars on the market obviously implies a science of management, but also an incomparable gift for launching cars capable of seducing customers. And in both cases, Dacia has succeeded since the relaunch of the brand by Renault and its arrival on the European market in 2005. Of course, there were some models that were less successful than others, such as the Lodgy or the Logan MCV, but for the past several years, every release has been a winning release. Generation after generation, the Duster continues to seduce and the smaller and less expensive Sandero remains the best-selling private car in Europe.
Ok, ok, but both the Dusters and the Sanderos are sailing on their past glory and their image is already well established when a new generation arrives. Except that Dacia is not only successful in its renovations, but also in its launches of new products, such as the Spring, its first electric car. It is the second best-selling car in France in zero emission mode, just one year after its launch. The reason for this enthusiasm is quite logical, since, at 14,000 euros, discounted bonuses, it is the cheapest in its category.
The Spring phenomenon, and its success, is comparable to that of the Citroën Ami. Because here are two cars, which observers denigrated at launch, explaining that they were not “real cars”. Except that the observers in question, perhaps obsessed with the automotive tradition of long-distance boats, did not see the arrival of these new customers, followers of short, urban, intercity and necessary trips, for whom the 200 km of autonomy of a Spring is enough, as is its moderate comfort.
On the contrary, the Romanian brand also has a long-distance ship, which is also experiencing a successful story. The Jogger, a family SUV that will make you forget the late MCV, is off to a strong start and has recorded 21,000 registrations since the beginning of the year, while 50,000 orders are waiting to be delivered.
All these models, thinking of the Sandero, are mainly purchased by individuals, Dacia’s main target, which is however interested, and increasingly, in business customers. Would it soon become a brand like the others? Especially since their prices keep going up. The Jogger suffered an inflation of 1,500 euros in a few months and the price increase of the Spring is of the same order. Dacia would leave the department low cost and their prices of weapons, to navigate towards the most troubled waters for it of the generalist brands where the competitors are pushed?
The directors of the construction company, who never talk about low cost, explain that they maintain the course of “best price-performance ratio”. This does not prevent them, in addition to the price increase, from always offering more equipment, noting, incidentally, that the most expensive models are also the best-selling ones.
This inflation will also affect the future Bigster, this 4.60m Dacia SUV, which will be available in five and seven seats by 2025 and could well be displayed at 30,000 euros. See more in its plug-in hybrid versions, if this technology is still relevant on this horizon. Is it expensive for a Dacia? Certainly, but it’s still cheaper than the similar model from Peugeot, whose 3008 is, on average, 5,000 euros higher. Also cheaper than the future Renault Austral that will evolve in the same category.
Dacia, therefore, does not go out of its field, it always places itself at a good distance from the competition and seems to want to continue its happy path in this direction. Simply, when everything increases, the Romanian brand follows the same slope.
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