With slowing sales possibly affecting its growth, Dacia is focusing its efforts to boost brand recognition this year. Francois Mariotte, Dacia’s commercial director, told Automotive News Europe that the growth rate this year should be more or less similar to that in 2015.
Mariotte added that the units sales strategy will emphasize its marketing efforts to develop the familiarity of the brand, adding that there is a need to invest in the awareness of Dacia. Mariotte quipped that there is a need to build more awareness of Dacia’s products. Dacia saw its European market share drop in 2015, no thanks to an aging lineup and lack of new SUV offerings.
In fact, all Dacia had in 2015 was the Duster compact SUV. Ian Fletcher, an analyst for IHS Automotive, remarked that Dacia’s upturn in Europe was mainly thanks to consumers not wanting to make big purchases as the economy slows down.
However, greater economic stability and growing consumer confidence had buyers rethink the implementing of austerity measures, finding themselves buying more expensive items. Fletcher added that making matters worse for Dacia was the absence of a new product.
On the other hand, Jamel Taganza, an analyst for Inovev, attributed the slowing sales at Dacia to dropping sales of the Duster in 2015, noting that the compact’s product life cycle may end just before it gets replaced in 2017.
While the EU and EFTA markets grew 9.1 percent in 2015, Dacia also surged 5.1 percent to 382,948 units, according to data from industry association ACEA. Dacia saw its market share drop by 1 percentage point to 2.7 percent, which makes the brand at par with rival Kia. Dacia saw sales of the Duster compact SUV drop 1.8 percent to 125,227, according to market researchers JATO Dynamics. Dacia is responding though.
Just recently, the brand unveiled the higher spec and limited edition models of the Duster, Sandero subcompact hatchback and Logan wagon. The higher-end versions feature Bluetooth and USB connectivity, central locking and electric front windows as well as a new chestnut brown body color. There had been reports that the low-cost brand might offer a version of the India-exclusive Renault Kwid subcompact in Europe.
However, Renault chief executive Carlos Ghosn disclosed at the Geneva show that Renault is prioritizing the launch of the Kwid in India and South America. On April 4, 2016, Yves Caracatzanis will be taking over as the CEO of Dacia, succeeding Nicolas Maure, who is transferring to AvtoVAZ, Russia's largest automaker. Caracatzanis is currently Renault's production and supply chain for the Eurasia region.