Renault chief operating officer Carlos Tavares disclosed that the carmaker’s Dacia brand will not compete in Europe’s mini-car segment. He told Automotive News Europe that they want to avoid having “too many cars,” since marketing costs would also shoot up significantly if Dacia expands its lineup. The mini-car segment is becoming more important in Europe where its slumping economy has forced customers to shift to smaller and less costly vehicles.
According to Tavares, Renault needs to be communicating the Dacia brand rather than “fragmenting [its] marketing dollars on too many models” He noted that Dacia's brand awareness is still quite low. Reports by French and German media indicated the Dacia plans to build mini-cars, competing against segment mainstays like the Fiat Panda and VW Up.
German magazine AutoBild’s most recent report said Dacia will roll out a five-door mini-car in 2015 having a EUR5,000 ($6,450) price tag. According the report, the mini-car would be a combination of the Renault Twingo’s technical underpinnings and Dacia Sandero’s design styling. The mini-car would feature a longer wheelbase than the Twingo to offer more passenger room and 250 liters of luggage space, AutoBild said.
The Sandero subcompact is currently Dacia's cheapest unit, having a starting price of EUR6,990 in Germany. Dacia posted an 18-percent jump in sales in the first four months of 2013 in Europe to 90,000, according to industry association ACEA. Dacia currently offers five models in Europe. According to JATO Dynamics, the Sandero and Duster are Dacia’s bestsellers, each selling just over 30,000 units in the first four months of 2013.