Dacia will not compete in mini-car segment in Europe

Article by Anita Panait, on May 31, 2013

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.

Dacia revealed that its styling is expected to be more upmarket and assertive especially with the release of the new Sandero, Logan, and Sandero Stepway. Take the new Sandero for example. This compact hatchback is made more contemporary with an appearance that displays versatility and vitality. With this new model, customers are sure to have unmatched equipment for its price.

Further, the Sandero still has the classic Dacia style, meaning both the cabin space and load volume are exceptional. Given the compact design and the price, the 320 dm3 VDA of the boot volume is truly one-of-a-kind. Versatility, and even practicality, can be experienced as well given that the rear bench allows for a 60-40 split-fold. When actually folded, the load volume increase to 1,200 dm3 VDA.

Overall, the new design language that Dacia is implementing puts focus on strength and quality. As such, despite being redesigned, all the three models have the same balanced front section which exudes outward, beginning from the Dacia badge placed in the grille. The way that the grille and the large headlights has been designed to give the models a face that is more emotional.

On its side, there is a feel of robustness which is highlighted by the proportion of the glazed surfaces to the body. Emphasizing it further is the sculpted waist line, the more vigorous wheel arches, and the sides on each of the models.

Topics: dacia, city car, europe

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