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Dacia’s focus on value won’t end in the EV era

Dacia's sales boss says it wants to sell petrol cars until the last day following record retail performance

Dacia Bigster - front

Despite Dacia introducing a hybrid model to its line-up and planning on “expanding its hybrid offer over the next few months and years”, sales boss Xavier Martinet says the brand will not budge from its proposition as a value car maker as we move towards the EV era.

Coming off the back of a record first half year of sales in 2023, selling more than 345,000 vehicles in Europe over the first six months of the year and securing the number two spot for passenger car sales in the retail market, Martinet said that, even with the new Duster and the brand's Bigster SUV coming next year, the brand isn't targeting the number one spot.

“We were surprised [by the ranking] but it's not something we're chasing,” the senior vice president for sales, marketing and operations told Auto Express. “If you start chasing a ranking then you start to do stupid things. The business model for Dacia has been stable for 20 years – always trying to be at the right price – and I would not want to be the one destroying this. For sure.

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“This is too precious for us and for our customers,” he continued. “The business model we have enables us to have fantastic residual values – our vehicles are usually seven to 10 points higher than competitor vehicles on every single car in most markets. This is one of the key success factors for Dacia, owners are very happy when the buy their Dacia, and they are very happy when they sell their Dacia. 

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“Value for money, this is at the heart of the success of the Dacia brand, and we don't want to change that. I take the ranking in Europe as encouragement to continue doing so.”

The Dacia Sandero was the biggest selling model for Dacia in Europe over the first half of 2023, with Dacia shifting nearly 139,000 cars. As the supermini sector continually shrinks, it seems as if Dacia is capitalising on this with its value, as sales of the firm's small five-door hatchback was up 24 per cent.

Despite a replacement waiting in the wings, Duster deliveries stood at more than 111,000 cars over the same period, while nearly 51,000 Joggers were delivered in the first six months of the year. 

Due to the Jogger Hybrid not being on sale for all that long, only around 3,000 of the cars sold were hybrids (lead times being longer due to component shortages on this model, according to Martinet), but with an order book that highlights more than 25 per cent of the mix being hybrid Joggers, this level of take-up on Dacia's first petrol-electric model is in line with Martinet's expectations.

There'll be more electrification from Dacia coming soon too. But despite the Dacia Spring small EV coming to the UK from next year plus more hybrid models (likely the new Duster and Bigster) set to join the line-up in time, Martinet reinforced that “Dacia wants to sell ICE [petrol-powered] cars until the last day.”

Dacia has become more design-led, with styling and design now the second highest reason for purchasing one of the brand's cars behind price, according to buyers. But with price still the king of all factors, the brand will continue to focus on this even as it moves towards integrating more electrified models in its line-up.

Click here for our list of the best small SUVs on sale right now...

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Sean’s been writing about cars since 2010, having worked for outlets as diverse as PistonHeads, MSN Cars, Which? Cars, Race Tech – a specialist motorsport publication – and most recently Auto Express and sister titles Carbuyer and DrivingElectric

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