Since being resurrected in 2004, it’s been a long journey for the Romanian brand. But now, Dacia has proven its worthiness by registering a 21.1 per cent sales growth in Europe. This is the highest growth figure registered by a car manufacturer in the EU.
Dacia’s market share in Europe has gone up from 1.9 per cent in 2012 to 2.4 per cent in 2013. With economic uncertainty and a 12 per cent unemployment rate, auto sales in Europe have headed southwards, de-growing by 2.7 per cent in this period. The need for cheap cars in Europe has risen and Dacia has cashed-in this opportunity. "Anyone can say we took advantage of the crisis," said Arnaud Deboeuf, the Renault executive who oversees the company's entry-level. "But there's been a change in buying attitudes in Europe. People don't want to spend so much money on a car now."
Dacia was reintroduced in 2004 as a part of Renault’s plans to use it as a low-cost brand. Today it boasts a full range of saloons, hatchback, pickup trucks, SUVs and estates. The low labor cost in Romania has helped the company price its cars very competitively and allowed it to target the emerging markets with its cheap cars.
Dacia spends little on marketing and distribution the cars are sold in Renault dealerships in Europe. The Dacia Duster, sold in India under the Renault badge, has been very popular all over (including in India) and has spearheaded Dacia’s growth.
Volkswagen group still dominates in EU with a 13.4 per cent market share, even after a drop of 2.1 per cent. Alfa Romeo was worst hit with 29.2 per cent drop in sales. Lancia/Chrysler, Chevrolet, PSA volumes have also gone down in the EU. On the other hand, Seat, Mercedes-Benz, JLR and Mazda have all seen sales rise in the first eleven months of the year.