The Renault group has basically redesigned all three of its brands recently. Alpine remains sporty, but will gradually have to take the path of electrification, Renault announced at the end of last year that it will start selling exclusively fully electric cars in Europe by 2030.
Dacia is at a slightly lower level of the market, but it is still extremely strong – in Europe it is the second best-selling brand to private clients, the Sandero model has been the best-selling car to individuals since 2017, and in the period from January to September of this year, sales grew year-on-year by almost 17%.
It achieves this thanks to a persistent strategy of offering what the customer really needs – but nothing more – at the lowest possible price. It does not need electrically adjustable seats, because they are not necessary, they increase the price of the car and also increase its weight. And the lighter the car is, the weaker engine it needs, the smaller and lighter it can have brakes, etc. – and the lower the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in standardized testing.
This further delays the need for electrification, which – again – increases production costs and increases the weight of the car. And so it sends cars in that endless vicious circle in the opposite direction that Dacia is trying to walk in. “We want Dacia to continue to offer the right car at the right price, as it has always done,” says Xavier Martinet, the brand’s senior vice president for marketing, sales and operations.
Nevertheless, Dacia already offers an electrified system. On the one hand, there is the Spring model, which is selling like hotcakes in Europe. In our country, its price and capabilities are too expensive compared to other dacias, but many European countries offer high subsidies for the purchase of an electric car, which significantly reduce its purchase price from the pockets of other taxpayers.
Does Dacia want to continue on the subject of electrification along a similar path as with Spring, for example with the Sandero model, which, according to the older words of the brand’s CEO Denis Le Vot, will be an electric car in its next generation? According to Martinet, there is demand in Europe for an electric car with a basic price of up to 25,000 euros, i.e. 617,000 crowns.
Automobile companies have yet to come up with such a car in a way that does not require cheap technology intended for developing countries; Citroën follows the same path with the recently revealed ë-C3. According to Martinet, it is still too early to determine what technology the next generation sander will have – its arrival on the market is a matter of 2027-2029. Quite possibly, it will also have various drive options, including electric, added the vice president.
The next Duster will offer a hybrid, but not a diesel
Dacia wants to gradually add more models, more hybrids, more electrification to the offer. However, according to Martinet, the question is when he will do it, and it is not a technical question, but an economic one – when it will pay off, when it will be affordable enough for the customer.
The first dacia with the possibility of a hybrid drive is the Jogger model; it is not yet sold in the Czech Republic, but it will start soon, and a quarter of the newly ordered joggers in Europe are already with a hybrid drive. As a hybrid, it is the cheapest in its class – in France it starts at 24,900 euros, i.e. 614 thousand crowns.
The new generation Duster, which should be revealed later this year, will share the CMF-B platform with the jogger and will also offer a hybrid drive. In the same way, we can expect all-wheel drive – according to Martinet, four-wheel drive remains in Dacia’s DNA, but he did not reveal whether the 4×4 drive can be combined with a hybrid drive system.