Dacias now account for more than 40% of Renault sales in Europe
The automotive sector is definitely not picking up again. New car registrations fell by 14.3% in Europe (European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Great Britain) to barely 5 million units in the first half of the year, the Association of European Manufacturers announced on Friday ( ACEA). The French market plunged in a particularly brutal way by 16.3%, Italy by 22.7%, more than Great Britain (-11.9%), Germany (-11%) or Spain (-10.7%).
In the month of June alone, the plunge reached 17.3% in Europe. The European automobile market is certainly higher than that of the first six months of 2020 (4.6 million vehicles), when populations were confined due to the pandemic! But sales of new cars remain much lower than before Covid. With a shortfall of almost 3 million units compared to the first six months of 2019…
Dacia breaks all records
Shortage of components, wait-and-see attitude of consumers in the face of uncertainties weighing on the future of the automobile but also on their future income, sharp increases in the prices of models, forced electrification under the influence of politicians but not yet meeting the needs of consumers, combine to explain such a slump.
In this context, it is hardly surprising that the manufacturer that is making the most progress is the specialist in low-cost cars, Dacia. Renault’s low-cost Romanian subsidiary has managed to increase its registrations in Europe by more than 18% over six months 2022, from downright 32% in June. A record for all brands – except for the very small artisanal builders! Dacia sales accounted for 43% of the Renault group’s total scores for the first time. Logic: the range starts at 10,990 euros (Sandero). By the very admission of the leaders of the brand, the final transaction price of the Dacia is 15% lower than that of the Citroën, for example.
“All our models are progressing,” proclaims Xavier Martinet, Dacia’s sales and marketing director. The Romanian label is the “second brand in sales to private customers in France and the third in Europe. The small Dacia Sandero has even been the best-selling model on the Old Continent to individuals since 2017. The price remains “the main reason for buying Dacias, followed by design”, underlines the commercial director.
Indeed, the aesthetics of the vehicles (Sandero III, Duster, Jogger) appears much more attractive than fifteen years ago when the first Logan debuted and no longer arouses rejection as then. And, technically, the cars are now very close to the Renaults. A cheap car no longer means obsolete and ugly car!
Stellantis, Volkswagen, fall hard
The other winners, in Europe over the half-year, in smaller proportions, are at the other end of the automotive spectrum, the German Porsche, whose sales prices start at…60,000 euros (Volkswagen group, +13.6% over six months), but also DS (Stellantis, +13.2%) which benefits from the new DS4, and the Korean group Hyundai (+12.6%). The Japanese Toyota manages to limit breakage (-3.3%)!
All the other manufacturers are among the big losers. The Volkswagen Group plunged in Europe (-19.4%), notably its brands Volkswagen proper (-23.8%) and Skoda (-24.9%). Stellantis falls even more heavily (-21%). Within it, Peugeot fell (-21.2%), Citroën too (-24.7%). The Renault brand also plunges (-20.3%). Its Japanese ally Nissan drops by 15%. High-end specialists are also at half mast, with sales down 11% for Mercedes, 13.7% for BMW, 28.5% for Volvo, 35% for Jaguar Land Rover. And the market is not about to start again!
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