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Dacia won’t build a car smaller than the Sandero

Sun, 02 Jun 2013 00:00:00 -0700

The Dacia Sandero (pictured) will remain Dacia’s smallest model

In austere times, budget buys sell. Which is why Dacia is having so much success with its compact Sandero and Duster SUV.

With prices on the Sandero starting at just £5,995 and Duster SUV prices as little as £8,995 (although you’ll have to pay £10,995 for a 4WD version), car buyers are buying Dacias as quickly as Renault can build them, with sales in a European market that shrank by 7 per cent last year up by 18 per cent to 90,000 cars for Dacia.

So, at least on the face of it, an even cheaper Dacia to compete in the Supermini class seemed almost a given, and rumours have been rife that Dacia would take the plunge in to a new sector by delivering a Dacia version of the next Renault Twingo late in 2014, and probably pitch it at the £4,995 level.

But Renault’s COO, Carlos Tavares, has told Automotive News that no such plan exists and Renault are happy with the range of Dacia models they currently offer. He said:

What I want to avoid is to have too many cars.

We need to be communicating the brand rather than fragmenting our marketing dollars on too many models. Dacia’s brand awareness is still quite low.

And that makes sense, as does keeping the Sandero as the entry-level Dacia.

There must be precious little profit on a Sandero at £6k, and if Dacia were to produce a supermini it would have to undercut the Sandero by quite a chunk to be a viable alternative for buyers. And at something like £4,995 – the rumoured price point –  it’s hard to see how Dacia could make a profit.

After all, the bigger Sandero already offers a lower entry point than any supermini, so why try to pick up crumbs with a new, loss-making, model?

By Cars UK