Exactly ten months since it took the country by storm, Dacia’s already celebrating another impressive milestone, its 10,000 new customer. That’s going some. Even by Dacia’s usual growth spurt standards.
It’s even more of a coup for such a fledgling brand in the UK, which has arguably the most cut-throat new and used car market in Europe. Oh, and the fact that it almost exclusively focuses on retail business, which just happens to make up only around half of all car sales here in Blighty.
The owner of the landmark car, Elma Marshall, an NHS worker at Motherwell Hospital, recently collected her gleaming Duster Ambiance 4x4, in sparkling Granite Grey metallic, on Scotland’s east coast. Fittingly, the car was bought and handed over at Ness Motors, Perth, already one of the best-performing retailers in the country, by General Manager, John Aitken.
“I’d read a lot of things about Dacia on the internet before I went to Ness in Perth, and the fact that Duster was the Scottish Car of the Year also hadn’t escaped my notice. As soon as I sat in it, I loved it. It was comfy and the chunky styling really reassured me that I'd be safe in the snowiest weather. I knew that by investing in even the top specification 4x4, I’d be saving thousands compared to anything else like it. One minute I was trading in a front-wheel-drive petrol Mazda 6, the next I was driving my diesel Dacia Duster 4x4 home. I’ve already had some lovely comments on the car from both colleagues in the NHS and family and friends in the farming community. I've even been approached by strangers at the garage!”
Ken Ramirez, Managing Director, Renault UK & Ireland, added,
“I’m over the moon that Elma, as well as over 10,000 other Dacia owners, have recognised the ‘shockingly affordable’ value-for-money of Duster and Sandero in terms of space, practicality and equipment, so far this year. Our Dacia line-up has now been completed with the arrival of Sandero Stepway and Logan MCV, making us the first choice ‘smart buy’ car brand.”
With ‘value’ shopping continuing to sweep the nation, it seems car buyers aren’t immune to getting the most they can for their hard-earnt cash either. With Dacia’s candle burning brighter than most. As of today, the “shockingly affordable” brand’s charms have already pulled in over 11,500 new owners since January 1st. Sales which plenty of older and more established car manufacturers can only dream of.
And worryingly for others, that’s with only two of its current range having been on sale since launch at the turn of the year. Now, its got the added impetus of two more “UK’s most affordable” models in its arsenal, the Logan MCV and Sandero Stepway to build on.
The five-seat supermini estate, Logan MCV (Maximum Capacity Vehicle), boasts a city car-shaming price tag and Volvo V70-aping load-lugging ability. While its chunky and striking sibling, Sandero Stepway, a supermini crossover, has tapped into the current vogue for higher-riding small cars.
In terms of sales, Duster is still out in front, with just shy of 5,600 having found homes, The Sandero range not too far behind either, with in excess of 5,400 sold to date. The fastest gainer currently is Stepway. It’s not hard to see why. In the fast-growing supermini crossover class, it arguably has no direct rival for the money. But, what is surprising, even to the Dacia UK team, is that it’s already smashing internal forecasts, taking a healthy one quarter of overall Sandero sales. And rising.
Dacia – value for the long term
Even more remarkable is the fact that virtually all of Dacia’s sales are to purely retail customers. Once car companies dip their toes into commercial sales, there’s always the risk of its models losing chunks of their value in the longer term. Proving that you can have your cake and eat it though, top residual value provider, CAP, say that Sanderos are typically worth over up to 38% after three years/60,000 miles. That’s more than a whole host of other superminis, including perennial best-sellers such the Skoda Fabia and Vauxhall Corsa.
Just to ram home its longer term value message, Duster flies high in the SUV class too, with a residual value of over 35% over the same period.
Dacia buyers – “value” sweeps across the nation
So, just where are the buyers coming from? In short, far and wide. However, an interesting regional picture’s starting to emerge, including something of a North-South divide. Among Dacia’s top retailers, Scottish and Welsh sites feature prominently, with three of the former and two of the latter, in the top ten. Some well-known Northern cities are well in the mix too, including Bradford and Newcastle. From the south, three towns score highly, Basingstoke, Enfield and Poole.
And don’t think for a second that it’s solely lower-income households plumping for Dacias. In recent months, its UK Retailers have reported stories of trade-ins as varied as Land Rover Discoverys and Honda CR-Vs.