Dacia claims Sandero was top selling private sale car in Europe last year

Dacia claims Sandero was top selling private sale car in Europe last year

What car sold the most to private, retail customers across Europe last year? Would you believe the Dacia Sandero with more than a quarter of a million sales into that sector?

It's a testament to a Smart Buy strategy mirroring the success of brands such as Aldi, Lidl, Ikea, Ryanair and Hotel F1. It's a strategy aimed at taking the Renault-owned brand from 655,000 sales last year to 2m by the early 2020s.

Sylvain Coursimault, global marketing manager for Dacia said: "It's not a question of low cost, it is about defining  the customer's expectations. People who use the brands mentioned are not looking for something cheap, they want quality as well, and none of these disappoint.

"Private buyers seeking a new car cannot follow the trends in the business or fleet markets. If you look at the past 15 years, cars in all segments have grown by 15cm, they are 160kg heavier, 25hp more powerful and EUR8,000 more expensive - you can buy a brand new Sandero for EUR8,000. It's about offering attractive, quality cars at the best price and is a unique business model in the automotive industry."

In 1999, then Renault chairman Louis Schweitzer sealed the deal to purchase a majority stake in Dacia from the Romanian government. The aim was to build a global model priced at just EUR5,000 new. That came to fruition in 2004 with the launch of the Logan - since then the brand has sold 10m cars in 44 countries and now has assembly operations in places such as Russia, Morocco, Turkey, India and Brazil. In 2017, Dacia sold 655,000 models around the world - under both its own and the Renault brands. The aim in to reach 2m sales annually by the early 2020s.

Since Logan, the line up has been expanded with model variants plus new nameplates: Sandero and Duster, the Kwid built for India and Latin America and the Kaptur, a re-worked version of the Renault Captur sold mainly in Russia and India.

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