Budget car brand Dacia hesitant on going electric

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Value-focused brand Dacia will only go electric when it has to, keeping car prices more affordable for its customers.

Dacia will only turn towards full electrification when it absolutely has to, thus keeping the prices of its cars at an affordable level for its customers, according to the brand’s head of sales and marketing, Xavier Martinet. Dacia also extended this pledge to hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains.

“The question is not technical, we can put that technology on our cars, we have this [hybrid] technology on the Clio and the Captur, we can put them on the Jogger or Sandero tomorrow.”

The Renault-owned car brand from Romania builds cheap cars and is planned to come to Australia soon. Both cars share the same CMF-B platform that accepts hybrid technology, but Martinet believes this is not the right solution for Dacia’s customers now, or in the short to medium-term, due to cost. Dacia has already told us that it isn’t bothering with ‘useless features and chasing safety stars.

“The question is economical”, he said. “Are customers ready to pay €3,000-€4,000 (AUD$5000-6000) more for a hybrid when they could actually just buy a gasoline version or an LPG version that cost only a few hundred euros more and does the trick in terms of CO2 emissions?

“I don’t think our customers are actually asking for a specific technology – maybe it’s different to electric for part of the population, but otherwise, if you look at the masses, people aren’t really asking for a specific technology. They want a car that fills their needs and allows them to go wherever they want to go at the right price.

“The approach that Dacia has is quite interesting, and with the regulations that are coming – Euro 7 and ADAS – the cost of vehicles is going to go up, but the salaries of people aren’t going to increase at the same rate.”

Martinet believes that it’s not Dacia customers that will enjoy that kind of technology and hopes that a broader chunk of customers will turn to the brand thanks to the value for money Dacia will offer.

The sales and marketing boss added that Dacia will “go electrified when we have to and go electric when we have to. Why should we move towards a technical solution that customers might not be willing to buy? The extra cost is a lot more.

“We’ll have it in our cars when we need to for customers to enter a city centre and not have to pay a penalty, but it’s really a question of economics.”

Sean Carson

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