The big winner for Renault in the first half of 2012 was their low-cost Dacia brand, while the losers were…everyone else.
Just-Auto lists the sales breakdown below
“Renault sold 182,700 light commercial vehicles, up 0.4%.
Renault brand sales fell 2.4% to 1,113,913.
Dacia was up 2.5% to 181,280.
Sales at Renault Samsung Motors brand plunged 41.2% to 33,244.“
The growth of Dacia paints a bleak picture for the French domestic auto industry. Consumers all over the world are jumping at the chance to own one of these well-built, well-priced pseudo-Renaults, whether they’re in India or England. French pundits don’t like it one bit, and are worried that their own auto industry will be decimated by the rise of the Romanian lineup.
And they should be. The Dacias are the right car (cheap, stylish, well-made) at the right time (an eyelash away from total economic meltdown in Europe). If a car purchase is even on your radar right now, would you pay full price for a Renault Scenic, or get an almost-as-good Dacia Lodgy? The middle, where Renault competes, is DOA right now and for as long as Europe’s economy is FUBAR.
But Dacia cars can only stay cheap as long as they’re built outside of France, or other countries that pay enough to sustain a middle class lifestyle. That means that jobs are going back to the former French colonies in Africa. Morocco and Algeria might end up being Renault’s hot new manufacturing base. But nobody thought the Indians would own Jaguar Land Rover in the time of the Raj, did they?