Zapping Auto Moto Hyundai Ioniq 5 N: contact with the 650 hp electric battery!
What does the bottle matter, as long as one is drunk. When Louis Schweitzer, CEO of the Renault Group, decided to launch the Logan in Western Europe in the early 2000s, almost no one would have bet on the success of this medium-sized sedan with a very rustic trunk. And yet, the prospect of being able to afford a new vehicle for the price of a used car quickly seduced both the French and the rest of Europe.
With time and the expansion of the range, the Dacia brand has even become simply essential on the Old Continent. Last year, it registered nearly 560,000 vehicles, doing better than century-old manufacturers like Ford (just under 520,000 units sold). As for its Sandero, it placed for the 3rd year in a row on the podium of the best-selling models in Europe, and even second for the 2nd year in a row.
However, surprisingly, despite its undeniable success, no other manufacturer has ever really launched an attack on Dacia and tried to reproduce its daring and extremely effective business model. Yes, but that was before…
MG, Dacia’s new pet peeve?
The exception confirming the rule that quickly comes to mind is that of MG. Now under the Chinese flag, the British brand made the decision to reconquer Europe at the start of the decade, not without some success. Like a Tesla but in a much more upscale territory as far as the latter is concerned, it continues to break records from month to month and from year to year.
Originally, despite an offer of models at competitive prices, we would not have ventured to compare it to Dacia, and this, in particular because it initially decided to only mark its return with models electrified (100% electric and rechargeable hybrids) certainly accessible but still more expensive than equivalent thermal models. However, things changed when, surprisingly in the course of 2022, MG launched two thermal variants of its ZS SUV, until then only offered in electric form. Offering an SUV around 4.30 m long for under €20,000, only Dacia was able to do so until then.
As expected, it was a success, and the most notable example is in Spain. On the other side of the Pyrenees, the SUV topped sales last month with 2,563 units delivered. Enough to allow it to pass in front of the Renault Clio but also and above all the Sandero, number 1 in sales among our Spanish friends for the full year 2023. The ZS came 7th overall. We will closely monitor its commercial performance in this country but it is clear that these figures are remarkable. With us, he did not achieve the same feat since he only came 60th for the 2023 financial year.
The results at European level remain to be seen; the details are not yet known. What we can already say is that MG will soon launch a new thermal vehicle in its range, the MG3. Smaller than the ZS, it should logically be even more accessible. Because the thermal ZS starts at €17,490 in its entry-level version, that promises! Yes, the Renault Clio and the Dacia Sandero had better watch out!
Citroën, the other new enemy to defeat?
Another brand that could give Dacia a hard time, Citroën. To be honest, it has even started. When the Chevron manufacturer unveiled its new C3, only the electric variant, as well as its very attractive prices at the level of a Spring but in a superior format, there is no doubt that the news must have been received rather coldly at Dacia. Moreover, for a few weeks, the Romanian electric city car disappeared from the site only to return a few weeks later with new prices, lower of course. Finally, we don’t know much about her but a succession will happen much sooner than expected. Even if it was only launched on our roads in 2020, it will be replaced this summer.
The small problem is that Citroën has not yet played all its cards. A second electric variant of the C3 will go on sale next year. Even cheaper, it should start under €20,000, excluding bonuses from which it will always benefit (unless the bonus has disappeared by then). Finally, there will also be a thermal variation which could come dangerously close to the prices of a Dacia Sandero. Generally speaking, the price drop should affect the entire Citroën range. The second C3 Aircross of the name could also hold some surprises. If there is indeed a drop, that would be rather bad news for the Duster, which saw the big picture by recently passing the torch to a new generation…
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To sum up
Often imitated, never equalled, this could be the credo of the Romanian brand. However, in recent years, competition has become more organized and is much fiercer.
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