Overall European new car registrations climbed just 1.2% last month in what is starting to show as a very fragile continental recovery. The only ones outperforming the trend – low-cost carmakers led by Renault’s Dacia brand.
It’s interesting enough to note that ever since the 2008 economic crisis finally ended, the following six years led to a massive slump that ended in a two-decade low for the European new car deliveries. But in the vast auto industry, there were carmakers that survived better than others – one example being the luxury players. But, besides them, another category quickly arose – the low-cost brands, with the most prominent brand in recent years being the rather unknown Romanian unit of Renault – Dacia.
Now, the affordable units ride the wave of the frail situation across the continent, with economic uncertainties and political tensions shunning nervous consumers away from mid-range mass-market brands towards smaller or cheaper vehicles. While November’s sales totaled 989,457 units, in a steep slowdown from October’s 6.2% rise, according to the Association of European Carmakers, Dacia managed to increase deliveries by 11%. The rise, helped by continued demand for models such as the Duster SUV, was enough to support the Renault Group to a 3.9% climb to around 94,000 vehicles. Volkswagen, the European leader, also saw a positive result of 2.5% after its Seat no-frills marquee climbed sales by 10%.