Regular readers will be beginning to understand that MotorMartin is a big fan of affordable, well built, high specification motors that are interesting to look at and offer that little ‘something’ that is a bit different to the norm. OK, the Focus received a positive review and is certainly a popular drive even after all these years but you could never really describe it as being a little bit different. I’m very much looking forward to testing the new MG3 and MG6 in the very near future (keep your eyes peeled) as they both appear to closely fit the above criteria in that they offer incredible value for money combined with great looks and technology.
A second manufacturer that MotorMartin has been following closely since its UK launch back in 2013 is that of Dacia. Almost three years after its launch in the UK, the 3,500,000th global Dacia customer was handed the keys to her Sandero Stepway by Denis Le Vot, Groupe Renault’s Sales & Marketing Senior Vice President for Europe G9, at SMC Dacia in Aldershot, Hampshire on Friday.
Jody Panov, a married mother of two, is now the happy owner of a Dacia Sandero Stepway – the first new car she has ever purchased – the 3,500,000th Dacia sold since the brand’s revival in 2004.
“Today we are handing over the key to the 3.5 millionth Dacia and I am very pleased to be doing so in the UK, where the brand was launched in 2013,” said Le Vot. “In reaching this milestone of 3.5 million customers, Dacia confirms its success thanks to a clear and simple promise that perfectly meets the expectations of customers seeking safe, reliable cars with modern features and services at affordable prices.”
MotorMartin was also made aware that in attendance at the handover was Managing Director of Group Renault UK, Ken Ramirez who said: “Dacia has enjoyed fantastic success in the short period since it launched in the UK and is now the country’s first choice ‘smart buy’ car brand. Dacia is young and fresh, but above all, it offers the consumer ‘shockingly affordable’ value for money with a no-nonsense approach to purchasing a safe and reliable new car. Mrs Panov is now one of 3.5 million customers who agree with the Dacia way of motoring, and I hope she and her family enjoy their brand-new Dacia Sandero Stepway.” Without wishing to labour the point let’s remember that MotorMartin’s focus is on ‘real life’ motoring. 3.5 million customers would also appear to have the same values.
Jody said: “The Sandero Stepway is the ideal family car for us and I love the looks and how it’s got a good level of standard equipment with sat nav and parking sensors. I couldn’t believe how affordable it was and when I was at the dealership to place the order, I kept thinking there must be some hidden cost somewhere! Then finding out that I was the 3.5 millionth person to buy a new Dacia was even more of a surprise.”
SMC Dacia in Aldershot has represented Dacia ever since the brand was launched in the UK, and the family-owned dealer group also operates a further Dacia dealership in Weybridge.
Mike Jeffs, General Manager, SMC Dacia, Aldershot, commented: ‘We’re extremely pleased to present Mrs Panov with the 3.5 millionth Dacia and she joins the ever-increasing amount of customers who we have introduced to the brand, our sales growing year-on-year as more and more drivers recognise the brand’s unrivalled blend of value and quality.”
In the UK, Dacia regularly outperforms much larger and well-established brands in its segment thanks to strong Sandero, Duster and Logan sales, with over 62,000 Dacias sold in the UK since its launch in April 2013. Mrs Panov certainly isn’t alone in her purchase of the Sandero, as the most popular vehicle in the line-up has sold more than 37,000 examples in under three years. October year-to-date, Dacia sales represented 21,804 vehicles, increasing by 5.7 per cent compared to last year.
It’s a similar situation of growth in Europe for Dacia, with sales increasing by 5.5 per cent during the first half of the year to 205,436 units. In France, Dacia steadfastly remains in fifth place on the passenger vehicle market, with 5.3 per cent of market share, and in fourth place overall for retail customer sales.
So good news then for Dacia and its customers and yet I wonder how the larger manufacturers will respond?
Where will you go?