What if Dacia was the only car brand in tune with the times?

What if Dacia was the only car brand in tune with the times?

For a century and a half, like all the rest of the industry, the automobile has only had the credo of “always more”. And if we didn’t wait to be able to cross the Loire on foot or to see half of the Landes burn to impose standards on manufacturers on emissions from their cars – Euro 1 dates from 1992! –, this year 2022 sounds like a click for the greatest number. To the shortages of all kinds hampering the resumption of post-Covid activity was added the war between Russia and Ukraine. Suddenly, lead-free at €3/litre became a reality and raw materials, from gas to aluminium, began to run out. Something to anchor in people’s minds once and for all, that after the long period of the floodgates wide open, we will now have to “do more with less”. A new mantra that also applies to the automotive sector, even if only the small end of the telescope.

Dacia, from low cost to cool

However, to see the escalation in the electric car, we say to ourselves that salvation is not for now. Wanting to provide their “zero emissions” with the same ability to travel without thinking as with an internal combustion engine that can be refueled in three minutes, manufacturers are developing huge batteries, which consume energy in rare earths or, at all the least, in components of all kinds. Dozens of kilowatt hours and hundreds of kilos that we hope to be able to recycle one day and which, in the meantime, do not really stick to the idea of ​​sobriety. Not to mention the technological content of our connected cars that we are dangled as an extension of ourselves. Let’s be clear, progress is a necessity, but the electric car, heavy, expensive and polluting in its own way, will not save the planet.

On the sidelines, there is a brand that seems to be on a more consistent trajectory with our real needs. A short time seen as a low-cost label, Dacia now embodies the smart brand. Served by an economic and industrial context sadly shaped for him, the Romanian manufacturer, under the leadership of Renault, is boldly playing his luck. He confirmed it again during the presentation of his latest Manifesto concept (video above), promising to go “even further, tomorrow”. More than on this slogan, which is as vague as it is promising, it is above all necessary to concentrate on the facts.

The Dacia Jogger is off to a good start in 2022.
The Dacia Jogger is off to a good start in 2022.© Dacia

Well-thought-out, well-built cars

To keep prices tight, Dacia limits customization on board its cars. Where a Jogger offers a maximum of 350 combinations, competitors offer thousands. In fact, industrialization is optimized and fewer materials are needed. It includes recycled plastic. If it struggles to establish itself with other manufacturers for obvious image reasons, it has its place on a robust Duster where it already accounts for 12% while the next generation will use twice as much.. Conversely, since its change of identity, Dacia no longer uses chrome and, as can be seen elsewhere, no animal leather. A logic that also applies to showrooms, whose renewal will begin next year using simple materials available in several formats depending on the size of the concession.

Moreover, by leaving only the essentials in the equipment, Dacia manages to contain the weight of its cars. We checked it on our independent scale, a Sandero peaks at 1,100 kg while the Duster and Jogger are around 1,300 kg, the latter being around 350 kg lighter than its similar opponents. Less material, less weight and the key, a necessarily minimized impact in use. We first think of consumption, but that’s without counting the preserved consumables such as brakes and tires. Which also reject fewer particles on friction.

The Dacia Sandero now starts at €10,990.
The Dacia Sandero now starts at €10,990.© Dacia

A boulevard for the future

Finally, Dacia is, with its parent company Renault, the only manufacturer to play the LPG card. An oh so judicious choice that reduces CO2 emissions by 10% and a cost of use by around 40%. Still under discussion, the Euro7 standard will certainly preserve the use of this gas, which is now transparent to use.. Like a Toyota which still relies heavily on hybrids, Dacia suggests that 500,000 cars – this is the number of cars running on LPG in Europe – which emit 10% less CO2 are better, for the climate, only a few tens of thousands of electric vehicles. Without depriving himself of covering this segment with his Spring. Closer to the cart than to a modern automobile, the Romanian has nevertheless won over 40,000 customers on the Old Continent and remains to this day the cheapest electric vehicle on the market.. “Dacia will go electric when it needs to, but not before“, we assure internally. As always, at the right time.

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