Renault-owned Romanian manufacturer Dacia is coming to Australia but it’s unlikely anything will happen until at least 2025, according to local distributor Ateco.
Renault Australia boss Glen Sealey told CarExpert the local market would be very interested in the brand but some things need to happen first.
“They need to bring out a new generation and once they bring out a new generation they need to bring out right-hand drive ones and then they need to engineer it for Australia,” Mr Sealey said.
Of Dacia’s current product lineup, the models that will interest Australia are the Duster and Bigster (which is still in concept form), according to Mr Sealey.
The current second-generation Duster has been out since 2017 and an all-new model is expected around 2025, which is when the Bigster is likely to go into production.
As for where the brand will be positioned, Mr Sealey says it’s unlikely the price position will match that of the current flock of Chinese manufacturers.
“The pricing for Dacia in Europe today is alongside Chinese pricing and even better in some cases, but the Chinese pay 10 per cent duty to go to Europe but Dacia is there for free,” Mr Sealey explained.
“In Australia, Dacia would have to pay five per cent to come here and Chinese are coming here for free. So 15 per cent turnaround and additional freight cost from Europe and all of a sudden there is no way you are matching that.”
According to Mr Sealey, the interest in Dacia will be limited to just a few models to start with and it still very much depends on whether parent company Renault will invest the extra resources in making the cars compliant for Australia.
“The only way we can see Dacia working in Australia is to pick a couple of models that work for the Australian lifestyle and Duster is one of those for sure. Rugged design, good approach and departure angles, light and relatively inexpensive,” said Mr Sealey.
Renault Australia does have some extra sway in matters now, given the local distributor’s success in 2022 has seen our market enter the top 10 in terms of sales for the French manufacturer. This makes the possibility of Dacia’s entry down under more likely.
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