2012 – the year that Katie Taylor won gold at The Olympics in London, Barack Obama won another four-year term, the iPhone 5 was launched and sadly the world lost Whitney Houston, and Ireland Maeve Binchy and Kerry’s finest Paidi O‘Se.
2012 was also the year Ireland was in recession after the banking crisis and failed bailouts and the year that Dacia the brand arrived, albeit in left-hand drive-in Ireland. At the time the media said that Dacia could not have come to Ireland at a better time, when people were looking for smart buys and value for money. It was reported that Dacia brought a refreshing smart-buy concept to Ireland and would continue to be one of the most exciting motor stories of the year.
And so, it was, and 10 years later Dacia is still a game changer but now a mainstream volume brand in Ireland.
It has been ‘shockingly affordable’, it asked people to just ‘do the maths’ and today given the rising cost of living the customer response is ‘good thinking’ as it continues to be the best value for money brand that constantly redefines the essentials.
January 2013 saw the first registrations for Sandero and Duster with Stepway following in March and the Logan MCV in September. In 2016 Dacia registered its 10,000th vehicle in Ireland just three years after its first. The models progressed and the volumes went up and in 2019 20,000 Dacia vehicles had been registered here.
Today over 30,000 Dacia vehicles have been registered in Ireland.
Dacia also wins awards … Sandero was the Irish Compact Car of the Year in 2022 and ranks third in the B segment year to date, while the iconic and bestselling model Duster ranks eighth in the competitive C-SUV segment. The Dacia range was expanded this year with the launch of all-new Jogger, the 7-seater family car and went on to be the Overall Winner of the AA Ireland Car of the Year.
Dacia now commands 3.2% of overall market share, a great achievement for a car brand that has been on the Irish market for just ten years.
Last year the Dacia story continued with a new chapter, building on a strong and efficient new business model and it also introduced us to the New Dacia Bigster Concept which embodies the Dacia brand evolution, taking the company to new customers and segments.
In true Dacia style, the Bigster Concept is roomy, robust, and meant for open air and dusty roads while exploring new horizons. A 4.6-metre-long SUV with no more or no less than the essential, the Bigster is the Dacia way of making the C-segment accessible, delivering a larger, more capable vehicle at the cost buyers would expect from the segment below and soon to be made a reality in 2024.
This year Dacia also revealed its new brand identity which includes a new logo, rolled out simultaneously across its entire range, new dealerships, new design and new colours. All Irish Dacia dealerships will have the new brand identity in place by the first half of 2024, with over 70% completed by end of next year. Dacia stays Dacia, as affordable as ever, with an even stronger brand identity.
The Dacia Manifesto concept car was also revealed this year and while it does not prefigure a future production model, it embodies Dacia’s vision of essential, cool, robust, affordable and environmentally friendly vehicles. It is a testing ground for the latest innovative features, some of which will end up on production models. The concept is eco-smart, using Starkle®, a unique material which is made using 20% recycled plastic with a speckled appearance. It will also make its debut on the next generation Duster.
Dacia came to Ireland at a time when banks were not lending and thanks to Mobilize Financial Services (MFS), formerly Dacia Bank, over €300 million has been lent to new and used Dacia customers since 2013 with over €130 million lent to Duster customers.
Dacia continues to be the smart buy with over 60% of customers taking a PCP and brand loyalty is high. Residual values for Dacia vehicles are hugely positive with values at 85% of the original price list of a three-year-old car.
For 231 Dacia customers taking finance with Mobilize Financial Services will not have any interest rate increases in the first quarter despite the expected market increase and the recommended retail pricing will be held until 31st January. Dacia is offering a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty on all models registered before 31st January 2023 exclusive to Mobilize Financial Services (MFS) customers.
Ten years on, a lot has changed, but Dacia remains the smart buy and best value for money brand in Ireland that constantly refines the essentials.
Paddy Magee, Country Operations Director, Dacia Ireland: “We are so proud of Dacia which has grown in the past 10 years into an established, trusted and smart buy brand in Ireland. From the first media test drives in the left-hand drive Dusters in 2012 to the award winning Sandero and All New Jogger 7-seater, best-selling Duster and amazing concepts like Bigster which will see production in 2024 and Manifesto which will be a lab for future features on our cars – the brand has really evolved.
“Huge kudos to the dealerships that embraced the Dacia brand and are on their new brand identity journey and to the Irish customer for making the smart choice over the years. Having our own finance arm has made a huge difference to the volumes of Dacia vehicles on Irish roads and we believe that the brand has many more stories to tell.”