Currently reading: Dacia: "we won't discount cars"
Renault’s budget brand won’t trade its no-discounts principals for UK market success

Renault may be gearing up for the UK market launch of Dacia, but as senior company officials have warned this week, a permanent place for the Romanian budget brand in our showrooms is far from certain.

At the international press launch of the new Sandero and Sandero Stepway, in response to questions about the robustness of the firm’s strict 'no discounts' policy on sales, Renault UK and Dacia representatives launched an impassioned defence of a philosophy by which models will be marketed and sold at low list prices - but absolutely no lower.

It’s a strategy that runs contrary to the way that many volume-brand cars are sold in Britain – through either dealer- or manufacturer-funded list price offers. "It’s a key part of the Dacia brand: transparent value-for-money," said Renault UK managing director Thierry Sybord. "And we won’t kill the brand for Britain. I believe that buyers in the UK will respond to the simplicity of buying a Dacia — but if I’m wrong, we will just pull out."

Renault’s plan for the UK rollout of Dacia is a tentative one, made possible by the global success of Dacia, and the lack of pressure to push cars into the market. Every Renault dealer in the country has bought into the Dacia franchise, and will represent the brand either by a specially branded ‘Dacia Corner’ in their showrooms or with external ‘Dacia Boxes’ on the forecourt. 

But cars will not be kept in stock in the UK — every one will be the product of an individual customer order, with lead times of between three- and six months expected. For that reason, and because Dacia orders will not count towards dealer sales bonuses, the kind of deals sometimes seen with other brands – often struck to deliver volume-related sales rewards or to manage supply – won’t be necessary.

It isn’t for Renault to rule outright on how dealers should sell Dacias, and a spokesperson did admit that, with more richly equipped cars, those dealers will have a little bargaining room. But the same source confirmed that dealer margin on entry-level Access models is very low – a deliberate tactic to motivate them to ‘up-sell’. There are also special sales rewards for cars sold with extended five- and seven-year warranties.

Renault UK is aiming to secure one per cent of the UK new car market with its Dacia brand in 2013 – an ambition that will amount to selling just short of 20,000 cars, through a dealer network that will expand to just under 150 showrooms this month. There are already 1700 confirmed orders for the Duster compact SUV, which will be made in right-hand-drive form at Renault-Nissan’s Chennai plant, in India. Right-hand drive Sanderos and Sandero Stepways will be built in Pitesti, Romania.

Matt Saunders

Matt Saunders Autocar
Title: Road test editor

As Autocar’s chief car tester and reviewer, it’s Matt’s job to ensure the quality, objectivity, relevance and rigour of the entirety of Autocar’s reviews output, as well contributing a great many detailed road tests, group tests and drive reviews himself.

Matt has been an Autocar staffer since the autumn of 2003, and has been lucky enough to work alongside some of the magazine’s best-known writers and contributors over that time. He served as staff writer, features editor, assistant editor and digital editor, before joining the road test desk in 2011.

Since then he’s driven, measured, lap-timed, figured, and reported on cars as varied as the Bugatti Veyron, Rolls-Royce PhantomTesla RoadsterAriel Hipercar, Tata Nano, McLaren SennaRenault Twizy and Toyota Mirai. Among his wider personal highlights of the job have been covering Sebastien Loeb’s record-breaking run at Pikes Peak in 2013; doing 190mph on derestricted German autobahn in a Brabus Rocket; and driving McLaren’s legendary ‘XP5’ F1 prototype. His own car is a trusty Mazda CX-5.

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n50pap 6 December 2012

Dacia's "no discount" policy.

I seem to remember that Daewoo used the same tack when they appeared in the UK.  They were based on old GM models and did appear to offer value for money with servicing included in the fixed "no-haggle" price.

The fact that Dacia are being sold alongside Renault models that will be discounted might mean that customers could get a better Renault model at roughly the same price as a Dacia with extras.

I suppose it all depends on what you have to spend and what you're prepared to accept in a car.  Presumably the "no discount" policy will mean that customers aren't made to feel terrible for asking for one.  Some sales people can make you feel like you're demanding the impossible.

paddyb 5 December 2012

Sandero Stepway vs Stannah Stairlift

Sandero Stepway vs Stannah Stairlift - any thoughts?


androo 6 December 2012

paddyb wrote: Sandero

paddyb wrote:

Sandero Stepway vs Stannah Stairlift - any thoughts?


Can a family of four go to the seaside on a Stannah Stairlift?


paddyb 6 December 2012

androo wrote:   Can a family

androo wrote:


Can a family of four go to the seaside on a Stannah Stairlift?



No, but can a Sandero Stepway take you up a flight of stairs?

Suzuki QT 5 December 2012

So it's "goodbye" to Dacia then ...

No discounts? ... Then I'm afraid that we (UK buyers) will be waving "goodbye" to Dacia ... Whilst I can see the firm not budging (much) on the price of their basic Access model, they simply must offer discounts on their Ambiance and Laureate models ...

NO car manufacturer would EVER sell their cars at a loss, so even the £5,995 Access model has some element of profit built into it ...

Indeed, I managed to get £2,500 OFF a brand new "£9,999" car (admitedly with MUCH haggling) ...