PARIS (Bloomberg) -- Renault's Dacia brand will begin selling low-cost cars online to defend its leadership of Europe's surging budget-vehicle market against rival PSA/Peugeot-Citroen, which is considering an online-only European sales model for vehicles it plans to build with China's Changan Automobile Group.
Dacia will experiment with an Internet sales program in Europe to prepare a wider rollout in the region next year, Gerard Detourbet, head of the company's low-cost entry program, said.
"Internet sales will quickly become a reality," Detourbet said. "Many of our customers know what they want before they step into our showrooms, so an online sales channel makes sense."
PSA is considering an online-only European sales model for vehicles it plans to build with China Changan Automobile Group Co., sales chief Jean-Marc Gales said at the Geneva auto show this week.
Combined with stripped-down models introduced by Asian rivals, the PSA move challenges the Dacia Sandero and other low-cost cars that account for an increasing share of Renault's deliveries.