PARIS -- Dacia’s sales were up 3 percent in 2021, an increase that can be largely attributed to the Spring, a minicar built in China that is the least-expensive full-electric vehicle on the European market.
There were 27,876 Springs registered starting in March, with 46,000 orders since then, Dacia said Monday.
The Spring was first sold to short-term rental services, then to retail customers in the third quarter. It is also available as a small commercial vehicle with the rear seat removed.
Dacia sales and marketing chief Xavier Martinet said that 80 percent of Spring sales were to private buyers despite the early focus on rental fleets, a percentage that is in line with Dacia overall. The "value for money" brand has preserved margins by avoiding less-profitable sales channels.
The key draw for Dacia buyers is the Spring’s price: As low as 17,000 euros ($19,400) exclusive of incentives, at a time when most EVs are selling for well over 30,000 euros in Europe.
With incentives, a base-model Spring costs less than 13,000 euros in France and 11,000 euros in Germany. It is just 8,250 euros in Romania.
Couple that to low running costs, and the Spring is meeting the needs of minicar (or A segment) buyers, Martinet said Monday in a round table with journalists. Renault’s research showed that minicar owners drove an average of 31 km a day, and data from Spring owners show they are driving 20 to 40 km a day, and charge once or perhaps twice a week.
The Spring has a range of 230 km (143 miles) on the WLTP mixed test cycle.