Next-generation Dacia Sandero will have EV option, brand CEO says

Next-generation Dacia Sandero will have EV option, brand CEO says

Automotive News Europe — 2024-03-01

Automotive Industry

The current Sandero, Europe's No. 2-seller, does not have an electrified version. That will change in 2027 or 2028.

The next-generation Dacia Sandero will have a full-electric variant when it arrives in 2027 or 2028, brand CEO Denis Le Vot said.

The Sandero is the best-selling car for Dacia, Renault Group’s entry brand. With 235,839 sales in 2023, the small hatchback was also No. 2 overall in Europe, according to figures from Dataforce, behind only the Tesla Model Y. The current generation Sandero was launched in 2020.

But in keeping with Dacia’s strategy of using slightly older technology, it does not have an electrified option. That will change when the next generation appears, Le Vot told Automotive News Europe at the auto show here this last week of February 2024.

The next-generation Sandero will have internal combustion engine, but it will also have an electric version,” he said. “It will be born in 2027 or 2028 and run up to 2035,” when the EU will mandate sales of only zero-emission cars.

After the Sandero, Dacia will then face questions about the next generation of Duster small SUV, which will be due around 2032. The Duster generation going on sale this spring 2024 in Europe is an all-new vehicle, with hybrid power, on a more modern Renault-Nissan platform, CMF-B, the same that underpins the Sandero. 

The next-generation Sandero will be a huge car,” Le Vot said, adding that the hatchback would benefit from development work being done by Renault Group on small electric cars, including the Renault 5 launched at Geneva and the forthcoming Renault 4 small SUV. 

Le Vot said the brand is still deciding whether to stay in the minicar segment after the Dacia Spring electric minicar completes its life cycle. Renault Group is developing the next generation Twingo as a sub-20,000 EV that would be built in Europe, and Dacia could potentially benefit from that project, he acknowledged.

It’s not really about the A- or B-segment [minicar or small], but about bringing affordable electromobility to the market,” Le Vot said.

Renault's Ampere EV company has developed the AmpR Small platform for the Renault 4 and 5. The next Twingo will be built on a modified version.

The China-built Spring -- which Le Vot called a “blockbuster” car for Dacia -- has been face-lifted this year, with a overhauled interior and user interface, larger 15-inch wheels, and new body cladding. It is also entering the UK market. Those changes should help the Spring overcome the loss of EV incentives in France, its largest market, and new competitors from Citroen and even the Renault 5 at about €25,000.

The price of the Spring will average €20,000 in Europe, Le Vot said, and even less in certain markets. “Competition will come; we expected that, it's normal,” he said. “What you can see is that there is a market for accessbly priced electromobility and we know that better than anyone.”

Similar to the Spring, the revamped Duster is also facing new rivals in the small SUV segment, including the MG ZS from China, which is available for less than €15,000 in Spain. 

The Duster will start at just less than €20,000, but Le Vot said it remains a true off-road-capable SUV, with available four-wheel-drive and shallow approach and departure angles. 

It’s used by every forest service in Europe as well as lots of police departments. They are buying something robust and sturdy,” he said. 

Another advantage is the Duster’s available 140-hp E-Tech full-hybrid drivetrain, which makes its very efficient, he said.

The Duster will be joined by the Bigster, a compact SUV based on an extended version of the CMF-B platform, in 2025. The Bigster will be more of a “cruising” vehicle than the Duster, Le Vot said. 

Beyond the Bigster, Dacia’s product plan includes two more cars on the platform, but Le Vot declined to share details.

With the Bigster, Dacia will have two cars in the compact segment including the Jogger crossover, he said. He said other brands may withdraw internal-combustion models from the segment, which would leave room for more body styles from Dacia.

Dacia's 2023 global sales topped 650,000 in 2023, with more than 550,000 in Europe, where the brand had a record market share of 4.3% for passenger cars. Future growth will require a reshuffling of its production footprint, Le Vot said. 

The brand is in the process of moving all Sandero and Jogger production to Morocco, as the the two vehicles are similar up to the B-pillar, while Dacia’s main factory in Pitesti, Romania, will build the Duster and Bigster, which are also similar.

That arrangement “should be OK for the next 12 months,” he said, “but in the future we will probably need to enhance our production base.