Dacia, EU's Fastest Growing Brand in March

New car registrations in the European Union rose 10.8 percent in March, representing the month’s biggest growth in years, helped by demand in the four largest markets excepting Germany. According to statistics from industry group ACEA, new registrations amounted to 1.64 million vehicles, the all-time best for the month of March.

However, analysts say volume carmakers have plenty to worry about, since the growth has been fueled by government scrapping programs that are now over. The largest market in Europe, Germany, fell 27% in March after the “cash for clunkers” scheme ended last September. Its place as the number one European market has been taken by the UK, with 400,000 new cars sold in March.

Dacia benefitted the most from this scrappage-fueled sales rise, the low-cost Renault owned brand recording sales 62 percent higher in March 2010 than in the same month last year. 31,012 Dacia vehicles were registered throughout Europe. Demand for affordable, spartan models like the Sandero hatchback remained strong, the Romanian brand almost matching Seat’s market share of 2.1 percent in March.

Dacia reached this performance only six years after its relaunch with the debut of the Logan sedan. Dacia’s marketshare is expected to grow since the company launched recently its Duster SUV, the cheapest 4x4 on the market. Other than Dacia, the biggest growth was recorded by the main two brands of the Franch-Japanese alliance: Nissan, with 42 percent (43,428 vehicles sold) and Renault, which rose 33 percent to 165,239 units, fueled mainly by France’s incentive program.

The best selling brand in Europe in March is Ford, recording 198,143 new-car registrations, a 20 percent increase as compared to the same month last year.
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