Currently reading: No electrified Dacia Sandero until it "becomes an issue"
Dacia sales boss Xavier Martinet said pure-ICE power is a big factor in the Sandero's accessibility

Dacia will not electrify its best-selling Sandero hatchback until its pure-combustion engine offering "becomes an issue" for customers.

The Dacia Sandero has been Europe's best-selling car to private customers since 2017, having sold some 270,000 units in the region in 2023 - a 17.6% increase on the year before.

It is one of the most affordable superminis on the market and remains available exclusively with a choice of pure-petrol and LPG engines even as rivals gain hybrid or pure-EV options.

Dacia's sales and marketing boss Xavier Martinet said sticking with pure-ICE power is a big factor in the Sandero's accessibility, and the company does not plan to launch hybrid or electric variants until it is certain the market demand exists.

He said: "When we have to launch [an electric Sandero] in due time, the question is really not: technically, what can we do? It's really about when is it really demanded, asked for by customers? When does it become an issue of not having an EV?

"We have the same question about HEV (hybrid electric vehicle) on Sandero. Can we have HEV on Sandero? Yes, we could: we have the HEV on the Captur and the Clio so there is no question whatsoever.

"On the technical side, the question is more: do your customers want to pay several thousand euros or several thousand pounds today to buy a hybrid? And the answer is today: not so much."

The Sandero is now the only model in the Dacia line-up not to have an electrified option, with the Jogger and Duster both now available with hybrid power.

The Sandero shares its CMF-B architecture with the Renault Clio, which is available as a hybrid, but Martinet says offering the same powertrain in the Sandero would threaten its value positioning and possibly dent its appeal.

He said: "We could offer everything on the CMF platform: you could have gasoline, diesel, LPG or PHEV - they exist as offers today, and you could have all of that. But if you put everything to open up that diversity, there's a cost associated to debt, and who pays the cost at the end? The customer.

"We have no HEV, no PHEV, so you're reducing the investment, and who benefits from that? The customer. Making choices is the toughest part of the job, but I think that shows Dacia is one of the few brands in Europe which can actually make some bold choices."

According to Dacia, the non-turbocharged Sandero SCe 65 is as carbon-intensive as the next-generation Duster hybrid over 124,000 miles, due to reduced emissions from material procurement for the less complex model.

The Sandero is due to be replaced in 2027/2028 by a new-generation car that is highly likely to bring the option of electric power – one that majors on affordability, rather than offering a long range or quick charging times.


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"There should be some kind of EV offer on the car, which is the top-selling retail model in Europe since 2017. But again, we'll see in due time," said Martinet. 

Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

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HiPo 289 26 February 2024

It's an issue now. 

Because EVs are much cheaper to run that ICE cars. So the sooner Dacia, which is a budget brand, starts making cheap EVs, the happier their customers will be.