Dacia considers Citroen Ami rival to tap new market
Dacia is looking at the viability of a diminutive, barebones city car in the vein of the Citroën Ami in a bid to tap into the rapidly growing shared urban mobility market. The Romanian brand is currently expanding its market footprint outside of its core B-segment offering and there is potential to reach downwards into the market for tiny urban EVs, as Dacia design boss David Durand revealed to Autocar.
While he questioned whether cars have a place in the most congested urban environments (“why do you need a car in the centre of the city?”), he acknowledged that public transport doesn’t work for everyone and bicycles aren’t a suits-all mobility solution, saying: “Two wheels, for many people, is dangerous.”
Durand admitted to being a fan of the Citroën Ami approach to affordable mobility, and when asked if Dacia could launch a rival product, he said: “We are considering everything.” Dacia’s essentials-only ethos would seem to stand it in good stead to compete in this segment. Last year’s Manifesto off-road buggy concept gave clues about how it plans to combine utility with affordability in future models, most realistically with its phone-based infotainment system, washable upholstery, easily replaceable body panels and single headlight cluster. These are all features that befit a compact urban EV.
It’s unclear whether the Spring’s CMF-AEV platform can be shrunk further to provide a base for a true ‘sub-A0’ city car. However, Renault’s newly hived-off mobility brand, Mobilize, recently revealed the Twizy-esque Duo as a no-frills EV designed for car-sharing schemes and this would seem a logical base for any Dacia equivalent.
But Durand is convinced that European governments should do more to incentivise the purchase of tiny electric cars in this vein. Pointing to Japan’s kei car classifications as an example of how regulation can drive uptake of more spaceefficient cars, he suggested Dacia would only enter this market if the legislative conditions were right. “The regulation doesn’t exist yet. There is nothing pushing customers to buy a car under the Spring,” he said.
Sales and marketing boss Xavier Martinet suggested that Dacia will not seek to expand its line-up purely to provide a competitor in every segment: “We have to know when to stop. We should not be getting to 15 vehicles. It’s not who we are. We should keep this disciplined, limited proposition.”
Tiny Dacia EV would be a no-frills car with ride sharing in mind. Many key features of the Manifesto concept would suit an Ami rival
Tiny Dacia EV would be a no-frills car with ride sharing in mind