Renault´s November sales figures have been released. Good or bad or what?
Renault UK released their latest sales figures on Wednesday. The headline, as they present it, is that their sales are still increasing, a 20 month upward trend. They make the point that their percentage change is ahead of the general market trend too. They sold 61,172 vehicles in the year to date, which is almost a 50% improvement on last year. 5,586 of those were sold in November. The biggest contributor to this increase is probably the popularity of the Clio and Captur though Renault include the Zoe in with the 76% that these vehicles contribute to the total number. Do they sell ten of these a month? EIght? Thirty? You can see why Renault decided to ditch their larger vehicles in the UK a few years back. The action is at the lower levels of the price ladder. Those Lagunas were just taking up space.
Statistics as we know are not value free. While it´s welcome for Renault to see their sales increasing, the reference point is something of a nadir in Renault´s UK fortunes. And reliance on small cars and niche models is not healthy. The best margins are always on the larger cars which is why Mercedes and BMW make such fat profits most of the time. Further, large cars add prestige to smaller ones. A small Mercedes of the same dimensions as a mainstream car benefits from the shared DNA with the top-line luxury models, if the customer believes it´s cut from the same cloth that is.
In related news, Dacia has also reported improved sales and better market penetration. One might wonder how much Dacia is cannibalising Renault´s business. I rather like the rubber welly image of Dacia and see them as being good value. One might be tempted to ask how many people are going shopping for a Renault and driving home in a Dacia.