You’ve Probably Never Heard of Europe’s Best-Selling Car

In America, car sales are kind of predictable, as pickup trucks like the Ford F-150 or SUVs like the Toyota RAV4 dominate almost every month. That said, Europe is a very different place than America, and it’s exactly why Europe’s best-selling car in July 2021 was the Dacia Sandero. What’s the Dacia Sandero? It’s a car made by Dacia, and it’s pretty obvious that most Americans have never heard of either the company or its car.

What is the Dacia Sandero anyways?

The Dacia Sandero compact car model at the AMI 2009 Leipzig Motor Show
The Dacia Sandero compact car model | Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Off the bat, many Americans have probably never heard of Dacia or the Sandero because neither are available in America. Based on its specs, it’s easy to see why that is. According to What Car, Dacia is a Romanian company ultimately owned by the French company Renault. The basic idea of the Sandero is that it’s a small but affordable car. 

It costs about $11,000 to $18,000, depending on the trim, and it doesn’t have much space, to say the least. Similarly, according to What Car, the Sandero’s engine options are also quite small. There are a few variations between them, but they are all about 1 liter. As such, their horsepower ratings top out at about 100. The standard engine, however, gets about 70 horsepower at best. 

The Sandero’s small size and engine would probably not sell well in the U.S. However, in Europe, the Sandero was the best-selling car of July 2021.

Just how well the Dacia Sandero sold in July

According to Jalopnik, in July 2021, the Sandero narrowly beat off the Volkswagen Golf to claim the top prize as the best-selling car of the month in Europe. This is mainly because the Golf saw a massive drop in sales compared to July 2020, while the Sandero was relatively unscathed. The Golf sold about 19,400 units in July 2021, while the Sandero sold about 20,400 units. 

However, the Sandero was able to claim this prize for the first time in its life for more reasons than that. Jalopnik wrote that the most recent Sandero is part of a new generation of the car. As such, its sales jumped significantly in many parts of Europe. For instance, the Sandero saw a 15% gain in Germany and a 24% gain in Romania.

The Sandero wasn’t the only Dacia model to sell well in July, though. Jalopnik reported that the Dacia Duster was also in the top 10 sales for the month. The Duster ended up in eighth place, with about 13,300 units. However, while the Sandero didn’t see much of a drop in sales, the Duster did. Compared to July 2020, the Duster sold about 19% fewer cars than before.

The other best-selling cars in Europe

Since Dacia seems to be selling well, it’s no surprise that, according to Jalopnik, other cars sold in Europe but not available in the U.S. did well. For example, the Ford Puma came in at ninth place, right behind the Duster. Despite being a Ford, the Puma won’t be available in the U.S. anytime soon. Another car that sold well in Europe was the VW ID.3. The ID.3 was the best-selling EV in Europe in July, but unfortunately, it also isn’t available in America.

However, quite a few cars that sold well in Europe are available in America. For example, the VW ID.4 and the Ford Mustang Mach-E were in sixth and seventh place in terms of EVs, respectively, and they’re both available in the U.S. Furthermore, the Hyundai Tucson, which came in sixth place for regular cars, is also available in America. 

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