(Reuters) – Dacia, the Renault group’s low-cost brand, announced on Tuesday a significant increase in sales, up 24.2% in the first six months of the year, driven by the success of its four main models.

Despite an improvement in the situation, supply chain problems persist, particularly in Morocco, where production of the Sandero city car was cut by 20,000 units during the period, an executive said.

The Dacia range, several vehicles of which enjoy strong popularity, sold 345,432 units between January and June, compared to 277,885 units over the same period in 2022, even as the market continues to be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and component shortages.

The four main models in the range all recorded growth in the first six months of the year, with sales of the hybrid-powered family estate Jogger jumping 130% and accounting for more than one in four customer orders.

Sales of the Spring, made in China, one of the most affordable electric models on the French market, increased by 38% and those of the Sandero city car by 24%.

Xavier Martinet, Dacia’s marketing, sales and operations director, however, told reporters on a conference call that demand was weaker in most countries, citing in particular concerns over mortgages in the UK or exchange rates, which for many customers translate into questions about the options available to them.

“This is where Dacia can be a very interesting alternative,” he said.

He also said that while the trend is improving, supply issues continued to hamper production.

“Maybe last year the car was missing three parts and now it’s only two missing. So the situation is improving, but is it improving? I don’t know, because we can’t build all the cars we want to build yet,” said Xavier Martinet.

(Report Diana Mandiá and Augustin Turpin, edited by Kate Entringer)

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