Renault CEO says European superminis could double in priceMay 3, 2021
European B-segment cars with internal combustion engines could double in price. But this does not mean that they will disappear.
In many markets, B-segment subcompacts or superminis are dying out. In some European countries, these types of new cars still dominate, but in many regions small crossovers have become the new norm for urban transportation. However, with cumulative sales of approximately 2.25 million in 2020, European manufacturers are still interested in the B segment.
Making it even more difficult for small cars to be produced, new stringent emission standards are being planned across the continent. Euro 7 regulations will come into effect at the end of 2025 and pose another challenge for B-segment models with combustion engines. And this may mean that they will become much more expensive.
The head of Renault Group, Luca de Meo, noted that the cars from segment B are close to being unprofitable. However, things can change for the better.
“There is a starting price for cleaning any internal combustion engine. You need a particulate filter containing platinum, rhodium and other expensive materials, whether it goes for the € 15,000 Clio or the € 120,000 Mercedes S-Class. Of course, the S-class filter is slightly larger, but it is much cheaper in percentage terms. The buyer can afford to pay. But it is getting harder and harder for small car companies, ”he told UK-based Autocar.
De Meo said combustion-powered superminis could double in price once Euro 7 comes into effect. Only electric cars can save the situation.
“The cost of batteries is dropping by about 10% per year. And small EVs need smaller batteries, so they are even cheaper in percentage terms than family EVs. The moment is approaching when the two cost curves intersect. At this point, the electric car will become more viable in Europe, ”he explained.
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