Astra, Ariya, C5 X, 308: but where have the novelties gone?

You were waiting for it, you were finally able to discover yesterday on Caradisiac the first test of the Dacia Jogger. To see this 7-seater station wagon in dealerships, still have a little patience, the first copies will arrive in the coming weeks, in time for the big launch at the March open house.

Dacia has thus kept to the schedule mentioned during the presentation of its family vehicle, at the beginning of September. Five/six months ago. This may seem long when you compare it to a new smartphone, which appears on the shelves after a fortnight. But it is related to the lifespan of a car, which is seven years on average, when a phone is renewed by its manufacturer each year.

Two years delay for the Nissan Ariya

It’s usual to wait a few months for a new car, especially since the time between the official release of the model and its arrival at points of sale is generally punctuated by unmissable events, including the opening of orders and the first tests. It is therefore a well-orchestrated timing, which will in particular allow the customer to wait and not to go elsewhere.

But these days, we see a small slippage in waiting times! We thus wondered where had gone several novelties unveiled this time a long time ago. In showrooms, there is still no trace of the Opel Astra, unveiled in July 2021 and promised for a launch in early 2022. Contacted, Opel told us that it will finally be for April. At Citroën, the C5 X is still absent subscribers when we discovered it in April 2021. Expected for January / February, it will be rather in April too.

Another wanted poster: the Nissan Ariya. It is not in concession, not available for order… although it was presented in July 2020 (yes 2020). The Japanese brand has told us that the opening of reservations will begin shortly in France and that deliveries are expected for this summer, two years later!

Semiconductors disrupt launches

Is there a particular reason for this expectation? In fact, if each brand can have its reasons, one of the common points is the shortage of electronic components. This weighs on the production of vehicles already well launched, so new products are not spared. And for brands, there is no question of having a crucial launch disrupted by a lack of semiconductors. It means taking the risk of not taking full advantage of the novelty effect, which plays out fully for one to two years.

Nissan has thus delayed the entry into production of the Ariya. At Tesla, Elon Musk confirmed that the Cybertruck pickup was pushed back to 2023 so as not to hinder the sale of the Model 3 and Model Y. He explained thus: “If we introduced new vehicles, total production would decrease”. For its part, Maserati has completely canceled the presentation of the Grecale SUV, initially scheduled for last November. The fault has an insufficient number of electronic components to ensure the necessary production.

The lack of semiconductors, however, does not explain everything. For the C5 X, the reason may also be the good start of the vehicle in China, where it is exclusively manufactured. The chevron brand did not hide that China was the model’s priority. And the beginnings there are very encouraging, with 12,000 deliveries in the last quarter of 2021. Europe will therefore wait a bit.

In addition to the vehicles that are slow to reach the points of sale, there are those that have arrived at the dealership but seem curiously rare on the roads. One thinks of the new 308, launched in September. Have you ever seen one yourself?

A visibility threshold to reach

I will also exceptionally speak in the first person to say that I don’t, when I am in the heart of an agglomeration of 40,000 inhabitants. At the same time, I regularly come across Yaris Cross, a model also launched in September 2021. There is obviously a part of luck and lottery!

When contacted, Peugeot assured us that deliveries had started well, but explained to us that it could be“normal not to see any yet because the threshold ensuring sufficient visibility in the street has probably not yet been reached”. You have to reach a minimum of deliveries to have the good impression of seeing the model work.

If the new 308 was a little slowed down in its debut with the lack of semiconductors, it will soon be around every corner. Production at the Sochaux plant ramped up in January and Stellantis announced the creation of a third team for March, a first since 2019 and proof of a very good level of orders. The 308 also appeared in the Top 10 sales in January (8th with 2,293 registrations).

On the other hand, if the chain of Sochaux is well launched, on the side of the cousin DS 4, it seems more difficult. According to our information, youth defects mean that the level of production is still far from that hoped for. Only 515 units were registered in France in January. Seeing one is therefore even more complicated!

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