Nissan to release SUV along lines of Renault Duster in 2014
Nissan is going to launch an SUV based on Nissan's highly successfully Duster in 2014 in India. The association of Renault and Nissan is quite old globally and in India, Renault's Pulse hatchback and Scala have been based on Nissan's Micra and Sunny, respectively. However, this time Nissan will manufacture an SUV based on Duster, and this SUV has been codenamed NH79 for the time being. Industry experts believed since long that Nissan will come up with their version of the Duster.
The two companies have been known to share vehicle platforms and engines as well as the manufacturing unit located at Oragadam, Chennai. This has majorly helped Renault in finding a stronghold in the Indian automotive industry. Although Renault is popular for the cars that were rebadged from their Nissan counterparts, the biggest success for the company in India is Duster. With a Nissan version of the reasonably priced SUV, the story of the two companies might just get a reversal. There will be several changes in the look of the car; however, the specifications will be the same as Renault Duster. This will help both the companies reduce their production costs considerably.
The differences that will go unnoticed in the Nissan badged Duster will be a revamped bumper, front grille, retouched fenders and headlights, which will give the car a softer look. Colin Dodge, executive VP of Nissan, commented on the changes, “We’ve got quite a differentiated car and the differences are far more significant than on the V-platform products (Micra/Pulse and Sunny/Scala). The hood and the fenders have differences and the bumpers are different too. But it’s more than just a bumpers and grille change for sure.”
The last few years have been significant for the Indian automobile industry in the sense that SUVs have gained major popularity. SUV scene in 2014 is hard to predict but 'NH79' must be ready to face some stiff competition then. It might not get the kind of success attained by Renault Duster, which is one of the bestsellers of this year. If the new car is priced around the same as Duster, it has a huge advantage as there are not many successful SUVs in the market in the sub 10 lac price range.