Nissan Duster-like SUV expected to be launched in India by Oct 2013

Saturday 15 December 2012, 11:41 AM by

It is expected that Nissan India would launch its own version of the high selling Renault Duster in October 2013. As part of the cross badging agreement between Nissan and Renault, there will be only cosmetic changes to the existing Duster model. It will be powered by the same successful 1.5 litre K9K diesel motor that currently powers the Sunny and Scala.

Nissan Duster-like SUV expected to be launched in India by Oct 2013   |
Nissan Duster-like SUV expected to be launched in India by Oct 2013

Nissan has always launched its version of a vehicle before Renault, but this time, there has been a role reversal. It will be the first Renault product which will be sold with a Nissan badge. Though there have been various reports in the media, stating the reluctance of Renault in allowing Nissan to produce this version of the Duster, the launch is confirmed. The Japanese manufacturer hopes its version of the Duster to sell more than the current Duster, as the Nissan vehicle is expected to be cheaper. Additionally, brand Nissan is also stronger than brand Renault in India.

Previously, Renault had launched the Scala and the Pulse, which were re-badged versions of the popular Sunny and the Micra, respectively. However, the Renault vehicles did not achieve as much success as did the Nissan models, in terms of sales numbers. This time, it could be an attempt to strengthen the Renault brand and bring it up to the level of Nissan.

Renault Duster has managed to generate class-leading sales figures of 6607 units for the month of November this year. This humble SUV, at a price range of Rs. 7.49-11.69 lakhs (ex showroom New Delhi), has created quite a buzz in India, where the demand for large utility vehicles is slowly gathering pace. It received a tremendous response with 15,000 vehicles being booked within the first two months.

It is possible that Nissan may bring in a 4x4 variant of the Duster. If this is done, it will surely add some spice to the current Nissan portfolio, as Renault does not offer a 4x4 version for the Indian market. This will become a unique selling point for the Nissan Duster-like SUV, and can surely help in boosting sales figures. It is said that the differences between the Nissan SUV and the Renault Duster are quite significant, especially the hood, bumpers and fenders which will be different.

Though speculations are that the SUV will be launched by Diwali 2013, it is possible that Renault may delay launch of this new SUV to 2014, to enhance its brand presence in India. Time will tell if the Nissan Duster-like SUV can attain popularity similar to that reached by the Renault Duster.

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