Nissan mulls upon bringing out a 5-seater SUV, inspired by Renault Duster

Thursday 17 November 2011, 10:33 AM by

As the trend of rebadging gains popularity among car makers in the recent time, in India, Nissan and Renault seem to be leading the race, with ample of platforms and products being shared frequently. Thus, in a bid to make the best use of synergies between the two auto makers yet again Nissan India is mulling upon launching a 5-seater SUV based on the Renault Duster. It is important to note that Duster is expected to hit the roads by early 2012.

As a matter of fact, Renault India recently unveiled its Pulse hatchback, which shares the platform with Nissan Micra. Speculations are rife that during mid 2012, the company would probably launch a C-segment sedan that is believed to reflect Nissan Sunny in a big way. Renault, as part of its strategy, aims to minimise maintenance costs and ride on the success of Nissan India’s sales and ubiquitous service network.

The recent move to unveil a 5-seater SUV by Nissan seems to be based on the same objectives. The news was conveyed by AutoCarIndia Editor Hormazd Sorabjee. The SUV is originally a Dacia product, the company which is known for its low cost vehicles. The SUV bore the name Renault Duster after it was acquired from Dacia some time back. The 5-seater SUV offers a choice of both petrol and diesel engines, along with 2 and 4 wheel drive options.

The phenomenon of platform sharing has been in existence for a long time, in car markets, across the globe. However, India is witnessing the sale of similar products under different brands on a large-scale. Some of the vehicles, hailing from famous brands, which experienced rebadging in the past, are Volkswagen Polo-Skoda Fabia, Volkswagen Vento-Skoda Rapid and the Nissan Micra-Renault Pulse.

The platform sharing trend surely offers car buyers an access to more service outlets and different price ranges for a particular car model. Thus, a consumer has more choices and availability of cheaper spare parts through economies of scale. However, an overdose of rebadging may result in cars loosing their distinct identity in the market.

Thus, despite a few minus points, platform sharing across brands seems to stay here for a long time. However, the degree of success attained by the likes of Skoda-Volkswagen and Nissan-Renault, following the use of this strategy, needs to be seen. One can also expect leaders like Maruti Suzuki to join the league in the coming time, in case the position of other carmakers gets a push through rebadging.

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