The Duster’s success story will be written in golden words in the pages of the Indian automotive history if Renault is able to keep volumes at current levels on a consistent basis.
Single handedly, the Duster has managed to revive the fortunes of the French automaker in India.
The Duster is clocking around 4.5k units on monthly basis. Renault India is inundated with orders forcing them to start a new shift at their Chennai plant. However, thorough-bred off roading enthusiasts in India are shying away from the Duster because of lack of a 4X4 option.
The Duster is a very important product for Renault India. Its continued success is a key to assuring the automaker’s future in India.
Right now, the Duster’s successful run is challenged by Mahindra’s XUV500 (as some customers are stretching into the next segment), the Tata Safari Strome and to some extent the Mahindra Scorpio. Pretty soon, Ford will introduce the EcoSport in the Indian market and from what we have heard, the price is going to be very competitive.
Renault India cannot afford to loose steam as the Duster is the only volume model in its lineup. Thus, identifying the demand for a Duster 4X4, the automaker is scheduling its launch in the first half of 2013, according to several news reports on the internet. There is not much effort required on the manufacturing side because Renault already produces the Duster 4X4 for the UK market from the Chennai factory.
The Renault Duster 4X4 will come with a selectable system with a knob on the dashboard. It will have three options –
- Two-wheel drive – Power will be sent to the front wheels
- Automatic 4X4 mode – Duster’s brain will decide where to send the power
- 4×4 lock mode – Power will be sent to all four wheels
There is a very good possibility that there will only be single variant with 4×4 option which will be the top of the line model with 110 PS of power. Expect the 4X4 model to command a 1 lakh rupee premium.