Dacia has issued a press release in its 100 day countdown to the launch of the Dacia in the UK (James May must be dancing with joy). The launch maybe in June, but cars reach dealerships only in January 2013. In the press release, Dacia discusses how its factories could hardly keep up with the demand for the excelling and cult-forming LHD version of the Duster for European markets.
Notice the different grille and badge on the Dacia version (left)
Here's the part of the press release that details the development and talks about the launch -
Due to the brand’s unprecedented global success in recent times, particularly the Duster SUV, Renault Group factories have been unable to provide right-hand-drive model production. Until now. By late 2012, right-hand-drive versions of Dacia’s SUV, built at the new Renault-Nissan Alliance factory in India, will start arriving in the UK, ready for deliveries from January 2013.
Production of the RHD (Right Hand Drive) version will start at the Renault-Nissan alliance plant in Oragadam, Chennai later in the year. This plant manufactures the Micra, Sunny, Fluence and Koleos models. The Evalia joins the list in August.
2WD and 4WD variants of the Duster will be manufactured. However India may not get the 4WD version right from the day of launch.
So then the Oragadam factory manufactures Dacia and Renault versions of the Duster (the grilles and badges differ, like the Nissan Pixo & Maruti A-Star relationship). The latter will head to Britain and the former will be sold in India. In the UK, the Duster will cost under £10,000 in 4x2 guise (8.1 lakh rupees) , with 4x4 versions from under £12,500 (10.1 lakhs). Are these prices any indication of what the situation could be in India?
The Duster could have other countries on its map but the top priority should be establishing the Renault brand in India using the vehicle's sporty and outdoorsy attributes. Until now Renault has either sold cars that are beyond the means of the middle-class or rebadged Nissan's cars.