Renault India showcased the robust Duster at the Auto Expo last month. Its launch is expected to unfold in mid-2012. Renault has not finished conducting tests on the various system on-board this mini SUV vehicle. Renault India will be offering 4x2 and 4x4 versions. Clearly the battle is between Renault and Ford - at the moment Renault's winning the race to the production line.
Newly acquainted with Indian Autos Blog, reader Natesan Jeyaraj from Chennai managed to click these images while riding his motorcycle.
He's seen the Duster testing on many occasions in his residential area. Unlike the Koleos and Fluence, Renault manufactures this car using locally sourced components at the Oragadam plant it shares with alliance partner Nissan.
The Duster project is not a completely Renault's. Originally a Dacia, it was developed with collaborative engineering between Renault Technologie Romania (RTR) and Le Losange (Renault’s Technocentre site near Versailles) in France. Most of the vehicle's development was carried out near Pitesti, the first production center of the vehicle in Romania.
The Duster is designed to reflect the social status of families in emerging markets. These countries come with their unique set of challenges like broken roads, punishing terrain and extreme climatic conditions. In many countries the choices are limited for a status car. They are mostly imports and hence turn out to be expensive. The Duster was born to fulfill the needs of a stylish car for the middle class. Dacia has pioneered in designing cars for target groups for who other offerings are beyond means.
Just over 50% of the Duster's components come from other Dacia vehicles. This helped Dacia shave costs. Renault spent a total of 290 million Euros on the Duster project.