Renault Duster has become India’s largest selling SUV overtaking the Mahindra Scorpio. Renault sold more units of their compact SUV than Mahindra’s Scorpio in March 2013. It is interesting to know that Renault launched the Duster in July last year and within a year it has touched the heart of the Indians so much that it could dethrone the Mahindra Scorpio which had been sitting high on sales since its launch in India way back in 2002.
Renault sold 6300 units of it’s Duster in March 2013 which is far more than Mahindra’s sales figure of 4700 units of the Scorpio. Analyst expect that this momentum is expected to grow in favour of Renault in the coming months. The Duster had been a matter of constant worry for Mahindra since its launch. Currently the Duster sells in three engine options, a 1.6L petrol engine delivering 104 BHP of power and two 1.5L dCi diesel engine developing 84 BHP and 108 BHP respectively.
The 1.5L unit has not been a victim of excise duty increase from 27 to 30 percent. This has allowed Renault to price the vehicle quite competitively. With a price tag of Rs. 7.54 lakhs for the entry level Scorpio and Rs. 8.94 lakhs for the Renault Duster, the Duster is expensive by Rs. 1.4 lakhs. But for that extra amount, you get better styling, handling and a premium badge.
The Renault Duster has been the best thing that has happened to Renault India. Flying out of showroom, the model now contributes about 80 percent of Renault’s total sales in the country. The company had launched the Fluence, Koleos and the Pulse earlier but had not received a good response. Renault produces the Duster from its joint venture company in Chennai shared with Japanese giant Nissan. For this reason, Nissan is planning to launch its own SUV based on the Duster’s platform. Mahindra is also working on an all new Scorpio for some time and we expect this vehicle to hit the market by 2015.