The Duster SUV changed the fortunes for Renault India ever since its launch in 2012. One of the first vehicles to arrive in the compact SUV segment, the Duster has been a consistent seller not only in the country, but globally as well. Sold under the Dacia brand in Europe, the Duster has been a major contributor to Renault’s growth globally as the automaker saw 4.7 percent gain in global auto sales in the first six months of 2014. Witnessing the growth, the automaker has also increased its forecast growth to 3-4 percent, from the earlier prediction of 2-3 percent in Europe.
Renault delivered 1.37 million passenger and light commercial vehicles in the first half of this year, up from the 1.3 million in the same period last year. Much of Renault’s success came courtesy of its entry-level Dacia model range as well as the Captur small SUV in Europe. The Duster and Sandero hatchback contributed a 24 percent increase in Dacia’s sales for the first six months of this year, whereas Dacia as a brand contributed to Renault’s European sales rise by 18 percent for the same period.
Albeit Europe’s third largest automaker, Renault has been trying to reduce its dependency on the continent and has been expanding its network into emerging markets. After a slowdown in the past years, the European market has been recovering, much to the appreciation of automakers. For Renault, markets like Spain and the UK saw a rise of almost 35 percent in sales, while deliveries outside Europe dropped by 9 percent because of the decline in markets like Russia, Algeria and Argentina. The Renault badge made up 42 percent of the group’s first-half sales in 2014, rising 1 percent from the past year in markets outside Europe.
Completing its second anniversary in India, the Renault Duster most recently achieved a milestone of 1 lakh sales in the country. Globally, Renault has produced over 1 million Dusters, which is sold in over 100 countries and is manufactured in 5 countries spread across 3 continents. Renault is expected to bring the 4×4 version of the Duster in the country later this year, while a mid-life facelift is also in the pipeline.