Renault India, the domestic division of the French automaker has come a long way since it first entered the Indian automotive market in mid 2011. The Duster has undoubtedly been the game changer for the company in India. It has sold nearly 70,000 units of the Duster in the last 18 months. This has resulted in Renault India breaking into the top 15 global markets for its parent company and this feat has been achieved in just about 24 months. Renault India stands at 12th position thanks to its incredibly popular SUV, the Duster.
Renault has sold nearly 1,00,000 units across its product portfolio and 70 percent of the sales are driven by the Duster SUV. The other passenger cars including the Pulse, Scala, Fluence and Koleos make up for the remaining 30 percent of sales in India so far. The company believes that the situation has stabilised since its launch and reaching 1,00,000 unit sales for the Duster in the near future would be difficult. The Duster also stands to be the highest exported SUV from India with nearly 10,000 units being shipped by the end of this year to global markets such as the UK, Ireland and South Africa.
Renault India will not be launching any new vehicles in 2014. However, it will launch facelifted versions of the Duster, Fluence and Koleos. The facelifted Duster will come with dual-tone chrome grille, new headlamp and tail lamp cluster, DRLs and new design alloy wheels on the exteriors. The interiors will get minor additions like centre armrest, steering mounted controls and a new instrument cluster to name a few.
The engines on the 2014 Renault Duster will remain the same as before. The 1.5-litre diesel mill will come with two differently tuned configurations. One will produce 84 BHP power output and will be mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox while the other configuration will produce 109 BHP power output and will be mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox. A 1.6-litre petrol engine will also be offered. However, the highlight will be on the 1.2-litre turbo-charged petrol engine which we expect will be launched in India on the facelifted Duster. This will directly rival Ford’s EcoBoost in the EcoSport.
The facelifted Fluence will also be launched in India next year even though Renault unveiled this car back in 2012. The changes incorporated on the car are minor. The front fascia of the vehicle has been redesigned. The bumper houses redesigned air dams and also LED daytime running lights. The interiors are also pretty much remain the same as the existing variant other than updated upholstery and multimedia system. The 1.5-litre diesel engine that produces 109 BHP power output and 240 Nm of torque will be carried over to the facelifted version of the Fluence along with the 1.6-litre petrol mill that produces 135 BHP of power output and 190 Nm of torque, mated to a 6-speed automatic gearbox.
The facelifted Koleos will also be introduced in India next year with subtle changes. Redesigned grille and new alloy wheels will make up for the exterior changes to this SUV. A 2.0-litre diesel engine producing 150 BHP of power and 320 Nm of torque will continue to do duty on the crossover. Renault India will be launching facelifted versions of these cars in 2014 and will also hike prices of the new models. An automatic and 4×4 version of the Duster is also anticipated to make a debut. These facelifts could be showcased at the upcoming Auto Expo in New Delhi. 2015 would see the launch of the Lodgy MPV which will take on the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and Honda Mobilio.