Nissan’s Duster derived SUV is on the cards

The Renault (Dacia) Duster SUV has garnered its first award in the UK – before it even hits showrooms – winning the Scottish Car of the Year 2012. It’s hardly a ground-breaking car and it’s not on sale there yet but it ticked some significant boxes, it is “shockingly affordable“ with a base price tag of GBP 8,995 .

It’s such a success there with already 1,000 pre-orders in a little over hundred days since the start of bookings as customers come along hurriedly right before three months of its launch. In India though, it’s an instant hit since arrived in July with a total of 8,600 buyers in the opening half period of the year.

Renault-Nissan alliance has seen some great feats since emerging together back in 2000 and the triumph has been carried onto the various segments in our market. The Japanese mass car producer took a while to build its mark in the country despite being here for about seven years.

They are upbeat to seize 8% market share as opposed to the prevailing 1.5% by 2016. In order to do so, a variety of product range is on the cards to be offered. For an instance, the budget-caped Datsun range, that will be slated in below the entry-level Nissans of today.

Some partnerships were known to be bitter but with Nissan and Renault it is almost as smooth as running over a piece of cake. Here comes the hard bit, as both these giants especially Renault rely on badge-engineering products – hardly any big sales figure have been achieved.

Micra and Sunny have enjoyed great successes unlike the badged cousins: Renault Pulse and Scala. Let’s be honest, it’s just a Renault badge that’s been put in front instead which doesn’t make a whole lot of difference for the conscious buyers of today.

Meanwhile, Nissan romping up 10 new products in four years which include the flourishing SUV segment, it’s hard to comprehend where Renault would go then. For Renault, Duster is the solitary model grabbing more attention and for Nissan the SUV market is a must have one, if not now, at least in the upcoming years.

It brings down to this Nissan is set to move about making its first re-badged product based on Duster. Nissan will probably manage to sell it at a less price comparatively.

Speaking exclusively to Autocar India, Colin Dodge, Nissan’s executive vice-president said that Nissan’s version of the Duster will go beyond badge engineering. “We’ve got quite a differentiated car and the differences are far more significant than on the V-platform products (Micra/Pulse and Sunny/Scala). The hood and the fenders have differences and the bumpers are different too. But it’s more than just a bumpers and grille change for sure,” said Dodge.

The French car maker perhaps be reluctant to afford it too soon as the Duster has a big pack of audience at its disposal. Renault’s ace SUV will have a breathing space until the end of 2013 when we may see the coming of an all exclusive yet affordable utility from Nissan.

Image Source: ACI