We had posted earlier about how the Duster was setting sales charts on fire for Renault. Now, the Duster’s commercial success has been matched with critical acclaim, as it has taken home the coveted Indian Car of the Year award.
The right hand drive version of the Duster is manufactured in India and imported to the UK, badged as a Dacia. The Duster currently has no direct competition, but will soon be joined by the Ford EcoSport, which will be its direct rival in the compact SUV segment.
The Hyundai Elantra has been the Duster’s main rival in the points tally for the COTY awards. The Duster and Elantra are in very different segments and the Duster sells 6 times as many units as the Elantra. The Duster’s success can be attributed to Indian buyer’s love for SUVs. People want big cars in India and don’t really care much about performance, as long as the vehicle is frugal. The Duster might be overpriced for what it’ is, but the demand is so high, that Renault has already hiked prices of the vehicle three times since launch.
Faisal Ali Khan is the editor of MotorBeam.com, a website covering the automobile industry of India.