Renault launched the Duster in India last year and it immediately became a strong seller. The response to the Duster was so good that the compact SUV overtook India’s best selling SUV, Mahindra Scorpio, to become the segment’s best seller. All was well for Renault until Ford crashed the French automaker’s party with the launch of the EcoSport. Ford not only undercut the Duster’s price by a cool $3000 but also offered way more equipment, helping them to get 50,000 orders in a matter of just two months.
Ford has launched the EcoSport in Europe, although in limited numbers. The EcoSport won’t be sold in the U.S. as the vehicle is too small for that market. The main markets for the EcoSport are Brazil (being sold since 2003), China and India. The EcoSport is basically a jacked up Fiesta with high ground clearance as the underpinnings, mechanicals, engines and interiors are all the same.
Renault and Nissan badge engineer products in India but to little success. After seeing the tremendous response to the Duster, Nissan has decided to bring their own version. The car you see on this post is the Terrano which is nothing but a Duster underneath with cosmetic changes. Nissan plans to sell the Terrano at a $1000 premium over the Duster in India. Doesn’t seem like such a smart move as sales of the Duster are falling so why would anyone pay more to buy the same car with a different badge?
Faisal Ali Khan is the editor of MotorBeam.com, a website covering the automobile industry of India.