Renault Duster Captures India

Faisal Ali Khan
by Faisal Ali Khan
renault duster captures india

My last post on TTAC was on the Renault Logan, but the vehicle pictured above, also a Romanian derived Dacia, is one that changed Renault’s fortunes in India overnight. After the Logan was licensed to Mahindra, Renault re-started its India innings with the launch of the Fluence and Koleos in 2011. The French automaker launched a re-badged Nissan Micra (called the Pulse) earlier this year. Renault’s monthly sales after the launch of these three cars revolved around 400 odd units, which equates to an yearly figure of around 5000 units. This gives them a 0.24% market share in India and places them in 13th position.

Earlier this month, Renault India launched the Duster, positioning it as a compact SUV. The Duster is offered with three engines, 1.6-litre petrol which produces 104 PS and the 1.5-litre k9k diesel in two sets of tune – 85 PS and 110 PS. All the engines are mated to a manual gearbox and Renault has tweaked the interiors (added beige inserts) slightly to give them a premium appeal. Prices start at Rs. 7.19 lakhs ($13000) and goes all the way upto Rs. 11.29 lakhs ($20434). These prices are ex-showroom and not inclusive of registration, road tax and insurance costs. So, yes the Duster does look a bit overpriced, considering it is highly localized and India is an export base for the right hand drive Duster.

However, the SUV loving Indians have taken to the Duster like a storm. The vehicle received 4000 bookings on launch day itself and 8000 bookings within a week. As I write this post, Renault has managed to get 10000 bookings for the Duster. That is more than what Renault has sold in the last twelve months in India. Getting inside a Renault dealership is not an easy task, as its crowded like a fish market. Every prospective buyer wants the Duster. There is no alternative to the vehicle and Renault can continue to make hay while the sun shines. The real competitor to the Duster comes in the form of the Ford EcoSport in 2013.

Faisal Ali Khan is the owner/operator of, a website covering the auto industry of India.

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4 of 28 comments
  • Misc Misc on Jul 16, 2012

    This has just gone on sale under the Dacia brand in the UK. The basic 2wd model is £8,995 (~$14,000). This is insanely cheap compared to the competition - the Nissan Qashqai starts at £16,595 (~$26,000) and even a base model Fiesta with 1.25 litre engine runs at £10,000 ($15,500). Obviously the Duster is rather basic in terms of spec, but it's a lot of car for the money in this market.

    • Faisal Ali Khan Faisal Ali Khan on Jul 16, 2012

      Misc, do you know the car being sold in the UK market is being exported from India. The Duster deliveries will start in January 2013 in the UK!

  • Cdotson Cdotson on Jul 16, 2012

    It doesn't look that bad. The grille and headlights are a bit weird, but given the apparent popularity of the Juke and Qashqai in their respective markets weird isn't necessarily bad for everyone. I think it would do OK in the US market if you give it a Nissan grille and headlight treatment. Give it the Juke's driveline and sell it to those who want something this size but not the amphibious looks of the Juke. Call it the Axxess or X-trail or something Nissan-ish from other markets since Fiat could throw a fit over the "Duster" use.

    • Faisal Ali Khan Faisal Ali Khan on Jul 16, 2012

      You know what Nissan is planning to do Cdotson? They are planning to launch a Nissan branded Duster ;p

  • Donald More stuff to break god I love having a nanny in my truck... find a good tuner and you can remove most of the stupid stuff they add like this and auto park when the doors open stupid stuff like that
  • John Williams Sounds like a Burnout Special you can put together on any 5.0 F150. Whoever said this was Cars and Coffee bait is right on the money.
  • ToolGuy Question: F-150 FP700 (  Bronze or  Black) supercharger kit is legal in 50 states, while the  Mustang supercharger kit is banned in California -- why??
  • Scott "It may not be the ideal hauler to take the clan cross-country to Wally World considering range anxiety "Range Anxiety is a chosen term that conceals as much as it discloses. You don't care about range that much if you can recharge quickly and current BV's (battery vehicles) can't, no matter how good the chargers are. From what I've been reading it is likely that within 5 years there will be batteries in cars, most likely Tesla's, that can charge fast enough with no harm to the batteries to satisfy all of us with no need to increase range beyond a real world 300-ish miles.And that's when I buy one.
  • Charles I had one and loved it . Seated 7 people . Easy to park , great van