This is all about the best four wheeler in Indian roads, and one of people favourite.
The thoroughly updated 2018 Duster irons out a few wrinkles in the earlier avatar’s packaging with added safety features and extra goodies
While the 2018 Dacia Duster made its public debut at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show in September, Renault’s version of the updated SUV was revelled in November 2017. For the uninitiated, Dacia is Renault’s Romanian subsidiary and both the versions of the updated Duster and nearly identical, except for the more premium aesthetic changes on Renault’s avatar of the SUV. Now ,Dacia has revealed the specifications of the 2018 SUV and like before they are likely to remain identical for the Renault as well.
Through both the new and the old versions are based on the same Bo platform with near identical wheelbases, the updated Duster is slightly longer and narrower while rest of the specs are roughly similar. Interestingly, Renault has increased the boot space of the AWD model when compared to the outgoing SUV.
Engine and Transmission In Europe, the 2018 Dacia Duster will be powered by the same set of petrol and diesel engines as before : two petrol (naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre and turbocharged 1.2-litre motors ) and a 1.5- litre sell ( available in two states of tune) . The transmission options remain identical as well a-5 and a 6 speed manual along with an optional 6 speed dual clutch automatic.
In India , the new Renault Duster is likely to carry forward the current 1.5-litre diesel (85PS/200Nm/ 11OPS/245Nm)
However ,Renault could offer the 6 speed dual clutch auto which was also available with the previous model in Europe with the updated SUV here . Despite the current AMT-equipped Duster, economical price tag compared the segments bestseller the Create it is not a popular offering because of the relatively unrefined nature of AMTs . Even the Renault Capture which sits above the Duster and shares similar mechanic als, is awaiting an automatic gearbox This could happen in the first half of next year. Hence, Renault could introduce the 6 speed EDC (Efficient Dual Clutch ) with the updated Duster as well as the Capture in India .
Speaking of the new goodies on board the 2018 Duster gets an electronic power steering. Being an electric unit it is likely to improve the overall efficiency of the new model when compared to the older SUC hydraulic unit which was driven by the engine .
No other car in recent times has created the sensation the Renault Duster has done in the Indian automotive industry. This predominantly European car has won over the Indian consumer. It has turbo- charged the compact sports utility vehicle segment and revived the fortunes of Renault India . This case study looks at what contributed to the car’s success.
When French automotive giant Renault first entered India through a joint venture with Mahindra& Mahindra, it placed high hopes on its maiden product offering Logan a mid-sized sedan launched in 2007. But the car with its dated looks and high pricing failed to strike a chord with Indian consumers. Such was the scale of the failure that it ended up killings the joint venture in 2010. Renault’s brand name took a massive hit in India. Ironically, the Logan’s failure laid the foundation for the success of Renault’s compact sports-utility vehicle (SUV) Duster.
After its break-up with Mahindra& Mahindra, Renault chose to go alone. It set up a Ts 4,500 core factory at Oragadam near Chennai along with its global partner Nissan Motor Company . The facility caters to the need of Nissan and Renault. But the Logan debacle continued to haunt the company the first few products it rolled out from the new plant were positioned as image drivers ti launched premium sedan Fluency is May 2011 and premium SUV koleos that September. Both were assembled at the Orgadam plant from imported Kits . Its next offering was the pulse, a compact car launched in January 2012 . The pulse was a cross-budged version of Nissan’s Micra, and was also positioned as a premium offering. Renault’s focus on resurrecting its image in India and consequent premium offerings meant poor volumes in a country that prefers value of money .
Renault desperately needed a “volume driver” to shore up its operations. It identified a gap in the SUV segment. “ There were SUVs costing Rs 20 lakh and above manufactured by global players and those priced from Rs 6 lakh to Rs 10 lakh produced by Indian Companies. We saw an opportunity there,” says Armelle Guerin, Director, Product Planning at Renault India. Th company launched the Duster priced between Ts 8 lakh and Rs 12 lakkh in July 2012
The Duster took the Indian market by storm. It fuelled the segment of compact SUVs and grabbed a 23 percent market share within a year . The Duster’s success was such that Renault had to triple production within months of its launch from seven per hour to 20 per hour . Today, one in three cars produced at the Oragadam plant is a Duster. That is at all. The Duster today accounts for 86 per cent of Renault India’s production, 81 per cent of its sales and 100 per cent of its exports.
How did a predominantly European car win the hears and minds of difficult Indian customers?
The answer lies in what Renault India did in the 24 months following its decision to bring the duster to India The Duster was Renault’s first ‘ real ‘ offering in India after the Logan. “The Logan’s failure reminded us of the importance of understanding the customer, getting the product right and positioning the Duster correctly at the time of the launch,” says Marc Nassif, Managing Director, Renault India.
The company went back to the drawing board to understand the Indian customer. It identified a focus group of about 200 people whose profile matched the potential buyer of the Duster. It then short-listed 30 families from this focus group across five Indian cities for an ethnographic study spread over two months. During this period members of the product development team lived with their target customers to observe them, understand their lives and needs. They also spent time with the customers to know what they liked and did not like about their vehicles
The study threw up 41 modifications that the European duster needed. Guerin says the exercise enabled the company to understand what a car should have to meet an Indian customer’s needs . “ We understood that a critical purchasing factor of a car in India is the exterior design,” she says, “ People loved an SUV with rugged looks that stood out in a crowd, but at the same time wanted it to operationally perform like a sedan-easy t drive and (offering) good fuel efficiency .”
There were other lessons as well. The study revealed that Indian consumers liked a strong dose of chrome on their cars, especially the exterior . They liked body-coloured bumpers. Inside the car they preferred a dual-tone interior, and wanted the switches for power windows on the door rather in the central console. Since a good Proportion of Indian cars are chauffer- driven, the rear seats needed special treatment. Indians preferred inclined seats for greater comfort. Rear air conditioning was critical and a reading light. Some storage space was also welcomed.
So this is all about the Renault Duster.
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