Right now we can say that the compact SUV segment is the hottest one in the auto world. Indians have developed quite a liking for these compact cars with appreciable features and attractive pricing. This segment is relatively new in the Indian market and therefore is capturing the eye balls of thousands of car buyers here. The trend setter for this segment in the country has been the Renault Duster which was released last year in June. The company was among the first manufacturers to launch the concept of compact SUV in the Indian market. As it was expected, Duster got a great response from the people here and the car soon became a hit. But now a year later, with more compact SUVs in the market, the sales of Duster have been declining.
Duster enjoyed a great success as the car had great styling and features. The exterior of the car is trendy and looks attractive with its bulgy wheel arches, great clearance between the wheel wall and the wheels, sailing boards and roof railings. The car looks compact and robust and still maintains a high style quotient. The interior is well matched and is equipped with promising electronics. The car has a great performance and is a perfect vehicle on Indian roads which are undulating. The car seems to absorb most of the impact and sound on uneven paths. It is powered by the famous K9K diesel engine coming in 2 tunable states of 85 bhp and 110 bhp. The petrol variant uses the same engine as used by Scala. The car offers a front wheel drive and is easy to handle.
The car was launched at a super competitive price of Rs 7.99 lacs which succeeded in calling the customers to Renault dealerships all across the nation. in just 1 year, Duster has sold over 60,000 units already. But the year 2013 has invited some trouble for this car. The car sales has been declining over the last 3 months. The performance reports for the month of July have been declared by the automobile manufacturing firms. Renault’s performance report shows that the month of July has seen the lowest sales of Duster so far.
The company has been selling on an average around 5000 units of Duster monthly. In June 2013, the company had sold a total of 4,583 units of Duster while it managed to sell only 3,089 units of Duster in July 2013. This is a sharp fall of 31.7% in Duster’s sales. We can blame the unfriendly market conditions for this but it does not take much effort to see that it is the EcoSport that is eating up Duster’s business. The launch of Nissan Terrano will further decline the Duster sales in the country.
The executive director of marketing and sales at Renault India, Mr. Sumit Sawhney, showing faith in Duster said that “Duster has played a crucial part not just in Renault’s success in India, but also in spearheading the changing landscape of the Indian automotive industry. We are confident that Duster’s unbeatable roominess, performance and innovation will continue driving its competitiveness in the market.”
The company as expected is facing a great competition from Ford EcoSport. The company’s star seller has been EcoSport since its launch. The car sold over 4,000 units in the month of June and it is expected that the sales of July was also over 4,000. The company has recorded a booking of 30,000 EcoSport units in just 17 days which has made EcoSport one of the best sellers ever. The car is gaining momentum due to its great styling and 7 exotic colour schemes, availability in 10 variants with both petrol and diesel run models in the lineup and a competitive pricing of Rs 5.59 lacs for the base models.
Renault can expect a little improvement in the sales figures with a facelifted Duster on the shelves. The company has also added a 4 wheel drive variant of Duster to its lineup. This may help in regaining the position the car has lost. For now the company must opt for some re-pricing strategy or offer some attractive schemes to lure customers to its dealerships.