The Renault Duster has become the largest selling SUV in the segment overtaking the Mahindra Scorpio. Renault Duster’s sales touched 6,300 units whereas Mahindra managed to sell 4,700 Scorpios in April 2013.
The Duster sales increase comes despite the car’s premium price tag over the Scorpio. Entry level Mahindra Scorpio (diesel version) is priced at Rs 7.54 lakh whereas the Duster (diesel version) starts at Rs 8.94 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai). The Duster which hasn’t completed a year in India contributes over 80 per cent of its sales for the French manufacture.
The diesel version of the Renault Duster which runs a 1.5-litre unit has been not a victim of excise duty hike from 27 per cent to 30 per cent. Also, the Duster has an edge over the Scorpio when it comes to design and styling. The petrol version of the Duster is however classified as an SUV under the newly created segment.
However, Mahindra continues to dominate the UV (utility vehicles) segment with the Bolero selling close to 10,000 units a month, while the XUV500, Xylo and Quanto also selling in decent numbers.
"The Duster is a very well accepted product in the market. This gives us the confidence for a better performance. We have made additions to the product which has helped us achieve incremental volumes." said Sumit Sawhney, executive director, marketing and sales, Renault India.
Last fiscal year, SUV segment was the only segment which saw a growth in the Indian automobile sector and Renault made most of it. However, we are expecting the Duster’s sales to slow down a bit once Ford launches its sub-4 metre compact SUV, the EcoSport.