The success of the Renault Duster in the Indian automobile market has been commendable with over 15,000 bookings in a short period of time and waiting periods stretching up to 3 months. Now we have been hearing that Nissan could be launching a rebranded Duster, as it has a healthy business relationship with Renault, since they are in an alliance and are working together. The strategy of sharing components and platform has mutually benefited the companies in the past, but the duo has also used the rebadging strategy.
As per the rebadging strategy the duo launched the Micra and Pulse & Sunny and Scala which have their own unique identities, though they are same under the skin. Now that the Duster was an immediate hit, Nissan is interested in launched a rebadged Duster.
“The matter has not come up for discussions yet so the answer is no, we are not sharing Duster with them (Nissan),” Marc Nassif, managing director, Renault India said. “We cannot rule out the possibility forever within the alliance but this will certainly not happen within the immediate time frame of at least an year. Even if this happens the products will be branded and sold separately with their own distinct identities.”
“We will need more products and it would be across segments.We are very interested in the SUV segment and have many options globally,” said Takayuki Ishida, managing director and CEO, Nissan India. “Duster has done very well in India and a vehicle based on it is definitely a prospect. We will look into that possibility”
What we understand by the statements of the supreme officials of the respective brands is that Nissan is interested in borrowing the car but Renault isn’t interested. Why? Simply because Nissan has a wider network than the Renault, and if Nissan launches a rebadged Duster, it is most likely to affect Renault’s prospects. Renault has 55 touch-points across the country as against Nissan’s 75 touch-points.
Let us see what happens in the coming months and it would be interesting to see how both the companies differentiate their products, provided Renault agrees to share the Duster with Nissan.