Having made a huge difference to the landscape of Indian SUV segment for a while, Renault Duster is struggling hard to maintain the pole position in the segment. Hence, the French automobile maker is gearing up to give a fresh vibe to its product line in the country. Renault is believed to be coming out with two fresh products in the next two years, including an entry level car and a MPV.
However, the current surprise is that Renault has also decided to launch a badge engineered version of the Evalia to enhance its share in the MPV segment. The reason why we say surprising is because Evalia’s’ sale is doing bad enough for the product to be scrapped. Nissan sold just 14 units of the Evalia last month. As a pinch of salt, Ashok Leyland will launch its own badge engineered version of the MPV, called the Stile in the next couple of days.
The company had announced that they will no more use the badge engineering technique and Terrano was last one for them. However, this moves indicates their sense of desperation as the company looks to improve their volumes as well as margins. Badge engineering involves lower costs of development and is less time consuming.
However, for a car which has been almost discarded by consumers, there is a big question mark whether just the shuffle of cards work. For an Evalia based MPV to drive volumes, the company needs to bring about some major changes in terms of ergonomics, styling and price positioning.
Almost all the carmakers in the country have launched their products in the MPV segment and with entry of the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and Chevrolet Enjoy, the competition has become tougher than ever. The Honda Mobilio and Datsun Go+ are all set to join the MPV race in the near future. On the other hand,the Evalia has been the biggest flop in recent times and hence, any idea to badge engineer the product needs to be evaluated multiple times. If there are no other upside-down changes to the car, it will again disappoint the company.