Renault India took the cover off the facelifted Duster SUV here on Thursday. The car was first launched in India in 2012 and set the tone for the rush towards urban SUVs. Since then it lost out a fair share of the market due to rather plain interiors, stiff competition and a comparatively weak service network. All that may now change, says Renault India.
The 2016 version of the Duster is bolder, sportier and does a good job of making a statement. The front grille has been redone and the Firefly fog lamps with the Hawk Eye cluster headlamps and the waterfall-like LED tail lamps make this car as good to look at from the front as it is from behind. The interiors too have been redesigned and now come in two-tone coloured console, touch-screen media navigation system, cruise control and similar features. While Renault says 32 changes have been incorporated into the 2016 version of the car, many perspective buyers may still look towards the likes of Hyundai and Maruti Suzuki owing to their mammoth network of dealers and service network
Sumit Sawhney – Country CEO and managing director of Renault India, said that their focus is on expanding service network exponentially. “We may not be the best when it comes to the service network but we are indeed the fastest growing. It goes to show that we are committed to buyers and will take every step to ensure they have a smooth ride,” he said on the sidelines of the Duster’s launch.
Duster has faced stiff competition in the recent months, especially from Hyundai’s Creta. With the facelift, Renault is hoping that the Duster gets back to dominating the SUV segment. “The redesign has nothing to do with what our competitors are offering. It is a general process in the life cycle of a car,” said Sawhney. “We still are the only ones in the segment to offer a 4*4 drive option and will now also offer an automated manual transmission.”
That Duster has been a popular vehicle on Indian roads cannot be doubted. That the competition has grown cannot be either. And while Renault has upped their game with the launch of the 2016 version, the real success will be determined by how much the French manufacturer is able to come good on its promise of a robust post-sales network.