Nissan last week unveiled the Terrano SUV. A first look at it and many people would have thought they saw a Renault Duster. Well, it is indeed based on the Duster, made by Nissan’s French partner. A look from the side, would in fact make you wonder if there is indeed any difference between the two SUVs. Look more and then the changes start to show. The front grille, for instance, is distinctly different, the bonnet is new, the lights are different…At the back too the Terrano gets a complete makeover. It also has premium interiors. That premium also comes at a price. The Terrano will be more expensive than the Duster, although its starting price will still be below Rs 10 lakh. Nissan officials say the Terrano won’t compete with the Duster.
The Duster has been a highly successful model for Renault. But with the launch of the Terrano, is that about to change? Will the later eat into the former’s sales, once deliveries start in October or will customers still prefer the Duster given the lower price points?
Nissan and Renault have launched several ‘clones’ in India. For instance, Renault’s Pulse hatchback is a rebadged and refreshed Nissan Micra and Renault Scala sedan is based on the Nissan Sunny. In both the cases, Renault, which launched its products later, ate into the market share of Nissan, although both Micra and Sunny still sell a little more than the Pulse and Scala.
Analysts do expect some market share loss for Renault’s Duster. But can Nissan convince customers to pay more for the Terrano, when one can very well buy the Duster is a key thing to watch. Or maybe Renault and Nissan will work out a strategy to take on the rivals like Mahindra & Mahindra, which is a market leader by a wide margin.
Compact SUV sales have zoomed in India, even amid the overall automobile slowdown. The competition is hot and expect more to follow.