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Business News/ Auto News / Will Renault Duster make a comeback in India? Here’s what report suggests
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Will Renault Duster make a comeback in India? Here’s what report suggests

In India, the world's fastest-growing car market, the new investment will be led by Nissan, and the companies are evaluating vehicles they could launch from 2025, two of the people told Reuters. That could include a reboot for Renault's popular Duster sport-utility vehicle, they said.

Renault-Nissan plans to return to a strategy of sharing and cross-badging vehicles in India (AFP)Premium
Renault-Nissan plans to return to a strategy of sharing and cross-badging vehicles in India (AFP)

A revamped alliance between Renault and Nissan will face an early test in India, where the carmakers plan new investment in a bid to close the gap on rivals, people with knowledge of the plans told Reuters.

The automakers reached a deal in principle to restructure their two-decade partnership by putting both companies on an equal footing in terms of shareholding and with Nissan investing in Renault's new electric vehicle (EV) unit.

The French and Japanese carmakers announced they had identified key projects on which they would deepen collaboration in India, Latin America and Europe, without elaborating.

In India, the world's fastest-growing car market, the new investment will be led by Nissan, and the companies are evaluating vehicles they could launch from 2025, two of the people told Reuters. That could include a reboot for Renault's popular Duster sport-utility vehicle, they said.

Renault-Nissan also plans to return to a strategy of sharing and cross-badging vehicles in India, aiming to increase plant utilisation rates and reduce costs, the people said. The Duster SUV, for instance, is being considered for launch under both the Nissan and Renault brands, they said.

The sources asked not to be identified because the companies have not announced details of the new strategy, which could be made public as early as next week, as per Reuters. The new collaboration underscores the pressure automakers face as they invest in EVs, automation and other software services even as demand for gasoline cars greatly outstrips that for EVs, especially in up-and-coming markets like India.

It also points to the rising potential for sales in India, which last year overtook Japan to become the world's third-largest car market. Industry-wide sales in India surged 23% last year to 4.4 million, according to S&P Global Mobility, while other major markets faced supply constraints.

The first test for the new Renault-Nissan approach could be the Renault Triber, a seven-seat car that the companies have discussed selling in India under the Nissan brand, one of the people said. Those talks were put on hold while they negotiated the broader partnership, he said.

Renault is considering an electric version of its mass-market Kwid small car for India, Reuters reported last month. Two of the people said Nissan has joined that review.

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Published: 04 Feb 2023, 09:59 PM IST
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