BRAZIL: Duster starts new Renault product offensive
Dacia's Duster has been updated for its place in Renault Brazil's line
Renault’s ambitions for the Brazilian market are large. To reach 8% market share in 2016 (currently 5%) it will count on 16 products (not all new models). The Brazilian version of the Dacia Duster begins the rush.
There will be a fierce battle in the lower-priced SUV sector. This sub-segment was first probed by Ford with the EcoSport in 2003, the top ranking model. The Mitsubishi TR4 and Suzuki Jimny lag far behind both on price and appeal.
The small Romanian Dacia utility arrives here just 19 months after launch in Europe. Manufactured in São José dos Pinhais, local content is 67% and will reach 75% soon.
Engineers and designers teamed up to make 774 changes to the original design to soften exterior styling and improve the interior, particularly the dashboard and roof console. It's on Logan/Sandero architecture, albeit with a generous wheelbase of 105.1 inches (2.67 m) and ample rear seat room.
Price is its obvious advantage in Brazil, ranging from R$50,900 ($28,800) to R$ 64,600 ($36,500). It comes in 4x2 versions (1.6 flexible-fuel engine) and 4x4 (2.0 flexible-fuel, manual and automatic). The Duster does not feature an external spare wheel, which helped to trim cost. Boot volume decreased from 16.8 cu. ft. (4x2) to 14.1 cu. ft (4x4) due to the spare wheel housed in the later (4x2: under boot floor).
Dynamically, the smaller engine struggle somewhat to cope with over 2,645 lbs. (1,200 kg) curb weight. Yet it handles well on paved roads, despite the 8¼ in (0.21 m) ground clearance and the 66½ in (1.69 m) height. The low-geared transmission increases engine noise, though.
There is manual centre differential lockup for a 50% torque split to each driving axle. The Duster performs well in gravel and muddy terrain, thanks to the two-litre engine aided by a manual six-speed gearbox with an almost crawler first gear. On the 4x2 automatic the engines just whispers when cruising at 75mph (100km/h).
Plans call for retailing 2,500 units monthly which would push Renault to 6% of annual market share in 2012.
The first fruits of Daimler's tie-up with Renault attracted a lot of reader interest this week - the rebadge of the latter's Kangoo to create the Citan. Actually, dismissing this as just a rebadge is ...
Just by means of a preamble, I clearly don't expect when ringing either the French President's office in Paris or the British Business Secretary's equivalent in London, to be immediately rushed the mi...
Nokia's Location and Commerce business unit outlines its activities and maps out its strategic direction. This interview is extracted from QUBE's Connected Vehicles Intelligence Service....
The final list of world premiere concepts and production models which appeared for the first time at AutoChina 2012 on the 23 and 24 April media preview days....
Only days after announcing another expansion of its just-expanded Chongqing factory, Ford said its joint venture Changan Ford Mazda Automobile (CFMA) would build another in Hangzhou adding initial cap...
Threatened Renault cylinder head supplier, Fonderie du Poitou Aluminium (FPA) has secured a buyer and investment worth EUR36.5m (US$47.7m) just days before the French Presidential elections, saving 39...
Last weekend Barack Obama announced at the Americas Summit held in Cartagena/Colombia that the FTA signed with the Andean country will start next month. Even though this was good news for the automoti...
- Briefing: developments in powertrain batteries
- THE WEEK THAT WAS: Chinese scoop up Pirelli
- COMMENT: Russia - it is rocket science
- ANALYSIS: VW Group - success and succession
- VEHICLE ANALYSIS: A new Volkswagen for the fleets
- Spat breaks out between Ford and Bentley
- Volvo Cars to build US factory
- GM management outlines reasons for Russia rethink
- New York show debuts: 10th gen Honda Civic concept
- Tesla to unveil 'major new non-car product line'