The first shipment of 350 Indian built right hand drive Dacia Dusters is on its way to the UK and Ireland.

It’s the first time the Renault-Nissan factory in Oragadam near Chennai has built for export and the plant is the sole source for right hand drive Dacias.

The Duster went on sale in India in July and 19,000 have been delivered so far.

Marc Nassif, MD, Renault India, told Economic Times of India: "We will continue to focus on meeting domestic demand in India while also exploring new opportunities in exports and in making India the global hub for right hand drive vehicles."

The Indian Ford, Toyota and Honda factories export to South Africa and media reports suggest that Renault could follow that route although the company said it had not finalised plans for that market.

Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai use India as a global small car hub and export widely, including to Europe, for which Maruti does a Nissan Pixo-badged variant of its A-Star/Alto model.

The Duster goes on sale in the UK from the end of next month priced from GBP8,995 (US$14,500). The company said it has 1,000 pre-orders.

Dacia cops it from NCAP