Snapshot – Renault and Nissan have half a dozen new cars lined up for the Indian car market in 2015. Nissan will choose to focus on the Datsun low cost car range, while Renault will explore new territories of the Indian car market. Almost every launch from Renault and Nissan in 2015 will be aimed at cornering more market share. The Franco-Japanese automaking alliance is keen to make it big in India, after successfully cracking the exports end of the business. The slew of car launches in 2015 will be the major steps that Renault and Nissan will take to push the combined market share (currently in the single digits) to double digits.
The Datsun Go+ is an MPV iteration of the Go hatchback. The Go+ will be launched in India on the 15th of January 2015, as Nissan’s first big launch for next year. The Go+ is essentially a Go hatchback with a new body style and a 7 seat layout. So, much of the Go+ MPV’s mechanicals and features are borrowed from the hatchback. The Go+ will use the 1.2 liter HR12DE triple cylinder petrol motor in 67 Bhp-104 Nm state of tune, while torque transmission to the front wheels will happen by means of a 5 speed manual gearbox. The Go+ is expected to slot in at well under 4 lakh rupees, making it one of the most affordable people movers sold in India.
The Lodgy is Renault’s big entry for the great Indian MPV segment, populated by best sellers such as the Toyota Innova and the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. The Lodgy is a low cost MPV that sells with the Dacia badge in Europe. While the Lodgy sold in Europe gets five and seven seat layouts, the India-spec variant is likely to be a 7 seater. The India-spec Lodgy will also gain new interiors. In terms of engines and gearboxes, the 1.5 liter K9K turbo diesel-6 speed manual and the 1.6 liter HR16DE petrol-5 speed manual options are likely to be served up. The Lodgy is likely to slot in between the Ertiga and Innova segments, as an MPV that is larger than the Innova but one that offers more bang for the buck.
The RediGo hatchback will be Nissan’s maiden offering under the CMF-A architecture. The hatchback is a low cost offering that will be the lowest priced Datsun in India, what with a price tag close to the 2.5 lakh rupee mark. However, the low price tag should not fool you. Nissan wants to position the Datsun RediGo as a sporty looking tall-boy hatchback, intent on snaring younger audiences. Sharing its parts and platform with the Renault A-Entry/XBA, the Datsun RediGo will roll out from the Renault-Nissan joint manufacturing facility at Oragadam, off Chennai. The car will use a developed-in-India 800cc triple cylinder petrol motor, with heavy localization to boot.
Renault Duster Facelift
The current best seller for Renault in India, and the vehicle that made the French automaker a household name in the country, the Duster is due for a mid like makeover next year. The facelifted Duster will arrive sometime in the middle of next year. Cues from the European Duster Facelift and the D-Cross concept are expected to make the cut into the India-spec SUV. In terms of mechanicals, the Duster is expected to retain the petrol and turbo diesel options while an automatic gearbox could be a part of the equation for the petrol powered model. Expect a feature or two to be added on the inside. The Duster still has big appeal among buyers in India and a stylistic and feature upgrade is expected to keep the sales momentum high.
The A-Entry/XBA hatchback will be Renault’s stab at the budget small car market in India. The car will sit below the Pulse in terms of positioning, with a sub-4 lakh rupee price tag. In terms of platform, the XBA will use the CMF-A architecture, one that it share with the Datsun RediGo. Another major shared part will be the engine of the car, an 800cc triple cylinder unit developed by the Renault-Nissan Technical Center at Chennai. The car could also pack in an AMT option. The A-Entry will lead Renault’s efforts into moving beyond the Duster in terms of sales volumes. The advent of the budget car will also see the French automaker boosting its dealer and after sales footprint in the country.
Nissan Terrano AWD
The Nissan Terrano SUV, a badge engineered version of the Renault Duster, has lost the initial steam. To keep the compact SUV relevant in the face of mounting competition, Nissan will treat the Terrano to an all wheel drive system, along with additional features such as cruise control, speed limiter, ESP and traction control. The Terrano AWD will be launched in 2015, and will be priced above the equivalent Renault Duster variant. In terms of interior changes, a minor spruce up with the addition of a touchscreen infotainment unit are the changes expected on this compact SUV. The Terrano AWD will give cross country touring enthusiasts in India another capable option to choose from.