Duster raises a storm, blows dust off Renault’s sales charts

August was the month Duster fans have been waiting for. The Duster’s sales numbers are clearly indicative that this compact SUV from Renault is a winner among Indian buyers. The Duster sold 3,184 units in August alone, which is more than the cumulative sales of all Renault vehicles in the last three months!

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The Duster, a compact SUV from Renault, was launched in the beginning of July, with deliveries to customers taking place only from July end onwards. The vehicle sold 1,194 units in July, and has leapt up another 166% in August. Of course, Renault has had to ramp up production of the Duster to meet demand, as the waiting period is now up to 4 months for the Duster. Also read: Renault to increase Duster production

As of now the Duster is the only vehicle in its category of compact SUVs. It’s only after the Ford EcoSport launches in January will the vehicle have some real competition. However, the Duster’s success does not seem to have come at the cost of any other SUV in its price segment. For instance, the Mahindra Scorpio continues to sell over 4,000 units a month, selling 4,204 units in August, down only a 150 odd units from July.  Also read: Renault Duster vs Mahindra Scorpio

The Tata Safari too saw a good month on the back of discounts be offered on the current Safari before the launch of the new Safari Storme next month. One can get benefits of up to Rs. 1 lakh on the present Safari, including free accessories, insurance and a dealer discount. The Tata Safari saw sales creep up to 1,167 units in August from 865 units in July. It’s clear again that the Duster has had no impact on the Tata Safari’s sales and that there is latent demand in the market for compact SUVs. Also see: Renault Duster Road Test

Is it possible that the Duster has managed to steal some of the customers from a different product category – that of MPVs? A direct competitor of sorts would be the Maruti Ertiga among MPVs, but the Ertiga too continues to sell well. The Ertiga sold 6,643 units in August, slightly lower than its 7,100 figure for July. The Ertiga is the sales leader among MPVs, beating the Toyota Innova for a second month running by about 200 vehicles.

The Renault Duster comes in eight variants, priced between Rs. 7.19 lakh and Rs. 11.29 lakh. It has three engine choices – a 1.6 litre petrol putting out 102 bhp of power, a 1.5 diesel with 85 bhp of power and a 1.5 diesel with 108 bhp of power. The unique proposition of this vehicle is its high fuel-efficiency, high ground clearance and butch looks. Read more: Renault Duster road test and review.

Renault had set itself a conservative target of 15,000 units of the Duster by the end of the financial year (March 2013), which it looks set to cross quite comfortably. Initial feedback on CarToq by new owners of the Duster has also been encouraging, and it looks like the vehicle will continue to enjoy good sales numbers until the Ford EcoSport comes in to spoil the party. Or will it?

Sales figures: Team-Bhp/Industry data