Nissan’s Duster compact SUV to be last of badge-engineered Renault-Nissan cars

Badge engineering is a global concept that many car companies do when they have an alliance tie up with another car brand. In India, though, this has not been very well received. And according to reports, the Nissan Duster-based compact SUV would be the last of the badge-engineered products from the company.

There are at least four badge-engineered products in India now – the Skoda Rapid is a badge-engineered Volkswagen Vento, the Renault Scala is a badge-engineered Nissan Sunny, Renault Pulse is a badge-engineered Nissan Micra and the upcoming compact SUV from Nissan is likely to be a badge-engineered Renault Duster. Also read:Nissan confirms rebadged Duster, Micra and Sunny automatic for India

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Globally, badge-engineering has helped carmakers get bigger volumes in a short period of time, by launching a similar car in different price positioning segments or geographies, allowing them to get volumes of scale. However, in India, the Renault-Nissan alliance’s badge engineered products haven’t quite worked out, as the incremental sales volumes the company has got, hasn’t been what it expected. Also see: All you wanted to know about the Renault Duster

Take for instance, the Renault Pulse. It’s launch should have technically doubled the sales for the company – by selling twice the number of Micras and/or Pulses. Instead, the Pulse seems to have eaten into the sales volumes of the Micra. Last month, Renault sold 358 Pulses while Nissan sold 335 Micras. In April last year, Nissan sold 1,435 Micras while only 412 Pulse were sold. Before the launch of the Pulse, Micra was selling about 1500 to 1600 cars a month, with a smaller dealership base. Adding the Pulse hasn’t done much for the alliance.

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It’s a similar case with the Renault Scala and Nissan Sunny. Instead of doubling sales technically, these two cars have eaten into the market share of each other rather than taken a bite out of any other competitor. Also see: Renault Duster modification by DC-Design

Looking at this, reports say that the Renault Duster based compact SUV from Nissan would be the last badge-engineered product, after which the alliance would focus on bringing in individual cars from their global portfolio. Nissan anyway will be bringing in a sub-brand in the next couple of months in the form of Datsun, which will then launch five different vehicles under that brand.

For you the buyer, going by how the hierarchy stands in the Renault-Nissan alliance, you can expect the Duster-based compact SUV from Nissan to be significantly cheaper than the Renault Duster. So if you had your sights set on a Duster, but wanted it cheaper, wait for about six months. Also read: Nissan’s Duster based compact SUV looks promising