All those who thought badge engineering won’t work, go eat humble pie. We admit, we were wrong too. To the larger public, the Nissan Terrano holds just as much appeal as the Renault Duster, as the sales numbers show – and together, the Renault-Nissan alliance is laughing all the way to the bank. It’s now the No.2 SUV maker in the country, just behind old timer Mahindra.
Mahindra continues to stay ahead because of the humble Mahindra Bolero, a rugged SUV that continues to trundle on mainly in rural India. If you take the Bolero out of the equation, suddenly the Renault-Nissan combination of the Duster and Terrano look like a formidable threat. Sure, these two SUVs are far more expensive than the cheaper Ford EcoSport, but together they sell more than the EcoSport, and looking at the equipment levels and parts sharing, the profit margins for the Duster and Terrano are definitely higher.
Overall, SUV sales dipped in November compared to October, when festive cheer roped in some sales. The Duster sold 3,624 units in November compared to 4,657 in October. The Terrano sold 2,865 units in November compared to 3,079 in October. If you take their numbers together, they are more than the Scorpio, which sold 3,594 in November and 5,230 in October. Taken together they grab the No.2 spot for all SUVs sold in India, behind the Bolero. The Ford EcoSport, which is a good Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 2.5 lakh cheaper, variant for variant, compared to the Duster and Terrano sold 4,392 in November and 5,113 in October. The EcoSport has been plagued with long waiting times and that has led to a fair number of cancellations too, which are to the Duster’s, Terrano’s and Scorpio’s benefit.
The Tata Safari Storme though seems to be missing the party. Tata reports Safari Dicor and Storme numbers together – and let’s for a moment assume that it’s the Storme that is selling more – the numbers are still far from satisfactory, with 839 units being sold in November, down from 1,115 in October. Also see: Duster vs Terrano vs XUV500
Moving up the price ladder the slowing sales story pans out across brands. XUV500 sales are down to 2,262 units in November compared to 3,226 in October. The newly launched W4 variant hasn’t done much yet. Further up, the Toyota Fortuner sales dropped to 1,264 units in November from 1,631 in October. Ford had a good month with the Endeavour though thanks to huge discounts and promotions – Endeavour sales are apparently up to 180 units in November from 33 in October, while the Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton appears to have traded places going down to 57 units, from 137 in October.
If this trend continues, it looks like the Renault-Nissan alliance is going to be a formidable force to reckon with in the compact SUV space. Also see: Renault Duster facelift unveiled