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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Once sold like hotcakes, the Renault Duster's story from the dearest to a disaster has rattled many car enthusiasts. What trick did the French automobile manufacturer miss which forced them to discontinue the SUV in India?

To answer this question we will have to dig into the past of the SUV. When the Duster was launched in 2012, it was the only mid-size SUV offering a 4/4 drive option at that time. And with an affordable price range, it became the 'Dearest' SUV of the Indians. Such was the craze of the SUV that if a potential buyer could not afford a Scorpio, they immediately went for the Duster.

As per a report by the company, 4,50,000 Dusters were sold in the first three years. Duster was remodeled in 2013, and the new version was just as popular. And this is where the auto major lost the trick; Duster did not get any facelift after that.

With an ever-changing demand of Indian car buyers, it was pertinent for the European auto major to cater to the likings of the Indians. But after just one facelift, Renault never provided any remodeling to Duster. It should have taken the clue from Maruti Suzuki which continues to be the largest seller in India because it provides a facelift/newer version of every model under its roof in every 2/3 years.

Another example of successful updation to keep the car selling in the market is the Honda City which has survived for more than 20 years and still going strong in the Indian market. Since its introduction in 1998, the City has been remodeled four times, with the latest updation, 5th Gen City's launch in 2022.

After 10 years in the Indian market, Renault finally pulled the plugs on Duster in 2022 with a meager sales figure and stiff competition from the rival brands that provided far more features than it. The Duster simply could not keep up the pace and perished.

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