Chennai, November 30, 2012: Renault India has flagged off its export operations with the shipment of the first batch of Dacia-badged Duster SUVs from Ennore port in Chennai.
With the export of its first consignment of 350 Dusters to the United Kingdom and Ireland, Renault India has made its first foray into right-hand-drive markets worldwide. The company’s manufacturing plant at Oragadam, near Chennai, is currently the only facility globally to produce the right-hand-drive Duster, which is also sold in India.
“Oragadam is the only plant of Renault that manufactures right-hand-drive models. So naturally, it will become a hub for all markets across the world,” said Marc Nassif, managing director, Renault India.
There are three export variants – 104bhp 1.6-litre petrol, 110bhp and 90bhp diesel. A 4x4 version was also developed specifically for the export market. “We are importing the crucial components for the 4x4 model, fitting them at the Oragadam plant, and exporting them,” said Nassif.
Some of the changes for the export variant of the Duster include different seat fabrics, extra air-con on the rear (for the top-end model) and some changes in the wheel size and lights based on local regulations in the UK and Ireland.
Commenting on the splendid run that the Duster (which was launched in July 2012) is having in India, Nassif said that as of the end of November 2012, over 19,000 Dusters have been sent to dealerships across the country. “India will enter the top 10 markets in the world for Renault soon and by 2020, I expect it to break into the top three,” Nassif added.
Photograph (L-R): Kim Lee, deputy MD, Renault Nissan Alliance India Pvt Ltd; Velumani, MD, Ennore Port; Velumurugan (Indian Engineering Society), executive vice-chairman of the Guidance Bureau, Tamil Nadu; and Marc Nassif, MD, Renault India.