Duster versus XUV: New rivals on the block



They are not exactly similar vehicles. Nor do they belong to the same segment. So to call it a rivalry in the strict sense of the word would be a stretch. Even then, India being a country where an eventual Wagon R customer would also consider a Honda City at a given time, pitting the Renault Duster and Mahindra XUV in the same bracket should not come as a surprise.

For one, they are SUVs and the more successful ones at that in recent times. XUV five double ooh, Mahindra’s most ambitious vehicle till date, was such a rage at the time of launch that even the most optimistic official in the company was surprised. The Duster on the other hand was saddled with the burden of expectations. It was a make or break vehicle for Renault and the company was hoping it will pull it out of the rut. How well it has done that and more.

And as you analyse the success of these two vehicles, a striking trend comes to the fore. It is centred on one simple fact. After a glorious run of almost 18 months, XUV seems to be losing its lustre. At the same time Duster, now in its 10th month, is only going from strength to strength. The contrast is so obvious that it begs the question. Is the Duster eating into XUV’s clientele?

Sample this. Since November last year, XUV sales have failed to cross the 4,000 mark, a figure it was easily coasting along for many months. Its sales have only gone southwards to below 3500 units at first and more recently even below the 2500 mark. Last month was a new low for the nameplate with only 2253 takers.

Many on the other hand, thought the Duster would flounder when its sales dipped temporarily to 3500 odd units in January. Many non Maruti, non Hyundai cars in the past have registered slumps after the initial 6 months of bonhomie. Never to recover. Chevrolet Beat, Ford Figo, VW Polo, Vento, Skoda Rapid and Toyota Etios are live examples. The Duster was expected to join that list.

Instead, January was just a breather. In the next three months it has found on an average over 5700 customers every month. And the indications are that the long bleak summer will not have a major impact on its fortunes.

It will be a little naive to believe that a 5 seater like Duster is a serious challenger to a 7 seater like XUV. But there does seem to be some competition between the two. Duster comes a tad cheaper than the XUV and offers a ride that is better than the Mahindra vehicle. Both the cars suffer from the same problem of uninspiring interior design and have similar strengths–good road presence and the image of a sturdiness. It is not preposterous to think customers may be choosing the smaller vehicle over the bigger one.

The real test for the Duster as also the XUV however is ahead of us. The launch of the Ford EcoSport would mean Renault will get its first direct competitor. At the same time, the sagging sales of the XUV would not be lost with the powers that be in Pune. SUV and utility vehicles is a segment that Mahindra understands the best. And it remains very capable to pull one of the tricks out of its hat to resuscitate XUV’s fortunes.

If at all, this is just the start of what promises to be a long drawn and yet intense rivalry. For now, the French have claimed round 1.

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  • Kushal

    You’d punch them in the face now, Atul8?

    Funny, I thought, when I read the story, that India is lucky. We don’t have to put up with such bad stereotypes. I thought, someone from Pakistan or Bangladesh would be justified in writing something like this. But not India.

    Obviously, I was wrong.

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  • Kushal

    You knew about BW all this time and you never TOLD me, Parmanu???

    *relapses into shocked silence*

    Who ELSE have you not told me about?

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  • Kushal

    The thing about travelling, as Parmanu pointed out above in the quote from Amit Chaudhuri, and as you also did in your first comment, is that it has a point. There is a certain reason you’re travelling and a certain something you’re looking for. Unless you actually live in another country as a worker, not a tourist, you really won’t know and won’t want to know much.

    Oh well.

    At least it gives us all something to laugh about.

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  • Kushal

    Yup, Anamika. You gotta live there. As you said, sigh.

    (Though I don’t think I want live in, say, Pushkar. Love visiting it though.)

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  • Kushal

    Yup, Anamika. You gotta live there. As you said, sigh.

    (Though I don’t think I want live in, say, Pushkar. Love visiting it though.)

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  • Anonymous

    I think it will be better for VIR to find out how tax payers money is wasted on Sonia’s secret foreign trips and Rahul’s picnic to Dalit villages.

    A tainted journalist sold out to Congress should be last person to question likes of Kiran Bedi and Kejriwal.

    There is no doubt that Congress’s dirty trick department headed by Digvijay is working in tandem to discredit Anna’s team. Initially they tried to discredit movement by calling it RSS sponsored..when people didn’t buy that, they came up with CD, IT notice and now so called inflated bills.

    The journos like Sanghvi are trying to shield lakhs of crores of Congress loot with some thousands of rupees technical mistake.

    Now I am convinced, Radia tapes were true.

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  • vinod

    hmm saleable media attacking corruption fighters.
    Kiran n Arvind corruption = max say a few lacs
    Using energy time and news space equal to
    2G corruption = Many thousand crore
    where is the priority of the Media.
    Which case can have a stronger impact on the naked hungry sick and crying children you see on road sides all over india.
    Is the Government proud of such situation? And such actions to find justification of their corrupt scam. On internet pro congress propangda is, see? even so called arvind and kiran corruption fighters are also corrupt.
    What kind of twisted logic is that to apply for self defense. Pathetic isn’t it?

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  • Ramesh Talwani

    LET US APPRECIATE ,WHO IS WRITING THIS BLOG,A MAN WHOSE NAME APPEARED IN NEERA RADIA TAPES AND IS NOT KNOWN FOR UPRIGHTNESS.
    I WILL APPRECIATE IF SINGHVI HAD ALSO FOUGHT FOR CAUSE.
    THE CAUSE IS IMPORTANT.
    YOU CAN HAVE A FULL ISSUE OF CONGRESS TIMES (HINDUSTAN TIMES)
    ON BACKGROUND OF THESE FIGHTERS ONCE SO THAT PEOPLE MAY KNOW THEIR BACKGROUND IS NOT TOTALLY WHITE.
    BUT ABOUT THOSE PEOPLE WHO HAVE NO COURAGE TO STANDUP AGAINST AUTHORITIES FOR A CAUSE.
    FOR PEOPLE WHO HAVE BENEFITTED FROM SYSTEM OR STILL BENEFITTING FROM IT THESE THINGS ARE ISSUE.
    VIR SINGHVI ,WHY DONOT YOU JOIN THE TEAM.
    THESE ARE NON ISSUES.
    THE PEOPLE WHO FOUGHT FOR INDEPENDENCE ,MANY OF THEM HAD SHADY BACKGROUND.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZHTQE36KCN27UI4VPK352CRBNM Thangavelu

    Kiran bedi was in a powerful police post.If she wants money nothing can stop her to get it.But through out her service,not a single allegation was made.Now this allegations about air fare differences.it is meaningless.

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  • http://twitter.com/sureshb65 shanmugham balaji

    you are a stooge of congress it had been proved beyond a point with radia tapes. you have lost your credibility and you still write. no one wants to read you. go and join congress along with barkha dutt

    [Reply]

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3JABLBMXYNY4NL7XN7JRAQ4EBA deepak

    For the first time something good is happening in the country and the folks like

    [Reply]

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_3JABLBMXYNY4NL7XN7JRAQ4EBA deepak

    For the first time something good is happening in the country and the congress party
    and its stooges like vir are making every attempt to scuttle the movement. The country will always remain under developed if the congress remains in power. Most of the ministers in Congress are from well educated background (Harvard, Cambridge) and I don’t understand what makes them such disgusting persons.

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  • Ajit Vadakayil

    hi,

    punch into google search FOREIGN FUNDED NGOs RIDING ON ANNA HAZARE’S SHOULDERS- VADAKAYIL.

    CRANE bedi is now CHEAT bedi!

    capt ajit vadakayil
    ..

    [Reply]

  • Ashokjosh

    Silly Talk: The writer must agonise about the govt corruption rather than this fake outrage against Ms Bedi. First of all Ms Bedi is not defrauding the tax payer. It is between her and her hosts. As long as the host don’t’ complain it is not an issue at all. If you call this corruption I have serious doubts about your judgement as well as integrity.

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  • vinod

    Reema
    Vir says the Kejriwal (and Kiran) should not blame the media.
    Ok he is right. Actually, I would not defend them in any circumstances. They did it they will sort it out. If the case as any legal ramifications they will have to sort it out.

    However, I would not agree with the Logic that “See, even they are corrupt, who are they to fight against corruption and who are they to point fingers at Congress”

    Do we need Harishchandra to come and fight against corruption now?

    When the Anti Corruption movement started with Ram Dev with pressure on Congress to disclose the SWISS ACCOUNT, Ram Dev was driven by Lathi.
    Now that pisses people like me off – big time.

    Anna also joined the movement, then Govt put him in Jail.

    Pranab said that he has the list of the names of the People holding the money in these accounts. But he cannot release it and getting the money from SWISS Banks is vhery diphicult. Try to explain to the General Public why our government cannot get the money back and why USA got all their money back. Seriously, it is a lot of money which could change the Wealth of Indian Government.

    In the light of fighting corruption, the interest of the Public is eradication corruption from the Government which is so blantly corrupt as in Pranab’s attitude. Nobody cares if Kejriwal or Kiran did corruption of a few Lacs. It is their matter, they will sort it out.

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  • http://twitter.com/DelhiBug Ranita Ray

    A media creation?? There was an agitation and due to the media, people around the country heard about it and because there was a major anger on corrpution, they were ready to join it. The media did not create this agitation out of a hat!!! Secondly there are people in the media too who are fed up of corruption and supported the movement indirectly by highlighting it.

    [Reply]

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