Marketing an SUV at the price of a city car was a bold move. When Dacia made that move in 2010, it hit on a major success. The theme of affordability was the focus of the Duster ad, in which a somewhat caricatural couple ask about the price of Duster after test driving it. When told that prices start at €11,900, the customer is offended: “You don’t think we’re going to spend so little?” The Dacia Duster phenomenon was born. The model sold over 450,000 units in three years. Building on that success, the brand launched a restyled Duster in 2013 that met with the same enthusiasm, the car’s now enviable popularity being expressed from 2016 on in the advertising slogan, “Another one drives a Duster”.
Duster’s price was clearly important at a time of economic crisis, but the car’s success cannot be reduced to its attractive price alone. The model’s intrinsic all-terrain qualities have also contributed largely to its success. The car’s design leaves no room for doubt as to its SUV nature. Without being over the top, the styling is that of a true 4WD model. The front end exudes a sense of robustness. The wide, curvaceous wings, double light units, and protective bumper clearly express the car’s SUV DNA. The raised ground clearance, large wheels (16″) and multiple protective features invite drivers to venture out on the toughest roads and tracks.
The interior is equally outstanding, with a modern, functional and modular cabin. And the impertinence of Dacia’s SUV does not stop there, as it features C-segment equipment at B-segment prices.
Duster was created in response to a simple observation: a true need exists worldwide for roomy, robust and affordable 4×4 cars. But at the time that needs was mostly unfulfilled. Which is why Dacia came up with the world first and developed an SUV primarily targeting developing markets. The needs of European motorists were also taken into account from the start of the project.
In developing countries, the middle classes aspire to own modern vehicles illustrating their social success. They are also looking for robust, reliable and versatile cars that can stand up to severe and varied climates and conditions of use (such as long distances and steep, almost impassable roads). Existing SUVs, most of them imported, often exceed the budgets of the middle classes.
In Europe, Dacia’s success demonstrates the existence of customers looking for modern, reliable and affordable cars. But as a whole, the 4×4 offer, though broad, is more about ostentatious and expensive models – often not adapted to off-road use – rather than functional and affordable all-terrain vehicles.
Launched initially under the Dacia brand, Duster was marketed with the Renault badge in 2011 in Latin America (including Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Chile and Colombia) and subsequently in Russia and India. Under the Renault brand, Duster is a true image driver. It targets motorists looking for a prestigious SUV with real off-road abilities.
The European version of Duster has been adapted to respond to the specific expectations of international customers, including an “extreme cold” version for Russia, a flex-fuel model for Brazil, and a right-hand-drive model with a special design for India.
Duster today is marketed in some 100 countries under the Renault and Dacia brands. In seven years, Duster has proved an immense success, selling in over two million units worldwide. The Duster story is set to continue in 2017 with the reveal of New Duster at the Frankfurt Motor Show on September 12.
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