Having committed USD 600 million (around Rs 5,300 crore) in its next phase of investment, the Renault Nissan alliance has kicked off work on its midsize SUVs for the Indian market. Four vehicles are being readied for India and the alliance is expecting a combined volume of 1.5 lakh units per annum between all four vehicles by 2026 – for both domestic and exports market.
- 5-seat Duster likely to come by Diwali 2025
- 3-row version of Duster to come by June 2026
- Both SUVs to have their Nissan counterparts
Renault-Nissan’s India SUV game plan
Our sister publication Autocar Professional learns that the company has started work on projects P1311-R and P-1312-R – the B+ and C segment SUVs for Renault – and P1311-N and P-1312-N for Nissan catering to the same segment. These could indeed be the five-seater SUVs and their three-row derivatives. The alliance partners are expecting to produce and sell about 3.5 lakh units per annum by 2026, sources tell us.
“The first model based on the CMF-B platform is likely to hit the road by Diwali 2025. It is likely to be the new generation Duster from Renault, with a Nissan derivative also coming in around the same time. Within six months, a longer version of these models will be launched – around mid-June 2026,” said a source, requesting anonymity.
Both SUVs to be petrol only for starters
The midsize SUVs from both Renault and Nissan will likely come only with petrol powertrains. The group will analyse the demand for hybrid powertrains in the next two years, and if it feels there is demand for electrified vehicles, it may import the kit and offer it as a top-of-the-line variant. However, there are no plans of localising hybrids as yet. An email sent to Renault India did not elicit any response until the time this story was published.
Nissan Motor India spokesperson said, at this stage, the company cannot reveal any specifics, but added, “Nissan prioritises customer's needs and preferences when developing new vehicles. We are preparing an exciting pipeline of new products that will meet customer aspirations, requirements of local conditions targeting domestic and export markets for sustainable growth.”
Renault Nissan India investment plans
In February 2023, the Renault-Nissan group announced additional investment of $600m towards investment in new products and technologies. As per the investment plan, the Renault Nissan duo will introduce three new locally manufactured products each, two C-segment SUVs and one A-SUV in the EV space.
“This significant investment underlines our commitment to the Indian market and our determination to bring the latest technology and innovation to our customers,” added Nissan Motor spokesperson.
Ashwani Gupta, the global COO of Nissan Motor Corporation had announced that they plan to increase the current plant's utilisation from its existing 49 percent to 80 percent (4.5 lakh units), helped by both domestic and new exports in the next four to five years.
Gupta had told employees that the global market share of Nissan is 6 percent, and achieving a 3 percent market share in India, which is the third largest market in the world, is “not a big thing”. He added that achieving 80 percent plant capacity utilisation “is not a big challenge.”
“Today we are addressing just 15 percent of the market and securing 1.5 percent share. If we expand our coverage to 40 percent, a 3.5 percent market share is doable I think. Nissan can do about 2 lakh units of domestic volumes, and if you add exports, making and selling 4.5 lakh cars is no more a dream. I am sure you guys will deliver. If you achieve 3 percent market share, there will be 2,25,000 cars for the domestic market, and you have another 1,00,000 units to export. That is my mathematics,” Gupta said on his vision for India.