Just days ago, Renault and Nissan revealed that their future products aimed at the Indian market would be distinct from each other though they are in a global alliance and share a joint manufacturing facility at Oragadam, off Chennai. Renault India hit pay dirt with the Duster SUV, a clear pointer that new products work best in the Indian car market rather than badge engineered ones like the Pulse hatchback and the Scala sedan. In line with this approach, Renault India will launch the Lodgy MPV at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo.
The Lodgy MPV, which is based on the modified Duster platform, which itself is underpinned by the Logan platform, has been selling in the European market for the past few months. Since the MPV has underpinnings based on Renault’s low cost brand, Dacia, the cost of the Lodgy MPV is expected to be lower than its prime competitor in India, the Toyota Innova. The Lodgy will be the third platform under the Logan platform to make its debut in the Indian car market, after the Logan(now sold as the Mahindra Verito) and the Renault Duster. This platform has proven to be highly reliable as well as long lasting, as evidenced by the innumerable Renault Logan/Mahindra Verito cabs plying in India.
Through the Lodgy MPV, Renault India could be aiming at a strategy that delivers more value, by giving the Indian MPV buyer the space and utility of the Toyota Innova at the price of the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga. Initial indications seem to suggest a price undercutting the Duster for the Lodgy MPV. Like the Toyota Innova and the Mahindra Xylo, the Lodgy is a genuine 7 seater, quite unlike the Ertiga, whose third row is highly cramped. Top end variants of the Lodgy will get ABS and twin airbags as standard. These set of specifications are consistent with what the competition offers.
The Lodgy MPV is available with a 1.6 Liter petrol engine and a 1.5 Liter K9K turbo diesel engine in the European markets where it is currently selling. For the Indian car market, expect the Lodgy to get the 1.5 Liter K9K turbo diesel engine. If Renault India indeed prices the Lodgy under the Duster SUV, the MPV could get the 85 Bhp-200 Nm state of tune and a five speed manual gearbox. The Lodgy MPV is expected to be produced at Renault-Nissan’s joint production facility at Oragadam, off Chennai. Given that Nissan already has the Evalia as its MPV offering for the Indian car market, we don’t expect the Renault Lodgy to be shared with Nissan. So, there could be some competition between the Nissan Evalia and the Renault Lodgy given the fact that both these MPVs could be positioned close to each other. In line with Renault-Nissan’s global strategy, expect the Evalia to undercut the Lodgy.