Economy, Auto

Renault Launches Duster Pickup

Renault Launches Duster PickupRenault Launches Duster Pickup

Renault unveiled the Duster Oroch no-frills pickup truck aimed at the emerging Latam market as the automaker bets on resilient demand in South America and hopes to build on the success of its Duster SUV.

The Duster Oroch is Renault's first medium-sized pickup. It has a double-cabin layout with a row of seating behind the driver and front passenger. With four doors and five seats, it offers a level of space comparable to bigger pickups, Renault said in a statement.

The vehicle, whose main rivals will be the Volkswagen Saveiro and Fiat Strada, will go on sale in the region later this year, according to Auto News Europe.

Renault has not yet indicated whether the Oroch will be produced and sold in other markets and has not set any prices for the model.

"Latin America is an important market for Renault and today pickups are important in Latin America, so we had to enter the segment," Renault commercial vehicles chief, Ashwani Gupta, said in an interview.

The Duster Oroch was unveiled at the Buenos Aires auto show on Thursday. It shares its underpinnings with the hot-selling Duster.

South American pickup sales reached almost 681,000 vehicles in 2013, according to IHS Automotive, before a broader slowdown still being felt in emerging markets. IHS sees sales recovering to approach their earlier peak by the end of the decade from 557,000 next year.

North America remains the world's biggest pickup market, approaching 3 million annual sales, while Europe is one of the smallest at 141,000. European carmakers have been slow to exploit the vehicles' sales potential overseas.

Renault is rolling out its first pickup in the larger midsize category next year, based on Japanese affiliate Nissan's Navara model, whose underpinnings will also be shared with a Mercedes-Benz pickup.