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Sub-$30K pricing for proposed Renault Oroch pick-up

Deal rests on RHD bid for Dacia Duster based Oroch pick-up but not before 2021

Renault logo14 Sep 2018

RENAULT Australia is pushing for a successful right-hand-drive (RHD) business case for the Brazilian-built, Dacia Duster SUV-based Oroch dual-cab pick-up, which would open the door for a fresh sub-$30,000 compact pick-up to sit under the Alaskan.
 
Announcing his intentions at the Renault Megane RS launch in Brisbane this week, Renault Australia managing director Andrew Moore said if the Oroch is given the green light, it would likely be the yet-to-be revealed redesigned version that is still in development, pushing an on-sale date back three years to 2021 at the earliest.
 
“It’s yet to get right-hand-drive development, so it would have to be the Phase II (facelift that is still a few years away),” he told GoAuto. 
 
“But it’s not just Australia that is pushing for RHD. Before Australia put our hand up, it was too far away for being considered, but now there’s big opportunity with South Africa … and as South Africa would do more volume with this vehicle than Australia, putting South Africa, Australia and some other markets together, the case for Oroch RHD is now much stronger than before. Everybody has put forward their case and it’s now currently under review.”
 
Launched in South America in late 2015, the Oroch was off Renault Australia’s agenda until Mr Moore and his team devised a two-pronged market attack earlier this year, with the Brazilian-built dual-cab poised to sit below the Nissan Navara-based Alaskan pick-up that will almost certainly arrive here later next year or by early 2020 at the latest.
 
“The idea of the dual pick-up strategy is that customers who want to spend sub-$35,000 have the Oroch, while customers looking for an image-based truck have the Alaskan that has everything,” he said. “I don’t want to compete against the Navara; I want to compete against the Ford Ranger Wildtrak, Volkswagen Amarok and top-line HiLux. It’s a change of strategy that plays on the strength of the vehicle.
 
“(Renault Australia) never considered the Oroch before … so, when I met with Ashwani Gupta (vice-president of the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance light-commercial division), I presented the Alaskan for the higher-end and Oroch as the entry segment-breaker vehicle, and that’s how we cover the spectrum that other brands cover but not to the same degree with one model.” 
 
Mr Moore said he saw the Oroch competing against the likes of Japanese-branded 4x2 dual cabs such as the Mitsubishi Triton GLX Double Cab diesel from $35,500, as well as appealing to the traditional buyers of the now-defunct Australian-made passenger-car based Holden Commodore and Ford Falcon utes. 
 
“The beauty of the vehicle that I would propose is that the top-end Oroch would be around $30,000, and you would get a vehicle that has got the creature comforts, it’s got the look and style, whereas at the moment the 5.3-metre Mitsubishi Triton dual cab is $35,000; you can have a 4.7m Oroch dual cab for $30,000 with all the features, whereas that entry Triton is very bare, it’s a workhorse.
 
“And our payload is just under 700kg – and that’s almost identical to what the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore utes were.”
 
The current Oroch is based on Renault’s ageing B0 platform that dates back to the second-generation Clio of 1998, and it is 155mm longer than the Duster SUV that spawned it.
 
Beefed up and updated for this application, it features four doors, can seat up to five people, offers a payload of 680kg and can extend its cargo bed out to two metres diagonally and 683 litres in total via a sliding drawer-style tub known as a bucket bed.
 
Power is provided by four-cylinder engines in either 1.6-litre or 2.0-litre petrol capacities, driving the front wheels via a five- or six-speed manual gearboxes, or a four-speed automatic transmission. The Phase II facelift may include upgraded powertrains to more modern engines for global consumption.
 
Whether other Dacia models such as the Duster compact SUV also find their way to Australia is unknown.
 
“Based on the proposed line-up and where I’d like them to be, you can’t have too many models in your line-up, you’ve got to have a minimum for each sort of model,” Mr Moore said.
 
“The models I am flagging I believe are better suited to Australia in terms of styling and so forth. If we get the green light on Oroch, and we see a real interest in that car, that may suggest an opportunity for the Duster, but for me, I think we have that sector pretty well covered in the best way for Australia with Captur, Kadjar, Koleos – so I’m not exploring the Duster for Australia.
 
“But I don’t close the door on anything, as a distributor you should look at everything that may suit your market and have an open mind, but at this stage I don’t see much opportunity for Duster.
 
“And we would not launch Dacia as a brand in Australia.”

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