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New Renault baby ute not destined for Australia

Brazil not: The Renault Oroch is built for South American markets, and is unlikely to have been built to pass tough local standards.

Renault debuts Duster Oroch at Buenos Aires show, but it’s not coming to Australia


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19 Jun 2015

RENAULT has revealed pics and details of its first ever pick-up ahead of the vehicle’s launch in its local market of Argentina, but don’t expect to see it in Australian Renault dealerships.

The four-door Duster Oroch is based on the Dacia/Renault Duster small 4x4 SUV, and is underpinned by the same platform that is used by Nissan’s Juke.

The Oroch was previewed late last year in concept form, and the production version has remained faithful to the show car. While the front is recognisably that of the Duster, the short, square pick-up bed and flared overfenders are new.

Dacia also previewed a second, two-door version of the ute last year, 500 versions of which will be coach-built exclusively for Romanian oil company OMV Petrom.

Two petrol engines – a 1.6-litre and a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder – will be offered.

Given that the Oroch was designed exclusively for the South American market, it is unlikely that the Oroch would pass muster for sale in Australia, according to Renault Australia corporate communications manager Emily Fadeyev.

“The Renault Oroch is the half- tonne pickup based on the Dacia Duster. It was designed for the Americas region and will be produced there,” she said. “It is not planned for Renault Australia.” Renault has previously announced plans to use the latest D24 version of the Nissan Navara platform to create a large pick-up that would wear the double-diamond badge – and that, according to Renault Australia, is something that the local arm wants to sell.

“We have expressed strong interest in the one-tonne ute that is currently under development,” said Ms Fadeyev. “The reveal is still a little while away, and the business case for Australia is progressing well.”

It is thought that the Renault one-tonne ute will surface in 2017.

Renault would join Volkswagen as only the second European marque to offer a ute in Australia, although Mercedes-Benz recently announced plans to build a ute of its own.

Most light-commercial utes sold locally are sourced from Thailand, and include the top-selling Toyota HiLux, Ford's increasingly popular Ranger, the Holden Colorado, Isuzu D-Max, Mitsubishi Triton and the Mazda BT-50.

Last year, 41,807 4x2 utes and 133,566 4x4 utes were sold in Australia, a drop of 6.7 and 3.3 per cent respectively, while the overall light-commercial segment made up a 17.8 per cent share of the entire new-car market.

The 4x4 market is currently up 6.8 per cent year on year at 52,870 sales, while the 4x4 segment is 10 per cent down for the same period at 15,987.

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