General Motors (GM) India is mulling to launch a compact SUV to take on the Ford EcoSport and Renault Duster.
“There is an opportunity for us to do a small sports utility vehicle. Indian consumers are looking for is a small nimble and efficient SUV. I think we need to go where the market is headed,” Lowell Paddock, president and managing director, General Motors India was quoted as saying by The Financial Chronicle. However, Paddock did not mention any timeline for their EcoSport rival.
The upcoming small SUV from GM India is expected to be an output of the company’s collaboration with its Chinese partner, SAIC. The company has already scheduled the launch of SAIC based MPV concept during the second half of 2012. GM India had been testing the India-bound Hong Tu van to take on the Maruti Suzuki Eeco and Tata Venture.
There are also speculations that GM India may launch the upcoming Opel Mokka to take on the Ford Ecosport. To be unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show, the Opel Mokka has aggressive front with smoked headlamps and dual tone exteriors, unconventionally designed tail lamp cluster and large rhombus-shaped reflectors integrated to the bumper. The front and rear skid plates give a sporty edge to this small SUV. The Mokka will likely be powered by 1.4-litre petrol and 1.7-litre diesel motors. However, India-bound model may have smaller engines.
Indian car makers are heading towards niche segments such as the sub-10 lakh compact SUV. At the 2012 Delhi Auto Expo, Ford unveiled the EcoSport while Renault unveiled the Duster compact SUV. Maruti Suzuki too, unveiled the XA Alpha Concept. Unlike bigger SUVs which are diesel guzzlers, the upcoming compact SUVs will be fuel efficient and at par with sub-10 lakh sedans. For instance, Ford EcoSport will get a 1-litre Ecoboost petrol engine that puts out 120 bhp and Ford promises that the Ecoboost engine will be high on fuel efficiency. The Renault Duster, too, will get a 1.5-litre dCI motor that is already known for its fuel efficiency in the Nissan Sunny diesel.