Should General Motors launch the Chevrolet Niva compact SUV in India?

General Motors has just unveiled the Chevrolet Niva compact SUV concept at the ongoing 2014 Moscow Motor Show. The compact SUV will go into production in 2016 and will be aimed mainly at the Russian car market, where it will replace the decade old Lada Niva-based SUV that General Motors built in association with AvtoVAZ.

The 2016 Chevrolet Niva comes with a much more modern form factor, and there is a striking similarity between the latest General Motors compact SUV and the Ford EcoSport. The 2015 Chevrolet Niva, in concept form, gets a suspension lift, massive BF Goodrich off road tyres and other design cues that seem to highlight its off road prowess.

The concept version uses a 1.8 liter-4 cylinder petrol engine mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox. Locking differentials and an all wheel drive system are standard on the concept version and could make it to production if General Motors positions the Niva as a no-compromise on-off roader.

Russia is a car market that favours petrol powered cars and a diesel engine has never been offered on the Niva SUV range, both under the Lada and Chevrolet nameplates. However, a diesel engine under the hood is a necessity if the Niva is introduced in a market such as India.

Talking of India, Chevrolet showcased the Adra compact SUV concept at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo, and the Adra production is scheduled for 2017, which is a good three years away. While the Adra looked more like an urban crossover, in terms of design, the Niva is definitely the option that is the more brawny looker.

This makes us wonder loud. Will General Motors India consider the 2015 Chevrolet Niva for India, as a rugged alternate to the likes of the Mahindra Thar and the Force Gurkha, with a diesel heart powering it? What say, General Motors India?