Maruti Suzuki India Limited has revealed that the Omni will be taken off production in India, reveals Car and Bike. The Omni van has been on sale in India for many years now, in fact, it was the second car launched by Maruti Suzuki, just a year after the Maruti 800 launch.
Omni was initially launched as Maruti Van in 1984, and was powered by the same 800 cc engine. Even today, the car is available with 800 cc engine. In all these years, there was never a new generation or facelift announced. Design kept changing every few years, but the basic design remains same.
Now, it is time to say good bye to Maruti Omni. It will be discontinued not because of low sales (in fact sales are strong at about 7,000 units sold every month). But because it will not comply with Bharat New Vehicles Safety Assessment Program coming into effect from October 2020.
The Maruti Omni sports a flat front fascia and lacks structural ability to comply with the new crash test norms. The Omni also cannot be fitted with crumple zones which could allow it to absorb impact in the event of a crash and it is for these reasons that the company has decided to discontinue the model.
Maruti Omni has been in continuous production since then and will complete 36 years of production in 2020. The van is powered by a 796cc, three cylinder F8D petrol, LPG Petrol and CNG Petrol offering 34 bhp power and 59 Nm torque mated to a 4 speed manual gearbox. It was one of the most affordable cars in India with prices starting at Rs 3.59 lakhs. Ideally suited for families and for school and cargo vans, the Omni is offered in 5 and 8 seater options.
With the Omni soon to be discontinued, it is possible that a replacement could be found in the form of WagonR 7 seater based on the Suzuki Solio, which is currently on test in India. It is based on the same new gen platform of Swift and Dzire, making it compliant of all the latest crash test norms.
The other option is Eeco. Maruti could strengthen Eeco and make it crash test worthy by 2020. The Maruti Eeco is also a keen competitor in the cargo market and has recently achieved a milestone reaching the 5 lakh sales milestone in the last 8 years. The Eeco is powered by a 1.2 liter, 4 cylinder engine offering 73 bhp power and 101 Nm torque. The CNG variant delivers fuel efficiency to the extent of 21.8 kmpl and it is ideally suited for middle class families in Tier II cities and for small businesses.