The old workhorse has not been updated to meet the stricter safety norms
- Maruti’s ageing van goes out of production after 35 years.
- For the Omni model to continue, Maruti would have had to make excessive changes to its design and features.
- The Omni’s sales were consistently around 6,500 to 7,000 units till March 2019.
Maruti’s long-standing workhorse, the Omni van, has finally been taken out of production after 35 years of service. The old workhorse has soldiered on without any major update all these years and still isn’t very different from what it was when introduced decades ago. Maruti Suzuki seems to have finally decided not to update it to meet the existing minimum safety standards.
The new mandatory safety requirement has come into effect from 1 April 2019, and requires the passenger vehicle to be fitted with a driver airbag, ABS, rear parking sensors, high speed alert and seatbelt reminder as standard fitment.
Powering the Maruti Omni has been a 0.8-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine. This engine churns out 34PS@5000rpm and 59Nm@2500rpm and comes mated to a 4-speed manual transmission. The ARAI-rated fuel efficiency of this powertrain is 18.5kmpl. It is unlikely that this engine could have met BSVI emission standards, so even if Maruti Suzuki updates the Omni to meet the current safety norms and upcoming crash test norms, it would require a new BSVI engine to go beyond April 2020.