Indian Army ended the contract with Maruti Suzuki for the supply of new cars to choose Tata Safari Storme previously. Army has now placed fresh orders for the Gypsy.
Early last year, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL), the largest-selling carmaker in the country, announced the discontinuation of its aged but highly capable Gypsy mini SUV in the local car market. The much-revered off-roader was discontinued from 1 April 2019 due to the SUV’s inability to meet the updated safety regulations.
Also, the Indian Army, which has been the largest buyer of the Maruti Gypsy, had decided to switch to the Tata Safari Storme. However, it has now come to light that the carmaker will soon resume the production of its ‘mountain goat’ as it has received a fresh order from the Army.
However, this time around, the iconic off-roader won’t be available to the private car buyers. While the Maruti Gypsy not only fails to conform with the updated safety regulations, but its G13 1.3-litre four-cylinder engine will even fail to achieve compliance with the BSVI emission norms. Hence, the Gypsy sold to the Army won’t comply with both updated safety and emission regulations. It’s worth mentioning here that these norms don’t apply to Army vehicles.
In a related development, it emerged a few months ago that the carmaker plans to launch a successor of the Maruti Gypsy in the new car market in the form of a derivative of the current generation Suzuki Jimny. While the company has maintained that there is little demand for mini off-roaders, the company plans to come up with an India-specific version.
With the launch of the India-spec Suzuki Jimny, the company would hope to recreate the magic of the Maruti Gypsy, which was first launched in the country over 34 years ago. Also, it may be noted here that the India-spec Gypsy was itself a derivative of the second-gen Suzuki Jimny.
Also, unlike the Maruti Gypsy, the upcoming Suzuki Jimny SUV for India will be in compliance with the new safety and emission norms. The off-roader will share its 1.5-litre petrol engine with the Ertiga and Ciaz and will be based on the Jimny Sierra sold abroad.