Companies

End of the line for Maruti Gypsy

S Ronendra Singh New Delhi | Updated on November 13, 2018 Published on November 13, 2018

Gypsy had been the favourite vehicle of the Defence and paramilitary forces for more than three decades (file photo)   -  S_Subramanium

Maruti to stop making iconic SUV from next April

Come April 2019, the iconic sports utility vehicle (SUV) Maruti Suzuki Gypsy, ‘the king of off-roads’, will be off the production line.

With new safety norms such as anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and airbags becoming mandatory from next year, Maruti Suzuki will stop production of the Gypsy from April.

Booking deadline

Those who want to buy a Gypsy can book a vehicle till next month as bookings will stop from December-end or January, sources close to the developments told BusinessLine.

The Gypsy had been the favourite vehicle of the Defence and paramilitary forces for more than three decades from Kashmir to the North-East. It is loved also by rallyists for its rugged build, even though it does not have power-steering or other features such as airbags, EBD or ABS.

It is one of the best off-roading vehicles with 4x4 capability and also the cheapest with a load of customisation probabilities.

According to sources, Maruti Suzuki would not like to spend more on developing a new Gypsy complying with the new regulations as the vehicle is sold in small numbers, especially after the Defence sector stopped buying it around a year back.

The company declined to comment on the development.

Drop in sales

Since April last year, the Indian Army has been procuring Safari Storme 4x4 made by Tata Motors. Since then very few Gypsys have rolled out of the Gurgaon Maruti plant. According to sources, only 200-250 units of the vehicle are sold a month.

The Gypsy was introduced into the Indian market in 1985 with a one-litre petrol engine, which got updates with time and is now available in 1.3 MPFI engine with four cylinders that gives a maximum power of 60 kW @ 6,000 rpm and a maximum torque of 103 Nm @ 4,500 rpm.

It is currently available at ₹5.71-6.40 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) and less than 10 per cent of purchases is by personal buyers; still, purchases are mostly by paramilitary forces or for government procurement.

According to analysts, some updates could have been done but not wholesale changes like ABS and airbags. This would also cost quite a bit to the company, which may prefer to launch instead its much-hyped Jimny compact SUV next year.

Published on November 13, 2018
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