Maruti Suzuki will not discontinue its iconic model the Maruti 800 and the Omni. In a complete reversal of its earlier decision to phase out the car that revolutionized mobility in India, Maruti has decided to give it a new lease of life. The M800 is likely to be upgraded according to the Bharat Stage IV emission norms that come into effect from April next year.
Maruti had earlier announced that the Maruti 800 and the Omni would be phased out first in 11 cities by 2010 and from the entire country by 2015-16. The company had pleaded its inability to upgrade the engine to BS IV stage due to involvement of huge investment.
However, in an announcement, the company has stated that engineers at the Maruti Suzuki India have found a way to keep the car on roads. The engineers can upgrade the engine to comply with Bharat Stage IV emission norms.
Speaking to the press people, the managing executive officer (engineering) MSIL Mr. I V Rao said, “We have found a way to do some after treatment on the engine of M800 that will upgrade it to BS IV norms.” However, the decision to completely phase out the car from the market will be taken by the marketing team.
In addition to this, Maruti too may extend its life after a sudden increase in its sales in the last few months. The M800 and the Omni both share the same 796cc 3 cylinder MPFI petrol run engines. While M800 delivers 37 bhp the Omni churns out a peak power of 35 bhp.
Company officials have decided to keep rolling out the Omni with an upgraded engine as they continue to be in demand. Maruti introduced M800 in 1983 and has sold over 2.7 million units so far. After the recent foray into the semi-urban and rural areas, Maruti has received a high demand for the model M800.
Despite their long run in the market and competition with technologically advanced modern cars, M800 and Omni are still experience a decent numbers of sales. The Maruti 800 still sells around 3000 units every month whereas the Omni sells nearly 5,000 units per month. This is because the cost of purchase of the Maruti 800 and the Omni is lowest in India. Moreover, they are easy to maintain and spares are easily available in the country.