Few months back, Maruti Suzuki had announced to end the production of its most popular cars in India, the Maruti 800 and the Omni. But now the company is exploring options to upgrade it to meet the Bharat Stage-IV emission norms that will be effective from March 2010.
The norms will be initially enforced in major cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bangalore and six other cities. Earlier, the company felt that the engines in M800 and Omni cannot be upgraded to meet the norms and hence needed to be phased out. Both the vehicles come equipped with 786cc 3 cylinder engines.
Sales and Marketing Director, Mr. Shuji Oishi said, "We have the engineering capabilities to upgrade engines of M800 and Omni. We are working on it."
However, he did not clarify if the upgradation will affect the car price in future or not. Currently, M800 is available at a base price of Rs 1.85 Lakh, the cheapest price in the Indian car market.
Maruti's rural sales are driven by the Maruti 800, Omni and the Alto. The M800 and Omni are the oldest models from the house of Maruti introduced during 1980s. Now the sales of 800 have been hit with the entry of more advanced small cars in the market. Maruti 800 recorded sales of only 62,323 units with majority of them being in semi-urban and rural areas.