Away from the glitter and glare of the big cars, the small multi-utility vehicle is having its way. Maruti Omni, often dubbed a poor cousin of the more successful Maruti 800, has crossed the one-million mark in sales. The feat, achieved a fortnight ago, went unnoticed in the industry.
Apart from Maruti 800, Omni is the only vehicle from the Maruti stable to cross the one-million mark. Omni was launched way back in 1987-88 and sold a bare 1,779 units in the first year. The vehicle has undergone several changes and has been used for a variety of purposes.
Maruti Udyog Ltd officials said, “The Omni has been a best-seller from the day it was launched in India.”
Initially, the company positioned it as a “travel in space” vehicle.
This was followed by the OmniE eight-seater in 1995-96. With demand for Euro-II-compliant vehicles, the Omni was upgraded and provided with a multi-point injection engine.
Responding to growing demand for inter-city cargo movement, Maruti re-positioned the vehicle with a liquefied petroleum gas driven engine as Omni Cargo LPG. The new avatar appealed to a diverse range of businesses, most notably retail and distribution.
The latest version of the versatile vehicle is the Omni Minor. This version was unveiled in April 2005 and continues to be in demand. The engine of the Omni Minor has been upgraded to meet Bharat Stage III norms. The vehicle has also been redesigned to contemporary standards.