The second model to be launched by Maruti Suzuki in India in 1984 after the Maruti 800 was the Maruti Omni. The Omni along with the 800 paved its name into the Indian car market as one of the earliest compact MPV then. Maruti Suzuki has pulled the plugs on the Omni recently due to the BSVI safety norms that come into place soon.
The Maruti Suzuki Omni sold in good numbers for the past 35 years, it was highly customizable for its body type and used as a people’s carrier or simple as a goods carrier. Initially you had the two versions available, the High Roof model and the Regular roof model for the Omni. The unique sliding rear doors that it came with was a novelty factor of its time along with the engine placed under the front seats which was also very unique.
The BSVI norms that come in soon will make all the cars to come Seatbelts, Airbags, ABS as minimum requirement to comply with it. The Omni will neither meet the crash test norms nor will its old 796cc carbureted engine be able to meet the stringent BSVI emission norms. It is surely the end of the road for the good old van. Despite its age and bare-bones packaging, the Omni still sells more than a lot of cars in India.
Maruti Suzuki has also recently updated the Eeco to meet the BSVI norms and this would be the model now that would carter also to the Omni segment. For now it’s goodbye to the first proper Vans that many of us grew up with.