Most of the automotive dinosaurs are extinct by now. The Series Land Rover that became the Defender? Gone, and about to be . The original Mercedes G-Wagen? Not available anymore, . The Sentra ? After 26 years in production, discontinued even in sunny South America.
Just recently, Morgan, the world's most traditional carmaker also had to , complete with a modern turbo engine from BMW. And now, India is losing its trusty Suzuki Omni.
The Omni is basically a mildly refreshed version of the seventh-generation Suzuki Carry, which was originally introduced in 1979. The Indian version followed in 1984, powered by the 800cc engine from the equally domestic . According to Maruti Suzuki, here's why you should buy one, while they're still in stock:
"Realizing your ambitions is easier if you have a partner to steer you towards the right path. The Maruti Suzuki Omni ensures just this, fast tracking your success with its improved performance, bigger space and multiple seating options, and stronger safety features. With the Maruti Suzuki Omni to take you to your destination, you can always be assured of your success and happiness."
Unfortunately, the local government believes the Omni's "stronger safety features" won't cut it anymore. Starting from the April 1st, ABS is a must for new cars in India. This will be followed by a mandatory airbag on the driver's side in July, and stricter crash standards from October. Since 1984, Suzuki sold around 16 million Omni vans in India and neighboring Pakistan, many of which are now used as ambulances, or as eight-seater taxis that are the backbone of public transportation in the region.
Instead of investing in a heavy (and absolutely not viable) redesign, Maruti Suzuki will rely on its already popular and optionally seven-seater Eeco vans, which are based on the tenth-generation Suzuki Carry from 1999. Because evolution can never stop.