It may be the end of the road for the Maruti Gypsy, one of India's first compact off-roaders, as Maruti is considering phasing out the near three-decade old model in India.
The company is already working on a compact SUV, codenamed XA Alpha, based on the Swift platform that it will launch next year.
However, the new SUV, which will be priced at Rs. 6-9 lakh, may not enthuse serious off-roaders as it won’t have a four-wheel-drive option.
But it will have Swift’s 1.3 litre diesel engine and, hence, is likely to attract individual buyers. One major complaint against the Gypsy, launched in 1985, was that it ran on petrol.
The sales of the Gypsy, which is now made mainly for the armed forces, have fallen over the last few years. With the Army now looking at bigger alternatives such as Mahindra Scorpio and Tata Safari, sales have fallen from 6,000 units in 2008 to only 512 between January and June this year.
It has recorded zero sales in the July-September quarter, said a source in Maruti who did not wish to be identified.
“If the Army, which has a fleet of 27,000 Gypsies, decides not to buy it, production will have to be stopped,” the source added.