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India’s ‘Omni’present Van makes the exit

It is over a month that Maruti Suzuki had announced the discontinuation of India’s most popular van since past 35 years! Launched in 1984; Omni was the second product to be launched from Maruti’s stable and was an immediate success.The first version of Omni had a 796 cc inline-three engine, same as the Maruti 800.

Sold simply as the Maruti Van, this was the second vehicle to be launched by Maruti Suzuki. It arrived one year after the 800, in 1984. The name was changed to “Omni” in 1988. It received a facelift in 1998, and further minor revisions in 2005, when improvements were made to the exterior and the interior, and new colours became available.

Omni’s multi-purpose usage (personal, people movement, load carrying, ambulance, etc) made it a popular choice among the Indian consumers. The Omni could be divided into two categories: the family version and the cargo version. The family version had two extra seats directly behind the front seating and facing away towards the rear of the van making it an eight seater. Older versions are modified by individual owners to add additional capacity this way. The cargo version is completely devoid of back seats. Both versions have sliding back doors and hatchbacks.

Even during the last phase of its production in India; Omni used to contribute >6% of Maruti Arena’s sales (without Nexa volumes). Omni averaged a sale of 7,236 units in FY19 and virtually had no competition apart from its sibling Eeco.

The demise of Omni; has given the entire baton of Van segment to Eeco. The result was seen in Apr’19 volumes when Eeco registered its all time highest sale of  10,254 units. Eeco volumes shot up 37% in Apr’19 v/s Apr’18. Eeco should now be the sole offering now in the van segment and can easily say the the ‘Omni’present van shall solely be missed henceforth.


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