Indian army orders restarting production for 3,051 Maruti Gypsy 4x4 vehicles

Maruti Suzuki India finally discontinued the Gypsy production on April 1, 2019. It was first launched in 1985. However, the Indian army needs 3,051 more units, which imposes briefly restarting its production. Satya reports on RushLane.

Indian army orders restarting production for 3051 Maruti Gypsy 4x4 vehicles
Maruti Gipsy used by an Arunachal Pradesh unit of the Indian army escorting an unprecedented expedition on the legendary Burma Road (World War 2) in January 2006. The expedition was unofficially allowed to enter Myanmar (previously called Burma) by Pangsau Pass, the border post between Arunachal Pradesh (India) and the first Myanmar border post, a few miles inside the country (Picture source: © Alain HENRY de FRAHAN)

Maruti Gypsy’s production was recently discontinued due to the car failing to meet upcoming crash test and CO² emission norms. Sales were officially stopped from April 1, 2019. Till recently, it was only Indian Army that had generated max sales for Gypsy, RushLane reports. But, after even the Indian Army opted for Tata Safari Storme, the decision to discontinue Gypsy became unavoidable. However, Gypsy’s story is not over: Gypsy is unlikely to be available to the general public, but it is expected to make a comeback in the Indian Army. It has been reported by New Indian Express that the Indian Army wants the Gypsy back and has placed an order for 3,051 new Gypsy’s. The army prefers Gypsy, as it is agile, suitable for rough terrain and can negotiate its way through narrow roads. Getting in and out of a Gypsy is also easier for troops, as the vehicle has an open-top profile. It is also easier to identify the occupants in a Gypsy, which is appropriate in high-risk security zones.

Another main reason why Indian Army had decided to replace Gypsy was that it came only with a petrol (gasoline) engine. All other army vehicles are diesel based, so carrying petrol separately for Gypsies created complexities in supply chain and logistics. However, owing to the distinctive advantages offered by Gypsy, Indian Army has decided to bring it back.

Earlier, the army had carried out extensive testing of Tata Safari Storme in rough terrain. After Safari proved its worth, an order of 3,192 units was placed. Tata Safari Storme has already been inducted into Indian Army and is being used at various locations. It is not yet clear if Tata Motors has delivered all 3,192 units to the army or if some are yet to be delivered.

Even though Gypsy production will be restarted, the vehicle itself will not be updated. Things like BNVSAP regulations and BS-VI won’t apply to army vehicles. However, new units of Gypsy will be manufactured as per Army’s specifications with 4×4 drive system. Powering the Maruti Gypsy 4×4 is a 1.3 liter BS4 petrol engine which delivers 80 hp and 103 Nm torque. It is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Mileage claimed is 11 km/l, nearly 10 l/100 km, a rather high consumption for such a light vehicle but Indian trails and military use are demanding.

What was sold as Gypsy in India, is basically the second generation of Suzuki Jimny. Internationally, the same model was discontinued more than a decade ago, but was still on sale in India due to demand by Indian Army. And it is because of the Indian Army, the once dead Maruti Gypsy, has returned back to life. Suzuki Jimny has now entered 4th generation in the international market. There are reports that the new Jimny will be launched in India as well.

Indian army orders restarting production for 3051 Maruti Gypsy 4x4 vehicles 2
Tata Safari Storme, the successor of the Maruti Gipsy (Picture source: Tata Motors)


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