The country’s largest carmaker, Maruti Suzuki India Limited, will soon launch its newest lifestyle off-roader, the Jimny, in the Indian market. The launch is scheduled for June 7th, and the company will officially announce the price of this highly anticipated SUV. The Jimny is one of the most awaited cars of the year, and both the general public and the land-based branch of the Indian Armed Forces, the Indian Army, have shown a ton of interest in the car. A senior official from the company, Shashank Srivastava, Senior Executive Director – Marketing and Sales at Maruti Suzuki, revealed that the Indian Army has expressed a great deal of interest in their upcoming new product, the Jimny.
During an interview with HT Auto, Srivastava stated, “They (Indian Armed Forces) have shown interest in this product (Jimny). We are still studying their requirements in terms of specs. We haven’t started the sale yet, but it is on the horizon once that happens.” He further added that they are currently studying the requirements of the Indian Army and will make a final decision once that is done.
Earlier this year, in January, a few other Maruti officials confirmed that the company would offer the Indian Army a customized iteration of the Jimny. The officials stated that they would provide the Indian Army with the current off-roader Jimny in its three-door format, featuring a soft top.
Recently, Rajnath Singh, the Union Minister of Defence and the head of the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), approved the army’s request to introduce new General Service (GS) 4X4 light vehicles. According to the Indian Army, they want to replace the Gypsy with a small off-road vehicle that can be used in dangerous hilly terrain. The army aims to replace it with a soft-top vehicle as it offers greater adaptability and makes it easier for soldiers to carry weapons like rifles and communication gear. The Quick Reaction Teams can move more swiftly thanks to these soft vehicles.
For those unaware, Maruti Suzuki India Limited provided the Gypsy to the Indian Army until 2020, even though it had been discontinued for civilians a long time ago. However, due to increasingly stringent emission norms, continuing production of the Gypsy was not an option, leading the company to discontinue the vehicle. With this new announcement, it seems that the Indian Army could once again collaborate with Maruti Suzuki for the next generation of these General Service (GS) vehicles, which will be the brand’s newest product, the Jimny.
In other Indian Army and Gypsy news, recently one of ten Maruti Suzuki Gypsy’s retrofitted by the Indian Army with EV powertrain was spotted in a traffic jam. This converted electric Gypsy has been made by Tadpole Projects. The car was showcased at the Army Commanders Conference in New Delhi back in April and the project was undertaken by Indian Army Cell, IIT-Delhi and Tadpole Projects. Tadpole Projects is incubated by IIT-Delhi and does EV retrofitting. The main objective of the conversion is to reduce the operating cost. The converted Gypsy EVs costs only Rs 120 to travel 120 km, which is a major drop from Rs 1,200 that it consumed on petrol. It is a significant drop.