Maruti Suzuki has discontinued the Omni passenger and cargo van variants after the vehicle was unable to meet the new safety norms under the Bharat New Vehicle Safety Assessment Prpgram (BNVSAP) regime. To make up for the Omni’s loss, Maruti equipped the Eeco passenger and cargo van with ABS, driver airbag, reverse parking sensors, and seat belt reminder for the vehicle to confirm to BNVSAP norms. Now, the Eeco seems to have clearly replaced the Maruti Omni, and the sales numbers reflect just this. The Eeco actually outsold the likes of the Maruti Brezza, Hyundai Venue and Creta, and managed to become India’s 7th largest selling car in June 2019. The van clocked its best ever monthly numbers with 9,265 units in June 2019. This is a 65 % year-on-year increase in sales numbers. In June 2018, the Eeco clocked 5,612 units.
The Maruti Brezza had a rough month, managing 8,871 units down from 10,713 units in June 2018, which represents a 17 % fall in sales. The Maruti Brezza is expected to get a facelift and a new petrol engine shortly, and this should arrest the sales slide to some extent. The recently launched Hyundai Venue did 8,763 units, very healthy numbers for a new vehicle while the Creta compact SUV, which is almost at the end of its life cycle, continues to be a strong seller, clocking 8334 units in June 2019.
The introduction of the Hyundai Venue has eaten into Creta sales, and this is reflected by the 25 % drop in volumes (The Hyundai Creta did 11,111 units in June 2018). All in all, the big takeaway here is the fact that the utilitarian Maruti Eeco is actually outselling many aspirational SUVs in the Indian market, and has proven to be an excellent replacement to the Maruti Omni. In fact, history is repeating here. When Maruti discontinued the 800 many years ago, the Alto seamlessly took over. We’re seeing something similar happening with the Eeco and the Omni.
The Eeco is a sub-4 meter passenger van that’s offered in 5 seat and 7 seat variants. The Eeco also gets a cargo variant that is a two seater, with the rest of the space converted into a cargo loading area. Like the Maruti Omni, the Eeco has sliding doors. It’s powered by a 1.2 liter-4 cylinder petrol engine that puts out 72 Bhp of peak power and 104 Nm of peak torque. This engine is mid-mounted and powers the rear wheels of the van by means of a 5 speed manual gearbox. The Eeco is available with petrol and petrol-CNG dual fuel trims. The passenger van is India’s least priced 7 seater, with prices starting from just Rs. 3.8 lakhs for the 7 seater variant. The 5 seater variant is even cheaper, with a price tag of Rs. 3.51 lakhs.