End of the road for the country’s favourite SUV
An end of an era might be on the cards for Maruti Suzuki Gypsy and the Indian Army. From the time the vehicle was launched in India in 1985 and soon inducted into the Army, it has since become synonymous with the Indian Army. However, the Indian Army may soon phase out its long standing companion, and the Mahindra Commander,
Exit Gypsy, enter Safari and Scorpio
An end of an era might be on the cards for Maruti Suzuki Gypsy and the Indian Army. From the time the vehicle was launched in India in 1985 and soon inducted into the Army, it has since become synonymous with the Indian Army. However, the Indian Army may soon phase out its long standing companion, and the Mahindra Commander, and replace it with the Tata Safari Storme and Mahindra Scorpio, according to a report, in a bid to induct new, modern vehicles into its fleet.
This also comes as a bad news as in 2014 Maruti had bagged its single largest manufacturing order for the Gypsy from the Indian Army. Under the assignment, the company had to manufacture and deliver over 4,100 units of the SUV. Reports of the possibility of phasing out the Gypsy have been doing the rounds for sometime now. It has been earlier reported by various media organisations that Maruti Suzuki had decided to stay out of a fresh bid in April 2013, when the Army was looking for bids in the 800 kg general service vehicle category -- the Gypsy sells in the 500 kg vehicle category.
At the time, Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra and Nissan had submitted bids for providing nearly 30,000 vehicles for over Rs 3,000 crore to the Indian Army. The Army recently selected the Tata Safari Storme and the Mahindra Scorpio after rigorous tests, the report said.
Tata Motors also bagged an order worth over Rs 900c crore, to supply nearly 1,200 high mobility vehicles to the Indian Army. Tata Motors will deliver these 6x6 multi-axle trucks to the Army in the next 24 months. These vehicles will be mainly used to transport ammunition.
"We at Tata Motors are extremely proud to have bagged the single largest order, among Indian OEM's from the Indian army, for the most technologically advanced high mobility load carrier system ever built here in India," Tata Motors, Vice President, Defence & Government Business, Vernon Noronha said while speaking to the media.
The company expects to earn nearly Rs 4,000 crore from the sector in the next three years. Noronha said that the move came after the Narendra Modi-led government has been pushing to increase defence manufacturing in the country, to bring down the huge defence import bill. He said, Earlier, suppliers used to chase the government for orders. But now, the government- the Army and the defence ministry – is chasing us."