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Yes, it is true that the largest carmaker of India discontinued one of their best selling models, the Gypsy, and yes, it is also true that some models of the legendary off-roader are still being produced. Maruti Gyspy is etched into the public memory in the same manner that the Hindustan Ambassador is. Coming back to the production of the Gypsy, the company has rebooted the production of the SUV to meet eh demand of the Indian Army as the organization has been unable to find a suitable replacement of the Gypsy so far. Therefore, the army of the nation requested the government to relax rules for personnel carrier vehicles and placed the order Maruti Suzuki for the Gypsy. Maruti Suzuki has now taken an order of 3,051 Gypsy off-roaders, and these vehicles, along with Tata Safari Stormes will meet the army’s immediate requirement of 8,000 personnel carrier
Although the Army had selected the Safari Storme after a trial of almost 5 years as the replacement vehicle for the Gypsy. There are still a few parameters where the Gypsy aces the Storme, the most prominent among them is that the Gypsy is a smaller vehicle than the Storme. This means that the maneuverability of the Gypsy is better than the Storme when it comes to driving on the narrow and snaking roads of Himalayas. Another reason behind the demand for the Gypsy could be the petrol engine of the SUV, petrol has a higher freezing point than diesel (Storme uses a diesel engine), this means that the Gypsy will be easier to operate high in the mountains where the temperature often drops below 0° C. Not to mention that the soft top of the Gypsy also enables the soldiers to alight from the rear of the vehicle very easily in situations where quick deployment is required.
Talking about the recent choice of the Army, an officer stated,
“The Army is using the vehicle in the tough mountainous terrains of Kashmir and the northeast. Initially, the company had expressed its inability as the vehicle does not meet new safety and emission norms. We convinced the ministry about the requirement and it gave us the requisite waiver. Safari Storme is a little larger vehicle, and the roads in the mountains are narrow, for which we require the Gypsy. The Gypsy has the options of hard top and soft top. We can place our rifles, fully armed soldiers of the Quick Reaction Teams can stand, and recoilless guns can also be mounted.”
The largest carmaker of India had stopped the production of the Gypsy SUV a while ago and the Army had also decided on the procuring the Safari Storme after Tata had made the lowest bid. However, the recent move from the Army shows that the search for a true replacement of the legendary off-roader is still not fully over and Maruti will produce at least a few units of the Gypsy for now.