Shashank Shekhar, a student of UID, Ahmedabad, was shortlisted as a mentee and he chose to work on Maruti Omni, a vehicle that doesn’t need an introduction. Over the 3 month remote internship period, he developed the idea of a new age OMNI to a good detail focusing on areas that would make a difference while continuously trying to juggle between aspiration and production constraints.
Introduced in 1984, the OMNI has been a very important member of Indian Automotive Market playing a part that could not have been played by any other vehicle. It is an ode to a family vehicle in almost every sense.
Through its lifespan we have seen it doing many duties apart from being just the family vehicle. It has stood and test of time and served as a school bus and an ambulance just to say the least. Not to forget, it has been the favourite villain vehicle in the movies and otherwise. At some point, it was nickamed,”the kidnapping van”.
The USP of the vehicle has always been its simplicity and ease of use. Over the years, as the competition grew the OMNI lost its charm as the family vehicle of choice. Gradually, the usage got limited only to a commercial van since it lacks modern day features and safety requirements. As a brief for my project, I thought of reintroducing this ICON keeping in mind the needs of the current Indian user and market scenario. I focus to introduce the OMNI in a new segment and pricing targeting Semi Urban young businessmen.
The next generation is bigger, better and safer to match the competition in market but it still has compactness and simplicity from its predecessor. I approached the project with a realistic view to get closer to the real world constraints of production vehicles and packaging. I hope you enjoy the process and outcome.
First published on the Indian Car Designers website, www.designodyssey.in, the project quickly captured the imagination of a good lot and was republished across many sites who added a bit of their own spice to the mix and helped the project reach an unprecedented number of people.
The virality of the project was also advanced by the sharing of the project over multiple Instagram and Youtube handles.