Maruti Zen to go off the road
The New Maruti Zen Estilo will hit the roads on August 25 this year and it will truly be curtains for the 16-year-old brand that was Zen. In a move that will see going off the road of the Maruti Zen, the country's best-loved small car, Maruti Suzuki India Ltd (MSIL) has decided to stop selling cars under the Zen brand next week, when it launches a refurbished 'Maruti Zen Estilo'.
Zen, which was launched way back in 1993, is one of the oldest models on the road today, along with the Ambassador and Maruti 800. The car gained popularity in the ’90s with its class-leading looks, peppy drive and jellybean shape.
“Every car has its own utility and its own branding. Our thrust with the new Estilo is on style, and not calling it a Zen is incidental,” said Mayank Pareek, executive officer, marketing and sales, MSIL. “This is nothing to be emotional about as the Maruti Zen Estilo still has all the characteristics of the Zen. One should not expect the same level of performance or sales from every product as every car is unique on its own,” he added.
For Maruti, Zen remains one of the biggest successes — the others being the Maruti 800, Esteem, Maruti Swift and Maruti Alto. Till 2006, as many as 6.4 lakh Zens were on the road; the Maruti Zen Estilo sold over a lakh units. But the Maruti Zen Estilo never quite managed to fit into the by-then legendary footprint of the old Zen. The Zen has a lot of brand equity and there was a feeling that somewhere the Maruti Zen Estilo could not meet the customer expectations.
The exisiting Maruti Zen Estilo retains the tall-boy design, but it is understated on the lines of the original. At 998 cc, the engine size is also similar to the Zen’s original 993cc, though the new engine is far more powerful.
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