labels: automotive, maruti udyog, marketing - general
Maruti's Zen reborn as Estilo news
Mohini Bhatnagar
01 December 2006
In a clear instance of extending the brand equity of a phased out model, Maruti Udyog (MUL) is launching the Zen in the incarnation of the Estilo next week.

However, the new Zen will not bear any resemblance to the popular old model and is said to have greater resemblance to the WagonR and Alto.

The Estilo meaning 'style' in Spanish is expected to compete against the Hyundai Santro, Tata Indica and may also eat into the sales of its own model, the Swift, launched in 2005. It is in fact none other the Suzuki's popular hatchback MR Wagon launched in 1999 in Japan and other countries. It would also be one of the first of the five models Maruti promises to launch in India over the next five years.

Maruti wants to position the new Zen as a fashion statement and will launch it at a Tarun Tahiliani fashion show.

Maruti's dealers who received details of the car at a series of zonal conferences with the company said the Zen Estilo has a monoform design, smart interiors and distinctive aerodynamics.

Suzuki MR Wagon was launched in Japan in 1999 and is based on the Alto and Wagon-R platform. The car has been phased out in Japan. Though dealers remained non-committal about its price, Maruti is expected to price the Suzuki MR Wagon between Rs3 and Rs4lakh.

The Zen, launched in 1993 and discontinued early this year, was among MUL's most popular models and almost as ubiquitous as the M800. In all, the company has sold a total of over 760,000 cars of this model in the domestic market and exported 122,000 units.

MUL launched the Zen to cater to a slightly upmarket audience than that of the M800 had and to capitalise on the latter's success. It priced the Zen higher and also gave it a bigger 1000cc, 50bhp engine. In 1998, the diesel version of the Zen was launched, which proved popular. In 2000, the Zen with the MPFI engine was launched that had more power, making it a value-for-money proposition that Indians love.

In 2004 the Zen Classic came in with an ambitious Mercedes look-alike front grill and some other design changes.

Technical Specifications - Suzuki MR Wagon
Power: 64 bhp@6400 rpm
Torque: 8.56 kgm@3500 rpm
Length: 3401 mm
Width: 1575 mm
Height: 1669 mm
Wheelbase: 2334 mm
Fuel tank: 30 litres
Engines size: 1061cc, 4 cyliners inline
BHP: 60.32 bhp/litre
Gearbox type: 5 speed manual
Front suspension: McPherson strut
Rear suspension: three link rigid type
Front brakes: ventillated discs
Rear brakes: drums
Tyre: 145/70 R13


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Maruti's Zen reborn as Estilo