As promised, I went. It was quite a laugh, actually. First of all, they'd already showed the Zeus at the Auto Expo 2006. So the bike under the white veil was not a new sight. Then they had a couple of Ukrainian/Caucasian chicks in skimpy non-Suzuki coloured lycra thingies come and do a fifteen minute ta-daa session for the Mumbai press photogs. That was too funny. Even despite both the girls being very nubile and all of that sort of thing.
Had a chance to speak with Takata San later. He said Suzuki intended to breach the 5,00,000 unit sales mark by... wait for it... as soon as possible. Right. Big bikes? Not anytime soon, said the man, very clear that Suzuki intends to consolidate market share before it does anything else. I think the bike will sell in small numbers but this is not going to be a commercial success that will threaten Bajaj or Hero Honda. Suzuki are claiming that the high torque engine (10 nm at just 3500 rpm) will deliver 70 kpl in real world conditions, give or take ten per cent, so that is in the ball park. Below is the full press release, verbatim.
~ 125 cc bike to be targeted at the youth ~
Mumbai, May 16 2006: Suzuki, the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer, today launched Suzuki Zeus, 125 cc single cylinder bike. Katsumi Takata, Joint MD, and Deepak Pandey, All India Head, Sales and Marketing, Suzuki Motorcycles India unveiled the bike in Mumbai today.
Zeus is introduced with the objective of providing the Indian consumers a refreshing new feel in the commuter market category (100-125cc) and is targeted towards young college students and executives, who want contemporary styling clubbed with excellent performance.
Speaking at the launch, Mr Katsumi Takata, Joint MD, Suzuki Motorcycles Indian Pvt Ltd said, 'Suzuki motorcycles have been indigenously developed and bear the stamp of quality and reliability that the brand is globally known for. These technological innovations are made available to our customers resulting in superior ride quality, with amazing fuel-efficiency at an affordable price. With this new generation of motorcycles, Suzuki promises to meet every expectation of consumers in terms of technology, styling and performance.'
'Zeus is an indicator of our efforts to offer world class technology adapted for the Indian conditions that offers maximum value to our discerning customers who can certainly look forward to more offerings in the future,' he added.
Zeus comes with with contemporary styling, exhilarating performance, great sensory appeal, trust, low operative cost and excellent fuel efficiency. The motorcycle will be available in 3 vibrant colours (Candy Antares Red, Pearl Nebular Black and Metallic Titanium Gold) and will have special features like round crank shaft, all aluminium engine, hi-tech spark plug, advanced transmission (5 gears), disc brake, de-compression valve, primary kick mechanism and gear shift indicators.
The futuristic air-cooled four-stroke engine, developed specially for the Indian customer, powers Suzuki's new offering. The contemporary styling, great finishing, plenty of quality chrome and thoughtful details touches like an engine guard which adds to the bike on styling front and rear foot guard for the pillion rider is going to position the new motorcycles as 'the preferred bikes.'
Zeus has been developed after extensive market research and it will reinforce the commitment and support from the parent company - Suzuki Motor Corporation, Japan.
Zeus is priced competitively and provides better value by way of performance - fuel efficiency, reliability, durability etc. Zeus is available at an introductory price of Rs 46084 ex-showroom Mumbai [for the disc Zeus. Drum to be introduced later. Heat is Rs 40623 ex-Mumbai. As of May 16, 2006. Oh and that is the girl (below) who looked prettier of the two, for the record]
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