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Maruti's iconic brand Zen set to drive into history
NEW DELHI: Maruti Suzuki's Zen, the once-iconic brand that was perhaps the country's first luxury compact car, is all set to fade into history
with the company deciding to drop the name from a new refurbished version of the model.

Launched in 1993, the Zen was among the most visible and also among the highly aspirational brands from Maruti and soon emerged as a favourite with those looking to add a touch of class to their compact car.

The car emerged as a runaway success, with Maruti Suzuki managing to sell 8.8 lakh units till date, more than 10% of the total 81 lakh units that Maruti has sold since it started selling cars in the country in the early 1980s.

It ended as the fourth-largest selling model for the company after Maruti 800 (27 lakh), Alto (13.5 lakh) and the Omni van (12 lakh).

So what has prompted the company to part ways with one of its oldest warhorses? Company officials said brand Zen did not fit into present times and thus, it was time to sign it off.

“The DNA of brand Zen and the DNA of the current products are not in sync. Therefore, we felt it was time for a change,’’ said Mayank Pareek, Maruti’s managing executive officer in-charge of marketing and sales.

While the brand had a great run, it has not been in the pink of health since December 2006, when Maruti went in for major changes to the original low-slung Zen design and opted for a tallboy sharper christening the model as Zen Estilo.

The new version, however, failed to cut much ice in the market and could manage to sell around 1.2 lakh units till date, averaging only around 3,000 units monthly, of late, after heavy discounts.

The not so enthusiastic performance of the car has now prompted the company to go in for an all-new design with a new petrol engine as well as changes to the exterior and the interiors, sans the ‘Zen’ brand.

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