Vi­tara torques up storm

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - CRUISE CONTROL | -

SUZUKI is launch­ing its sporty ver­sions of the Vi­tara SUV in the trop­i­cal North and in the heart­land of the world’s long­est serv­ing Suzuki dealer.

Suzuki Queens­land will take me­dia to meet Chano Trentin at Ather­ton as part of the launch.

The event will also show­case some of the re­gion’s best driv­ing roads and her­itage.

The drive pro­gram in­cludes Cook­town and driv­ers will pass through min­ing towns such as Mt Mol­loy, Mt Car­bine and Palmer River. They also will tackle the Bloom­field Track be­tween Cook­town and Cape Tribu­la­tion.

The Vi­tara Turbo will give the range a timely boost and will be based on the Vi­tara S re­cently launched in Europe.

The tur­bocharged petrol en­gine will bol­ster the ex­ist­ing line up, of­fer­ing a new vari­ant for the pop­u­lar SUV model.

Based on the Vi­tara S re­vealed at the Frank­furt mo­tor show last Septem­ber and just launched in Europe, the 1.4-litre Boost­er­Jet 103kW/220Nm Vi­tara Turbo will be­come the new flag­ship of the com­pactSUV range, re­plac­ing the nor­mally as­pi­rated 1.6-litre RTX in the sec­ond quar­ter of 2016.

Apart from an ex­tra 17kW of power and 64Nm of torque over the 86kW/156Nm RT-X that it re­places, the Vi­tara Turbo will also come with a diesel vari­ant.

The ex­tra power and torque from the turbo en­gine gives the Vi­tara a pow­er­train com­pet­i­tive with the small-SUV seg­ment sales leader, the 109kW/192Nm 2.0-litre nor­mally as­pi­rated Mazda CX-3.

It is ex­pected to be well spec­i­fied, in­clud­ing hill-de­scent con­trol, key­less en­try and start, seven-inch al­loy wheels, front and rear park­ing sen­sors, LED head­lights, auto-lev­el­ling au­to­matic head­lights, au­to­matic wipers, elec­tric fold­ing mir­rors, leather seats with suede in­serts, and a sun­glasses holder.

Launched in Septem­ber af­ter a 14-year hia­tus, the new­gen­er­a­tion Vi­tara has gen­er­ated 1079 sales this year, for a 4.5 per cent share of the seg­ment dom­i­nated by Mazda’s CX-3 (4527), Mit­subishi ASX (4429) and Nis­san Qashqai (3238).

High global de­mand has limited sales vol­ume so far, but Suzuki hopes to build sales be­yond 500 a month once pro­duc­tion frees up.

Apart from the im­pend­ing ar­rival of the Vi­tara Turbo, Suzuki also an­nounced that all Vi­taras sold from the start of this year have Ap­ple CarPlay and An­droid Auto. CHANO Trentin started his busi­ness with a book and a pen in an Ather­ton ho­tel.

He is Suzuki’s old­est con­tin­u­ally run deal­er­ship out­side Ja­pan, with the 50-year mark com­ing up in 2012.

Chano Trentin’s All Wheel Drive Cen­tre be­gan sell­ing Suzuki mo­tor­bikes in 1963.

Mr Trentin once took six pigs as a trade-in on a Suzuki LJ50 and con­tin­ues to keep an eye on busi­ness.

His ca­reer in the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try be­gan more than 60 years ago as a painter and panel beater.

Be­fore long he de­cided to work with his “head and not his hands’’, turn­ing his at­ten­tion to car sales.

Suzuki Queens­land gen­eral man­ager Adam Le Fevre said: “Chano’s All Wheel Drive Cen­tre at Ather­ton is the old­est Suzuki deal­er­ship in the world.’’

Suzuki Aus­tralia man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Mac Kato said he had never known a per­son to achieve such longevity in the in­dus­try.

``To put it sim­ply, Chano has done a great job,’’ he said.

Last year, build­ing on its al­ready im­pres­sive list of ser­vice and cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion awards, All Wheel Drive Suzuki Ather­ton was Suzuki Queens­land’s No.1 ru­ral sales and ser­vice dealer.

“It’s im­por­tant to un­der­stand this recog­ni­tion is not just based on sales vol­ume against other deal­er­ships in des­ig­nated ar­eas,” Suzuki’s dealer sales ac­count man­ager Larry Ir­win said.

“It is based on cus­tomer ser­vice as well and sat­is­fac­tion, along with Suzuki rep­re­sen­ta­tion and par­tic­i­pa­tion.

He said re­ceiv­ing not one, but two awards across two sep­a­rate deal­er­ship de­part­ments was not a com­mon oc­cur­rence.

“It is some­thing Chano, Leon, Lee, Terry, Dan as well as the rest of the deal­er­ship team should be proud of,” Mr Ir­win said.

“Chano Trentin’s All-Wheel Drive Cen­tre Suzuki is not only the long­est serv­ing in­de­pen­dent Suzuki deal­er­ship in Queens­land and Aus­tralia, but the long­est serv­ing in the world.

“You only get there by hard work, ded­i­ca­tion and do­ing things right.”

LONGEVITY: Chano Trentin with Suzuki gen­eral manger Adam Le Fevre.

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