Vitara torques up storm
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.