Kinetic launches moto-scooter Blaze in Bangalore, Pune & Goa

BANGALORE: Scooter manufacturer Kinetic Motor has launched the first of its Italjet acquired models Italiano series with the sobriquet "Blaze in Bangalore, Pune and Goa". A national rollout is slated for next month.

Kinetic's joint MD Sulajja Firodia Motwani, present at the launch in Bangalore, expects to sell around 35,000 to 40,000 units (excluding exports) during this financial year (ending 30 September 2006). These numbers will add around Rs 1.8 billion to the group's turnover which touched Rs 20 billion last year and is expected to turn the balance sheet around.

Slated for this year are two other products from the Italiano series - one being the 135 cc Europa which was earlier to have been launched in Diwali 2005. Also on the anvil are two motorcycle launches this year of which one has already been launched in North India.

As reported earlier, Motwani plans ad spends of around Rs150 to 200 billion for the Italiano series, and speaking with, she confirmed that a budget of around Rs 50 million has been earmarked for the Blaze. While jingles are being aired on Radio City in Bangalore, a TV campaign is slated for next month to coincide with the national rollout. Grey handles the creative duties and Madison is overseeing the media business.

The campaign is targeted at the man who wants performance, power and style. The 165 cc engine generates more power than the conventional 100 cc self starting scooters that are now available in India, but Motwani says that it is not possible for her to categorize the Blaze as a scooter or a motorcycle - she prefers to call it a moto-scooter - adding that this could be the start of an entirely new category in the two-wheeler industry.

Despite the Blaze or the Millennium as it is known in Italy coming to India six years later after its launch in Italy, Motwani claims that the technology and styling are still modern and new as far as India is concerned. Though the dies and the moulds have been procured from Italjet, the vehicle has been tweaked to suit Indian conditions by Kinetic.

It has been designed by renowned two wheeler designer Leopold Tartaini, who is well known for his designs for other brands such as Ducati, Piaggio and Yamaha. Kinetic has the global manufacturing rights from Italjet for all the seven models announced earlier, on the condition that royalty has to be paid by Kinetic if sold under the Italjet brand name.

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