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Grip : GRIP December 2011
FUTURE SALES GRIP global plans driven by new product By Nick Senior Managing Director AS well as attending the recent launch of Impreza and XV in Sydney earlier this month, I also travelled to Japan for the Subaru world distributor meeting, where President Yoshinaga outlined FHI’s mid-term business plan. This plan is critical to FHI’s long term survival and central to its success in achieving sales of one million units and a one per cent global market share within 10 years, remembering that current sales are approximately 650,000. As Yoshinaga-San told us, “This is the bare minimum.” To achieve this FHI is increasing spending on R and D and capital investments, which means more new models, more technology and more production capacity. So, while one million units is the 10-year goal, the mid- term plan calls for a volume of 900,000 by the end of the 2015 Japanese financial year. That is a 40 per cent increase in five years - a very ambitious plan, but possible with the continued strength of the US business and the rapid grow th in China. Our ambitions are considerably less, a 19 per cent growth during the mid- term plan that should see us reach 50,000 annual sales at the end of 2015. To achieve these goals we are going to have to find new customers, but again, in the words of President Yoshinaga, who couldn’t have put it any better, “Don’t think we are going to new customers with the cheapest prices in town.” Our future success, our future even, doesn’t lie in Impreza Rs or Forester X autos. Our future success is dependent on us leveraging the consumer benefits of our technologies and continuing to provide a distinctive Subaru experience at every touch point. FHI is going to provide us with the product – the avalanche includes XV, Impreza and Forester in the next 12 months, followed by new WRX/STI, Liberty and Outback, and the Tokyo Motor Show concept car is among the mix. FHI is going to provide us with the technology - a 30 per cent improvement in fuel consumption during the mid term plan, EyeSight on all our vehicles, automatic diesels and new turbo engines. FHI is also committed to building cars that consumers want – smart, stylish cars with brilliant interior design. The rest is up to Subaru Australia and the Subaru retail network. At Subaru Australia, we will grow the brand, create the desirability and generate the floor traffic. The network’s part of the deal is to sell and service the vehicles while providing a distinctive, premium Subaru experience. And again, if you think price solves all evils, you are with the wrong brand. Our future lies in our ability, our people’s ability to sell the complete Subaru story, not a knock-down drive-away price. But before we launch our new models there are some hard yards ahead. Firstly, we must purge our MY11 stocks in order to have a clean slate come January 1 and the launch of XV. We have been signalling for some time that our MY12 offerings are extremely well specced, of fering Subaru value for money, hence the need to clean out MY11. Those that you don’t sell this month will need to be cleared in the January demo sale. We are still going to finish the year at around 34,000 units and a market share of 3.2 per cent, and this has only been possible because of the extraordinary support that we have received from FHI during the year. To repay the faith we must bounce back quickly, to regain the share we have lost. Our goal is to get back over four per cent share and an annualised run rate in excess of 41,000 as soon as possible. That means in quarter 1 sales of 11,000 and a share of four per cent at the end of March, and with the new product, the re- priced and re-specced MY12 models and our marketing programmes, we are giving ourselves every opportunity to achieve that goal. A rush of new product will help drive sales growth towards 2015. INSIDE GRIP HOME PAGE MARKETING AFTERSALES PRODUCT PLANNING PARTS & ACCESSORIES LEGAL FINANCE & FLEET SUBARU ASSURED BRAND COMPARISON DEALER RANKINGS SPORT
GRIP January 2012