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Grip : GRIP February 2012
FROM THE MD GRIP impreza adds up to an exciting offering By Nick Senior Managing Director NOW we have launched the new generation Impreza, in both sedan and hatch variants, into the biggest, most competitive segment of the market. As you are all aware, the loss of production in 2011 meant that we lost 8000 sales and our market share dropped from 3.9 per cent to 3.2 per cent. Pleasingly, in January we were able to start our bounce back, with market share jumping over 4 per cent and finishing at 4.2 per cent, and that was achieved without any major impact from Impreza. I have no doubt that Impreza will help us maintain that encouraging start to the year. Since its debut in 1993 we have sold 145,000 Imprezas and we expect to pass the 150,000 landmark in late June or early July. The key to any new model is to attract new customers without alienating your existing client base and, undoubtedly, this new Impreza has the ability to tick those boxes. Our existing customers have been telling us that they want more contemporary exterior styling, better interior design with more tactile finishings, improved fuel consumption, lower emissions, more infotainment and more modern technology. We have been able to deliver in spades on every one of those. As with all Subarus, we will never be the cheapest in our class, nor do we want to. But we do want to be acknowledged as outstanding value for money and again the new Impreza is able to deliver with a starting RRP that is the same as the model it replaces, despite being equipped with thousands of dollars of additional value. This continues the great value for money story that XV represents, that the buying public has picked up on. Every new Impreza is fitted with the impressive automatic stop start technology, meaning we are the first brand in the small car category to have this fuel saving technology on every model. This continues the Subaru tradition of innovation, dating back to the brand’s origins and pack to being one of the most fuel-efficient small cars. And, of course, we have also dramatically reduced our CO2 emissions, up to 25 per cent compared to the previous generation Impreza. Then are other factors that contribute to our value for money story – DataDots on every vehicle contribute to low theft rates, and the vision with new cabin forward design and front quarter windows. But most of all, our customers love the drive, the confidence an All-Wheel Drive Subaru gives, the oppor tunities to explore their lifestyle choices and the knowledge that all- wheel drive promises extra security. We are not in the small car class to create clutter. We are providing an alternative to the front-wheel drive clones for those who want a rewarding, safe and fun drive, and we can now offer an Impreza that doesn’t compromise in terms of style, design, fuel efficiency, emission and transmission technology. Our new CVT Impreza will take by far the substantial bulk of the sales – around 80 per cent. Two years ago there would have been a 60-40 split in favour of automatics, but it has swung dramatically as we welcome the new wave of CVT transmissions. Indeed this a trend across our entire range, to the point where we will delete some manual transmission models in the near future. Traditionally, the split between sedan and hatch has been around 70 per cent hatch and 30 per cent sedan. We think with this model it will be 60 per cent hatch and 40 per cent sedan, given some of the downsizers will be coming out of sedans and have a preference for that configuration. White and silver will account for 45 per cent of sales, dark grey 20 per cent, and blue in two shades around 17 per cent. Reds, black and greens will make up the rest. It all adds up to an exciting offering. reinforced in recent times by becoming the first brand to have a five-star safety rating across the entire range. The inclusion of stop start technology, new transmissions, weight saving manufacturing and electric power steering have all contributed in building a new Impreza that is up to 22 per cent more fuel efficient than its predecessor. It has vaulted us from being towards the bottom of the fact that we don’t charge for metallic paint where most of our competitors gouge customers $450-$500. There are seven airbags on every new Impreza. And, of course, there’s all-wheel drive, and that is probably an extra $2000 built-in value on every Impreza, indeed every Subaru we sell. There are also some of the subjective points – like the outstanding all-round vision, particularly forward INSIDE GRIP HOME PAGE FROM THE MD IMPREZA COMMENT SMALL WITH IT ALL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE NEW IMPREZA IMPREZA HIGHLIGHTS MARKETING WHAT’S IN THE PRESS TRENDS DEALER RANKINGS Send your customer feedback letters to Subaru
GRIP January 2012
GRIP March 2012