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Grip : GRIP February 2013
PRODUCT GRIP INSIDE GRIP HOME PAGE DEALERSHIPS RETAILER OF THE YEAR 40 YEARS OF SUBARU PRODUCT NEWS AFTERSALES FLEET TRENDS DEALER STATS SPORT THE RISE (AND RISE) OF THE SUV Goran Popov Product Planning Manager WHILE the Australian motor vehicle market continued to grow in 2012, one segment outshone all others. The headline to the record figure could well have been “The rise and rise of the SUV”. For indeed not only have SUV sales grown each year, the number of SUVs available in the market has also been on the rise. It is a segment that is, of course, near to Subaru’s heart, and the company is brilliantly placed to exploit the oppor tunities that exist. Last year, sales of SUVs grew at two and-a -half times the rate of the rest of the new vehicle market. Strong growth is expected, continuing a trend that has existed now over the past 20 years. Only three times - in 2006, 2008 and 2009 – has that growth line dropped, and the grow th, both past and projected, is heading strongly north. But the segment itself is as dynamic as its growth, with new players arriving to share the action. In 1991 there were only 15 models in the segment, which represented just 7.2 per cent of the total market. The Outback was launched in 1996 as Subaru’s first SUV and Australia’s first genuine ‘crossover’ vehicle. The SUV segment grew rapidly in 1997 with an influx of new models, which included the game- changing Forester. SUV share increased to 10 per cent, with 30 competitors in the market. In recognition of the influx of crossover vehicles, the FCAI changed the segment name from All Terrain Wagons (ATW) to Spor ts Utility Vehicles (SUV) that year. SUVs continued to outgrow the market, both in terms of sales volume and number of competitors, which led to the expansion of the VFACTS segments in 2004 to include Luxury SUVs. By the end of 2004 there were 47 SUV models in the market. The launch of locally built Ford Territory, with predominantly rear-wheel drive sales, led to re- classification of the SUV segment to include two- wheel drive variants, which until then, had not satisfied the SUV criteria. With continued model and sales growth, SUV segments were further expanded in 2012 to include Small SUV, coinciding with the launch of the Subaru XV. There are currently 81 SUVs in the market and by the end of 2013 one in three new cars sold is expected to be an SUV. With the XV – the small SUV without peer - the all new Smarter, Safer, Further Forester, and the highly anticipated addition of Outback diesel CVT, Subaru has the right product, in the right place, at the right time. (Estimated) fog light surrounds and alloy wheel designs. The addition of diesel to the Outback line-up in 2009 added another dimension to the range and proved to be an immediate success, gaining 29 per cent share of large SUV diesel sales. Now, the Outback diesel CVT opens up whole new market, one which customers are flocking to in droves. Specifications and pricing of the MY13 Outback 2.0D CVT will be announced in March. From page 1 OUTBACK DIESEL CVT “Baker Subaru’s new facility in Albury is a credit to Martin Baker and his team, and a wonderful showcase for Subaru in this major regional centre.” Gary Johnston, National Sales Manager See profile on Page 3
GRIP January 2013
GRIP March 2013