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Subaru BRZ waiting list out to 2013

Hot item: Customers ordering a Subaru BRZ now will have to wait until 2013 for delivery.

Hiccups, but Subaru sells 130 BRZ sports coupes in first 24 hours in online sellout

17 Jul 2012

SUBARU sold more than 130 BRZ sports coupes online in its first 24 hours on the market, despite hiccups with the internet ordering system that was overwhelmed after going live on Monday.

The company’s website supplier worked through the night to sort out glitches with the unique online ordering system, while a dedicated BRZ sales co-ordinator worked the phones to match customers with cars to minimise frustration.

At last report, customers clicking on the Subaru site to order one of the rear-drive coupes today could expect delivery in the first quarter of 2013, as the entire 2012 allocation was sold out in the first three hours yesterday.

The first 50 new BRZs were snapped up in 90 minutes after online sales opened for business at 12.45pm Monday, with the remainder of available stock going by 3.47pm. By 5pm Tuesday, 139 confirmed deposits had been paid.

Of the initial batch of 201 BRZs destined for Australia, 64 units were already committed to dealers as demonstrators, while a further 27 cars were pre-sold to “VIP customers” – people who placed large down-payments with dealers before the decision was taken to sell the entire allocation online.

This left 110 cars up for grabs when the site went live about 45 minutes late after the site crashed under the weight of internet traffic, not just from buyers but numerous tyre-kickers checking out the new system.

2 center imageFrom top: Subaru BRZ Subaru Australia's website.

Subaru said at least four times the number of usual visitors clicked on to the website, crashing it around the time that sales were due to start at noon on Monday.

Some people trying to buy a car on the website experienced difficulties working their way through the ground-breaking five-step online purchase process, with the system throwing up a series of error messages.

Melbourne-based GoAuto unsuccessfully tried for several hours to work through the process, but by this morning, the system was working smoothly, clicking through each level without problem.

Stock availability for most variants was being shown as a six-month wait for most variants, placing delivery at January production.

Subaru Australia national public relations manager David Rowley told GoAuto that Subaru’s website provider had worked through the night to check any minor glitches that were remaining.

“All is running smoothly as of this morning,” he said.

As well, the new BRZ co-ordinator at Subaru’s Sydney headquarters had been fielding inquiries and assisting sales.

“So at this stage, we are hopeful that we have looked after everybody that was in that initial flurry,” said Mr Rowley, who added that orders were still coming in at a steady stream today.

“It is very hard to say where it is going to head at this stage,” he said.

Online orders had exceeded available stock by about 20 units by noon today, pushing Subaru Australia into its 2013 allocation.

But Subaru customers facing a seven-month wait for their cars are better off than buyers of Toyota’s equivalent 86 GTS, which has an 18-month waiting list for some manual variants (see separate story).

Subaru is expecting BRZ deliveries to double next year to about 40 to 50 units a month or about 500-600 for the year.

By comparison, Toyota is expecting about 2000 86s next year, or about 180 a month, under its global agreement with Subaru for the production split of the jointly developed boxer engine sports coupe.

Subaru asks for a $3000 deposit in online orders, to be paid by credit card or PayPal. This means it collected about $417,000 in deposits on cars worth about $5.5 million at retail level.

This rises to about $6.6 million when the 27 pre-ordered cars are taken into account.

The Subaru BRZ has been priced at $37,150 drive-away for the six-speed manual and $39,730 for the six-speed automatic.

When customers add the $1500 Premium Package – heated seats with a combination of leather and Alcantara upholstery – plus the optional sat-nav system, BRZ pricing lines up close to that of the Toyota 86, the GTS, on the road.

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