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New sales boss for Subaru Australia

Numbers man: Colin Christie is an accountant by trade who has held senior finance positions with Subaru Australia and associated businesses over the past 18 years.

Christie steps up as Subaru’s new sales chief, in charge of cars and parts divisions

Subaru logo1 Aug 2014

By TERRY MARTIN

SUBARU Australia has appointed Colin Christie to the newly created position of general manager – sales.

Mr Christie has spent the past three years as general manager of aftersales for the Japanese brand, responsible for parts and accessories, service and technical, engineering and customer experience.

Subaru says the new position puts him in charge of “the operational and strategic” sales performance of both the vehicle and parts and accessory sides of the business.

Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior, to whom Mr Christie will report, said the move to put the two sales functions together would benefit all concerned.

“By bringing these two extremely important functions together we streamline the organisation, create efficiencies and bring the vehicle sales and parts and accessories teams closer together,” he said.

“This not only benefits us, but also our dealer network and our customers.

“It is a credit to the strength of our Subaru team and to Colin that he was clearly the ideal candidate to take on the challenge.”

Mr Christie takes responsibility for vehicle sales from Patrick Bourke, who has been acting national sales manager since Gary Johnston stepped down from the role in December to return to Perth, where he is now business manager for the central and western regions.

Mr Bourke now continues as national sales manager, reporting to Mr Christie.

A qualified accountant, Mr Christie began his career in 1995 with KPMG before joining Inchcape Australia the following year.

Part of the London-based multinational Inchcape group of companies, the Sydney-based automotive distribution, retail and logistics specialist has Subaru Australia, Subaru of New Zealand, AutoNexus and Inchcape Automotive Retail in its stable.

Mr Christie has served in a variety of roles at Inchcape Australia, including company accountant for Volkswagen, finance manager for Inchcape Retail, business development manager for the Inchcape Group and commercial manager at AutoNexus.

In 2008 he was appointed general manager of finance and operations for Subaru Australia, a position that included serving as a company director.

With Mr Senior at the helm and Mr Christie in charge of sales, the Subaru executive team also includes general manager of marketing Andrew Caie, network development manager Chris Cassar and general manager of finance and operations Christian Dinsdale.

Subaru sales were down 3.2 per cent in the first half of 2014 to just over 20,000 units, with positive results for Impreza and the new WRX offsetting downturns for Liberty, Outback and, to a lesser extent, its top-selling Forester.

The XV compact SUV, now the second biggest-selling model for the brand, was running lineball with last year.

The company recently fell into line with its rivals by introducing a capped-price servicing scheme, in this case a comprehensive program that covers the entire range for the lifetime of the vehicle.

As GoAuto has reported, Subaru is also planning to drop its Liberty and Exiga wagons with the next model year upgrade due to slow sales.

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