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Sales success sustainable says Subaru

Taking Libertys: Subaru fans have warmed to the new Liberty and Outback range, with sales spiking after its launch last month.

Subaru predicts big savings and refreshed range will maintain strong sales

20 Feb 2015

SUBARU says it can better its unprecedented 821 per cent sales explosion of the new Outback crossover, which grew to 525 sales following its launch in January, compared with just 57 in the previous corresponding period.

Subaru Australia national corporate affairs manager David Rowley said the current month is performing just as strongly as buyer impetus in January, but with the full 28 days of this month, that figure is set to grow.

“January wasn’t a full month for us,’’ he said.“In coming months we expect the figures to grow even more on Outback and Liberty.’’The new Liberty, which launched simultaneously also had a good month, recording 239 sales in January, up 327 per cent on the same period in 2014.

Mr Rowley said the sales spike was partly because buyer interest in the previous Outback had waned but mainly because of the new model’s price reduction.

Compared with its predecessor, the new top-spec Outback 3.6R has dropped in price by 17.2 per cent to $47,990, a saving of $10,000. Other Outback models were reduced by between $2000 and $5500.

Its Liberty equivalent, the 3.6R , fell a whopping 25 per cent in price - $14,000 to $41,990 - and picked up additional standard equipment, with all 2015 Liberty variants now equipped with EyeSight driver assistance.

“The significant price reduction is one of the main reasons for the increased sales but the new car is better equipped with new technology and features and has a new body style,’’ Mr Rowley said.

“There is also huge response to the Outback’s Australia-themed television commercial.’’Price reductions are attributed to a more favourable exchange rate between the Australian dollar and Japanese yen, the effect of the Free Trade Agreement with Japan and increased competition from European prestige models moving into the $30,000-$40,000 price bracket.

Sales increases are across the board but Mr Rowley said demand for the top-shelf six-cylinder Outback and Liberty variants was particularly strong.

“It’s not unusual for the high-equipped variants to sell much faster than lower-spec cars at the launch of a new model,’’ he said.

“But though sales of the premium versions are up, there’s also strong interest for all the other models.’’In 2014, Subaru sold 40,502 vehicles for a record year. Its sales grew 0.8 per cent in a market that fell 2.0 per cent.

Its WRX and WRX STI models recorded a 91.6 per cent sales increase in 2014 compared with 2013, its best performance since the late 1990s. Subaru Australia next month launches its refreshed Forester range that will come with improved technology and a diesel automatic option.

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