Jump to content


Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, my lurker friend!

Welcome to Ultimate Subaru Message Board, an unparalleled Subaru community full of the greatest Subaru gurus and modders on the planet! We offer technical information and discussion about all things Subaru, the best and most popular all wheel drive vehicles ever created.

We offer all this information for free to everyone, even lurkers like you! All we ask in return is that you sign up and give back some of what you get out - without our awesome registered users none of this would be possible! Plus, you get way more great stuff as a member! Lurk to lose, participate to WIN*!
  • Say hello and join the conversation
  • Subscribe to topics and forums to get automatic updates
  • Get your own profile and make new friends
  • Classifieds with all sorts of Subaru goodies
  • Photo hosting in our gallery
  • Meet other cool people with cool cars
Seriously, what are you waiting for? Make your life more fulfilling and join today! You and your Subaru won't regret it, we guarantee** it.

* The joy of participation and being generally awesome constitutes winning
** Not an actual guarantee, but seriously, you probably won't regret it!

Serving the Subaru Community since May 18th, 1998!

Guest Message by DevFuse
 

Photo
- - - - -

Repostioning Subaru Marketing


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 powderhound

powderhound

    Eat, Live, Breath Subaru

  • Members
  • 347 posts
  • SLC

Posted 23 September 2004 - 06:52 PM

I have a marketing project to do. I'm thinking about repositioning Subaru seeing as how they seem quite confused at the moment. Any ideas?

#2 86subaru

86subaru

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 3,094 posts
  • ohio

Posted 23 September 2004 - 09:14 PM

do something with a family setting , and include safety, awd etc.... and of course room , price compared to other awd cars . some people may go off roading which is fine , but i think the majority of people want a safe awd car ,

#3 Ranger83

Ranger83

    Subaru Nut

  • Members
  • 740 posts
  • Northeast

Posted 23 September 2004 - 09:15 PM

They are not at all confused. They are planning to move up-market ala SAAB, Volvo, and Volkswagon as has been widely reported in the automotive press.

The first step was to introduce the WRX, so that they had a car with appeal outside the snowbelt.

So, all the people that used to drive SAAB 96's and then moved on to Subarus will wind up in Kias.....

#4 powderhound

powderhound

    Eat, Live, Breath Subaru

  • Members
  • 347 posts
  • SLC

Posted 23 September 2004 - 10:29 PM

That is what I meant by confused. They want to compete with Audi and BMW in five years. It is not easy to move upscale in the American market especially for a company that has traditionally been known for inexpensive cars. The problem they are having is that everyone else is coming out with awd. What the general public doesn't know and what Subaru needs to tell them is that subaru awd is superior in x number of ways. Johnny new car thinks the awd in a crv or buick rendevous is the same as Subaru's. "The beauty of awd" needs a new definition. In the meantime Subaru is losing its "core" consumer. I see this upscale move as a big mistake.

#5 Dr. RX

Dr. RX

    Elite Master of the Subaru

  • Members
  • 9,984 posts
  • Sammamish, WA

Posted 24 September 2004 - 06:59 AM

Boy, I'm confused now, Subaru already competes with Audi and BMW, have you compared them lately. As for Joe Public not knowing about the wonders of Subaru AWD, I really think that Joe Public could care less and doesn't want to be told. Subarus, like Saabs and Volvos are niche cars, they appeal to a small group of people who appreciate what they see in these cars. Subaru is not, and I hope it never will be, a car for the masses.

#6 Martinjmpr

Martinjmpr

    USMB is life!

  • Members
  • 189 posts
  • Denver, CO, USA

Posted 24 September 2004 - 07:08 AM

Maybe it's a snowbelt thing. In Colorado/Wyoming, Subarus are about as common as Volvos.

If you ever want to get a table at a crowded restaurant in Boulder, CO, just say in a really loud voice "They're towing away a green Subaru" and watch half of the tables empty out!

BTW, isn't getting GM to market the Impreza TS as a Saab an example of market repositioning?

#7 subarubrat

subarubrat

    1000+ Super USER!

  • Members
  • 1,238 posts
  • Bealeton, VA

Posted 24 September 2004 - 07:41 AM

I would like to see them do a dual line like Toyota/Lexus Honda/Accura etc.


That way they could produce low buck low frills 4wd cars and the line they are moving to. That said, there is no question they are much better organized on marketing and product today than they were. At one point they were seriously considering pulling out of north America all together but the upmarked Outback wagon saved them. They had been cancelling cars when the market would support them best (like killing the BRAT at the start of the SUV explosion) and introducing cars at the worst times (like the SVX when the luxury sports cars were sitting on the lots unsold).

#8 Martinjmpr

Martinjmpr

    USMB is life!

  • Members
  • 189 posts
  • Denver, CO, USA

Posted 24 September 2004 - 07:55 AM

Speaking of dropping out, has anyone heard any rumors about the Baja being dropped? I heard somewhere (can't remember where) that sales of the Baja were "disappointing."

All the more reason for me to get one while I still can. :)

#9 rweddy

rweddy

    1000+ Super USER!

  • Members
  • 1,408 posts
  • Castle Rock, CO

Posted 24 September 2004 - 09:05 AM

That is what I meant by confused. They want to compete with Audi and BMW in five years. It is not easy to move upscale in the American market especially for a company that has traditionally been known for inexpensive cars. The problem they are having is that everyone else is coming out with awd. What the general public doesn't know and what Subaru needs to tell them is that subaru awd is superior in x number of ways. Johnny new car thinks the awd in a crv or buick rendevous is the same as Subaru's. "The beauty of awd" needs a new definition. In the meantime Subaru is losing its "core" consumer. I see this upscale move as a big mistake.

I would have to disagree that Subaru is losing its "core" consumer. Here in Colorado you must have keyless entry to find your outback in parking lots.
The Lance Armstrong ads are awesome, and the partnership with IMBA is great for Subaru. They are still sponsoring ski teams and sales are up.
I work in a marketing/training department and since sales are up, the marketing is working great.

#10 powderhound

powderhound

    Eat, Live, Breath Subaru

  • Members
  • 347 posts
  • SLC

Posted 24 September 2004 - 11:10 AM

Rweddy-- True but do you think this will continue as Fuji moves the Subaru brand upscale. I just don't see traditional Subaru owners willing to pay 30K+.

#11 rweddy

rweddy

    1000+ Super USER!

  • Members
  • 1,408 posts
  • Castle Rock, CO

Posted 24 September 2004 - 12:15 PM

Rweddy-- True but do you think this will continue as Fuji moves the Subaru brand upscale. I just don't see traditional Subaru owners willing to pay 30K+.


30k+ for the top of the line models.

05 MSRP
Impreza 18K
Forester 21K
Legacy 20K
Outback 23K

These prices are right in line with most new import vehicles.
My friend just spent 27k on a Honda Accord.

And unless you do not know how to buy, you do not have to pay MSRP.

#12 richierich

richierich

    Moderator

  • Moderator
  • 3,760 posts
  • Portland

Posted 25 September 2004 - 08:33 PM

Yes, but Audi and BMWS, start at 30k, so that is where Subaru wants to be in 5 years? If it is, it is going to loose all the customer that now buy them at $18,000-$23,000. And I don't really think that many BMW owners want to give up the 'prestige' of owning a BMW to owning a Subaru.

Subaru advertising was "inexpensive" and built to stay that way". So now the want to say " expensive and worth it" it is a hard sell, in my opinion.

Subaru has always been behind the times, they are just now trying to make a 7 passenger SUV, they could have been the first to come out with a AWD MiniVan that was worth having. Instead Honda and other beat them to the punch. Subaru doesn't even sell a 2door base model. There lowest price vehicle is 18k, while Hondas is 12Kish. I can't afford a new Subaru. I had to buy mine 4 years old, so if I did have brand loyalty, I would probably be driving around in a Honda right now.

And Subaru did not listen to what the customer wanted when the built the Baja, so no wonder it is not selling right. Not big enough box, not a real 4WD and no push through for big items like a 2x4.

#13 Martinjmpr

Martinjmpr

    USMB is life!

  • Members
  • 189 posts
  • Denver, CO, USA

Posted 25 September 2004 - 10:44 PM

And Subaru did not listen to what the customer wanted when the built the Baja, so no wonder it is not selling right. Not big enough box, not a real 4WD and no push through for big items like a 2x4.


They do have a door between the cab and the bed, which they call the "switch back"

Posted Image

So, you could put something long and relatively skinny (like a small roll of carpet or a 2x4).

I really *wish* they had made it more like the Chevy Avalanche, where the mid-gate and rear glass could be completely removed. Then all I'd have to do is add a topper and I'd have a great little AWD camper that could also be great as a small pickup, and still carry 4 adults when needed.

I also agree with some of your other comments. The Outback package, for example, used to be a significant departure from the base model Legacy with high ground clearance and some unique features like the raised roofline, weather-band radio (one of my favorite features), and rear power outlets. Now it seems like the Outback line is just another trim level.

As far as not offering an 'entry level' car, I think this is actually smart on Subaru's part. They simply can't compete with the volume sellers like Toyota and Honda (who can sell small cars at near-cost and make up the difference on their bigger models), nor can they compete with the growing Korean market (Hyundai and Kia/Suzuki). Currently Subaru seems to be 'niche marketed' as either a 'hip Volvo' or a 'smart person's Toyota'. I don't really know how far upscale they can go.

#14 rweddy

rweddy

    1000+ Super USER!

  • Members
  • 1,408 posts
  • Castle Rock, CO

Posted 25 September 2004 - 11:53 PM

Yes, but Audi and BMWS, start at 30k, so that is where Subaru wants to be in 5 years?

Why do you think subaru wants to be a high level expensive car? I do not think they are trying to do anything more than grow their market niche.

They tired to compete with Honda/Toyota in early 90s and failed miserably. Remember the justy, front wheel drive legacy, etc.

Subaru has a great niche now and are rolling with it successfully. They went back to their roots, and all vehicles are AWD so they do not have a little non-awd entry level vehicle and they should not. They are never going to be main stream like honda or toyota but they are not trying to be this either.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users