Instead the two IM Group brands are planning to invest in a flagship showroom in the West End, which will raise their profile in the capital.
“Simply, we need to get Subaru more front of mind. Right now we are one of the best kept secrets in the car industry,” says Peter Kinnaird, managing director of Subaru UK. He is looking for an appropriate site to house both brands, although Subaru is the priority.
“We will increase our marketing – we already have during 2005 and will continue into 2006. In tandem we are increasing the coverage and quality of our dealers,” Kinnaird adds.
The network will grow from 85 dealers at the start of this year to around 100 by the year end, with 10 to 15 more outlets added in 2006.
Subaru is also launching a toned down version of the Impreza WRX STI as it aims to broaden the appeal of the range. The Spec D (for discreet) has the same underpinnings and powerplant as the standard Type-UK STI but features more conservative bodykit and wheels.
“The Spec D will be the ultimate in high performance in a compact yet practical form, but with a more restrained, discreet look,” says Kinnaird.
Initially it will be produced as a limited edition run of 300, but Subaru will introduce something similar as a regular model if the Spec D proves popular. Pricing will be around £27,000.