The company is looking to grow its network from 87 to 105 this year, and to 120 by the end of 2006. It will talk to plcs, but says the brand works best with single-owner multi-franchised sites, like the £2m Subaru/Harley-Davidson outlet opened by St Leger of Doncaster at the end of January. Minimum requirements include a four-car showroom of at least 100sqm.
“We want to achieve 11,000 units in 2005,” says Terry Leach, Subaru franchise development manager. “We have in our mind’s eye 25,000 units, but the timescale is difficult to predict. Certainly within four years.”
A revised product line up, which might include the B9 Tribeca SUV, will help, as will a 60% hike in ad spend this year. Public reaction to the B9 will be assessed at the Geneva show.
“The brand deserves much stronger sales that it currently has. We have a new management team who aim to be much more aggressive,” says Leach.
John Cooke, St Leger dealer principal, says Subaru and Harley are complementary brands. “We expect some crossover business,” he adds.