A marketing campaign aimed at changing the way consumers feel about Subaru vehicles is already paying dividends in the showrooms.
Launched in October and set to run to the end of March, the £2.5 million campaign is helping the Japanese brand win higher sales and reviving the fortunes of its dealers.
“Registrations of 3,730 units for last year were ahead of expectations and translated into a composite return of 2.1%, compared with a loss in 2008.
Things are now looking better and we’re very upbeat,” Subaru UK marketing director Kenyon Neads said.
“At 4,500 units, our target for this year is a challenge, but we have a motivated network, our marketing is in order and our customer relationship marketing project is underway to build on our brand loyalty rating of 67%, which is the second highest in the market,” he said.
Neads claimed Subaru had been redefined in the wake of a brand ‘health check’ that had included extensive research into consumer perceptions of the company’s products and the values buyers place on all-wheel drive and ‘boxer’ diesel power units.
“We are now marketing focused and have a cohesive, integrated strategy.
" It’s putting a value on the features that make Subaru unlike any other car and is embracing everything from TV advertising down to dealer marketing.
“Annual sales have been excess of 7,000 units in the past and we’re now on a drive to get back to where we used to be in the market.
Current network strength is 79, but Neads is aiming for up to 90 out-lets by the end of the year when open points in the south-east and Midlands are filled.
At Cross Roads Garage in South Warwickshire, managing director Jon Mathers told AM: “Some of our darkest days were in the second and third quarters of last year, but things have become much better.
“Showroom traffic is back to where it was three years ago and we have a good order book for March. People are actively seeking four wheel drive cars and are positive about buying Subaru.”
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