One to rule all

Subaru aims high to avoid a price war with Toy­ota’s 86

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Car News -

only have one spec­i­fi­ca­tion of BRZ and ours is the high-spec model.’’

The 86 and BRZ are iden­ti­cal be­neath the skin and even Toy­ota ad­mits that Subaru is re­spon­si­ble for the heart of the car, its 2.0-litre flat­four en­gine.

There is a chance that the BRZ could be priced in line with the GTS ver­sion of the 86, which starts at $35,490 with sim­i­lar equip­ment to the pack­age ex­pected in the Subaru. But Se­nior is not tak­ing the bait.

‘‘ We still have not fi­nalised our pric­ing and we won’t un­til the sec­ond or third week of July,’’ he says. ‘‘ In terms of spec­i­fi­ca­tion, and the con­sumer of­fer­ing, there are a lot of things that have to go into the mix. Un­til we stop the mixer we won’t pre­dict or get into dis­cus­sions around pric­ing.’’

But he ad­mits Subaru will have very lim­ited sup­plies of BRZs, with noth­ing like the 250 cars Toy­ota is fore­cast­ing to de­liver each month.

‘‘ We are go­ing to be very con­strained in terms of sup­ply. We’re likely to get 201 cars for the first six months. So that’s about 30 a month.’’

Se­nior is not pre­pared to pre­dict the wait­ing time for BRZ en­thu­si­asts, although it could eas­ily top three months and per­haps even ri­val the 6-12 months de­lay at the peak of local de­mand for the Volk­swa­gen Golf GTi.

He now says the de­ci­sion to take the BRZ, which was only a ‘‘ maybe’’ for more than a year, has been proved right.

‘‘ I think, from the level of in­ter­est around the car, it’s been well and truly vin­di­cated. It’s cre­ated a huge amount of in­ter­est and at­tracted peo­ple we would have never seen be­fore.’’

But Se­nior says there is no chance that im­port­ing the rear­wheel drive BRZ will lead Subaru Aus­tralia away from its all-wheel drive propo­si­tion, even as a way of cut­ting prices.

‘‘ I can’t see that hap­pen­ing in ei­ther the short or medium term. All-wheel drive has got a very sig­nif­i­cant role to play in Aus­tralia.

‘‘ With 4 per cent of the Aus­tralian mar­ket, to be able to com­mand that share is all about be­ing dif­fer­ent. It’s not about the same­ness.

‘‘ We don’t have to deal with ex­pen­sive four-wheel drive sys­tems like many of our com­peti­tors. It is sim­ple, so­phis­ti­cated and quite cheap in man­u­fac­tur­ing terms.’’

Se­nior’s fi­nal words? ‘‘ I want to see as many as I can in cus­tomers’ hands. I won’t be driv­ing one. I would rather a cus­tomer was driv­ing it.’’

BRZ: The price is likely to be in the mid-$30,000 bracket

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