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