Pricing: the fix is in
Subaru Australia boss says “stay tuned” for transparent service costs
SUBARU may have cappedprice servicing throughout its model range by the end of the year.
The Japanese brand is conspicuous among the top 10 brands for its lack of transparent pricing for routine maintenance. At the moment, Subaru customers wanting a service quote need to fill out a detailed online form or contact a dealership.
“It’s still under consideration. We are looking at it,” Subaru Australia boss Nick Senior says.
“One of the advantages is that we have been able to see what everyone else is doing. We’ll sit down and we’ll have a look at it. “Stay tuned.” Capped-price servicing has been welcomed by car buyers and copied by the rest of the industry after Toyota introduced it in its 200-plus dealer network in 2008.
Mitsubishi was next, with capped price servicing from January 2010, followed by Nissan (December 2010), Ford (July 2011), Holden (April 2012), Kia (July 2012) and Hyundai (August 2012).
Volkswagen’s and Suzuki’s full range has had capped price servicing since May 2013, Honda introduced it in October 2013. Mazda finally joined the fray in January with the launch of its new Mazda3.
This week, Ford extended its fixed-price servicing coverage to seven years and 135,000km.
Meanwhile Subaru is hatching a plan to add a wagon to the WRX line-up. The only catch is its awkward international name, Levorg, which not only sounds weird, buts spells “grovel” backwards.
To be released in Japan next month, the Levorg is in effect identical to the WRX in terms of its core body structure and turbocharged engine, but has a wagon rear-end and a different badge.
Carsguide understands that Subaru Australia is under pressure to take the global name for the Levorg, if the car were to be sold locally. However, it costs millions of marketing dollars to establish a new name, which could potentially kill the project before it begins.
If Subaru Australia is given an exemption, it would discard the Japlish name for a simple WRX wagon.
“We have not announced any plans for Levorg,” Subaru boss Nick Senior says. “But obviously we look at all models if they are made available to us.”
Carsguide understands that a WRX wagon would be at least two years away from Australian showrooms. But it can’t come soon enough. The $40,000 performance-car market is dominated by hot hatches such as the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Ford Focus ST and Renault Megane RS because of their added practicality. Skoda’s new Octavia RS adds further practicality to the mix.
Although hatch and wagon versions of the WRX have typically only accounted for about 15 per cent of WRX sales when they’ve been made available in Australia, buyers have clearly shifted to a hatch market.
Coming? The Levorg is
really a WRX wagon