Subaru hopes the new Liberty can take advantage of the continuing decline of large car sales in Australia.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the launch of the new Subaru WRX STI, Subaru Australia boss Nick Senior said the new Liberty could benefit from more fleets allowing buyers to pick a wider variety of cars, outside of the soon-to-be-extinct local manufacturers.
“Whenever you introduce a new car, there’s expectations to increase your share.” Senior said. “One of the opportunities moving forward for new Liberty is certainly to look at what is going to replace the locally manufactured sixes.”
The new Subaru Liberty will arrive in Australia in the first half of next year and take on the ever competitive set of medium cars. But it can also act as a replacement for those coming out of a Ford Falcon or Holden Commodore.
“I think the new Liberty is a worthy car to have on the list if I was a customer with an up-spec Commodore or Falcon. Because it meets the criteria in terms of size and performance and I think it terms of what you’re going to see with equipment levels and economy.”
Nonetheless, Senior is realistic about the opportunity for the new Liberty.
“We are not going to kid our selves its not going to be a mass volume car. But I think there’s an opportunity for some incremental sales.”
Asked if the Liberty will have a bigger advantage than other medium-sized cars given it’s all-wheel drive, as opposed to front-wheel drive, Senior was hesitant to count it as an advantage.
“All-wheel-drive (AWD) will help – but again, our unique selling point in the market place has been AWD and it continues to be AWD, it’s up to us as marketers to push AWD and the benefits of it, I don’t think people will automatically want to jump from a rear-wheel drive into an AWD, it may make the transmission a little easier and more palatable but overall I think we need to continue to stress the benefits of grip confidence of having a AWD.”
Can the new Subaru Liberty fill the hole left by the locally manufacturer large cars, such as the Ford Falcon, Holden Commodore and Toyota Aurion?
Read more on the 2015 Subaru Liberty.