Subaru Australia's importer Inchcape is broadening its strategy to offer buyers an alternative to brick-and-mortar dealerships, with three new temporary pop-up shops now open.
The new transactional pop-ups are designed to show-off the new Subaru XV, and follow on from its rollout of Impreza-based applications. They're in Eastland shopping centre in Melbourne, Westfield Chatswood in Sydney and the Queen Street Mall in Brisbane.
The trio of pop-ups join the more substantial existing three Subaru ‘do’ shopping centre stores - two in Melbourne and one in Sydney. These stores, much like what Tesla is doing, allow people to dive into the brand in a way that doesn't involve kicking tyres and dodging car salesmen.
The bold strategy created late last year was designed principally to grow the Impreza’s appeal among younger drivers, though the XV fits the same bill. The company found itself under-indexed with buyers aged below 50 and acted.
To keep dealers on side, buyers who transact through 'do' stores take delivery from a showroom, to which Subaru pays a delivery fee. They can also handle trade-ins and servicing either on-site or through a network of mobile mechanic’s vans.
Or, in Subaru's words: "The accessibility of a shopping centre provides the general public an alternative to the traditional dealership experience and is just one example of the Subaru ‘do’ commitment to a more convenient customer experience".
Eastland Shopping Centre and Queen Street Mall are equipped for customers to test-drive an XV on-site and Westfield Chatswood displays both the new XV and WRX, with the Subaru North Shore dealership less than 1km away.
Both sites support purchasing directly from the shopping centre and the in-store technology allows customers to build and accessorise their car at a more convenient location and "drives a new avenue of customer interaction".
Subaru Australia managing director Colin Christie said the goal was "to remove obstacles consumers face throughout the vehicle purchase and ownership journey".
“It makes perfect sense to expand on this success and drive all-new XVs into our shopping centre stores, especially as the traditional vehicle purchase process continues to rapidly transform.”
As we reported yesterday, Subaru’s Australian importer had a brilliant month in July, growing at a rate unmatched by any other top 20 car-maker and achieving almost 5 per cent market share.
VFACTS figures show that the Japanese company’s sales last month were 27.1 per cent greater than July in 2016, at 4265 units.