Subaru Australia says it is considering extending its warranty period, as it seeks to continue growing its market share in what the company believes will be a slightly flat market over the coming years.
Subaru’s local performance is first rate, to the point where Australia commands the largest market share of any global market for the brand. We take close to five percent of total annual production – around 1 million vehicles a year worldwide – achieving around 4.4 percent market share.
That’s more than any other market, including Japan and the USA.
Subaru Australia sold over 52,000 vehicles last year, and expects to see its numbers increase at a steady rate, with potential for a longer warranty playing into the push.
“It’s always under consideration, it has been under consideration for a while,” local Subaru boss, Colin Christie, told CarAdvice at the New York motor show.
“We have really good success when we have made extended warranty campaigns and it gets good pickups, so like everything we continue to monitor that and have a look at what we want to go to market with.”
Christie believes Australian market volume is likely to remain largely unchanged for the foreseeable future.
“The overall new car market in total, I don’t see a huge amount of growth in the next 2-3 years, in particular, it will grow year-to-year but it will be a relatively stable growth.
“For our brand we have grown dramatically in the last 2-3 years, from sort of low 40,000s to 52,000+ last year, huge growth in the last couple of years.
“We expect that to grow but perhaps not in the same rapid rate as it has been, but now with Impreza in the market and XV – which is running double [sales] what it was last year in runout phase – and then bringing Forester into market in the last third of the year, we are expecting to still see some pretty good growth the next couple of years.”
The Forester remains the best-selling Subaru and the all-new model is expected before year end. Christie believes the new car will be more competitive than the current cars, both as a product and in terms of value for money.
“In terms of the new model, we haven’t set ourselves any specific targets or goals yet for the car but… like Impreza and XV, we expect it to grow and grow well.
“It brings all the technologies and more technology than most of its competitive set and we haven’t finalised prices yet, but it will be very competitively priced. We are very excited that we can get Forester back up to the top of the rankings again.”
Much like the XV and Impreza based on the company’s new global platform, the Forester and its new 2.5-litre direct-injection petrol engine – the only powertrain on offer – will likely move to 12 month service intervals.
With plenty of manufacturers now offering five or seven-year warranties, should Subaru move to a five-year warranty as a minimum? Does it make a difference to your purchase decision?