Subaru Australia says the all-new 2021 Subaru Outback has the technology and market appeal to reverse the nameplate’s long-term sales decline, according to the brand’s general manager Blair Read.
Speaking to CarAdvice following the arrival of the new model, Mr Read said: “We see great opportunity [with the new 2021 Subaru Outback], and we see it becoming basically the flagship of the range.”
“With the technology, the specs, the features of this car, it is the best SUV that Subaru has made, so we have strong ambitions for it,” he said. “I'm not a betting man, so it's really hard to pick the market this year with everything else that's going on, but we see it being a core pillar of the Subaru model line-up.”
Launched in 1996 and once competing with the Forester to be Subaru’s best seller, last year the Outback represented just 15 per cent of the brand’s sales locally.
In contrast, during 2016 – the best sales year in the high-riding wagon's history – Subaru delivered 12,207 examples of the Outback, representing more than one in four Subaru vehicles sold locally.
In 2017 Subaru reported 11,340 examples of the Outback as sold, dropping each consecutive year to date, to 10,378 in 2018, 7210 in 2019, and 4828 examples in 2020.
The Subaru Outback's 33 per cent sales decline in 2020 versus the previous year, compares to a 13.7 per cent slump for the overall Australian new-car market, and a 21.3 per cent decline in total Subaru sales in Australia.
The all-new 2021 Subaru Outback is on sale now, priced from $39,990 plus on-road costs. Full pricing and specifications are listed here.