SUBARU has been operating in South Africa for just over twenty-five years now, and has enjoyed a loyal customer base and sales growth throughout this period. Even during times of significant economic challenge, the Subaru customer has remained true to the brand.
2017 was one such year, in which the automotive industry in South Africa reported poor growth figures largely due to declining business and consumer confidence. The year ended with a modest gain of 1.9% for new vehicle sales compared to 2016. Despite the nominal market increase, Subaru SA enjoyed a 10% increase year on year, and the gains look set to continue. Subaru SA 2017 retail sales concluded at 1,002 new units. In a market that saw a number of automotive brands choosing to opt out of doing business in South Africa, this sales success is a testament to the brands entrenchment in the country.
Such is the confidence in the brand, that Subaru SA’s national footprint is set to expand at a rapid rate in 2018.
?In Q4 of 2017, the Subaru Durban dealership was opened, under the new management of the Emond Auto Group. Located in Durban North at the corner of North Coast Road and Moreland Drive, Subaru’s representation in Durban remains strong and already proving successful with locals.
?Complementing our Western Cape representation and adding to the dealerships in Somerset West and Table View, the Thorp Motor Group opened a new dealership in Plumstead, Cape Town giving Capetonian’s south of the city an even more convenient dealership location. Additionally, the Thorp Motor Group took control of the Subaru Table View as new owners.
?For 2018, another four new dealerships will open across Gauteng. The first of these is Subaru East Rand, which opens in February 2018 under the banner of the CMH Motor Group.
?Subaru Silver Lakes in Pretoria and Subaru West Rand will follow next, with the sixth being Subaru South Rand, to complete a series of six new dealership launches in under 12 months.
For Morne Viviers, General Manager of Retail for Subaru SA, the growth curve isn’t just a flash in the pan. “We’ve received a lot of scrutiny and questions from the media over our sustainability in this market given the tough economy and the recent departure of some other automotive brands. These new dealerships as well as our sales success should put aside any doubt that we’re here to stay and we’re here to excel at bringing Confidence in Motion to more South Africans.”
It isn’t just in South Africa, that Subaru has enjoyed growth - the sales success has become a global trend. Subaru Australia reported growth of 12% in a flat market and Subaru of America grew 6% in a market that declined 1%.
Morne Viviers puts it all down to the very essence of what Subaru stands for. “Subaru is building products that are reliable, full of character, daring for adventure and incredibly safe. Consumers need this sort of dependability and confidence and that’s why they continue to choose Subaru and remain so very loyal.”
2017 saw the launch of the new Subaru Impreza and Subaru XV, both award-winning in their own right for everything from safety to interior design. This year again, this duo has won the coveted IIHS Top Safety Pick + safety rating, making them the safest cars in their class for the second time running.
In February 2018, Subaru SA will launch the updated Subaru Legacy Executive Sedan and the updated Subaru Outback crossover, both with a host of new design and safety features including the highly rated EyeSight driver assist technology.