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Old 01-23-2013, 06:05 PM   #1
Cocoa Beach Bum
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Default Subaru Resale - Fantastic; Subaru Loyalty - Not so Much

The WSJ ran an article in today's paper at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...googlenews_wsj about how car manufacturers are trying to cultivate brand loyalty among buyers. It included an interesting graphic, which shows resale value on the vertical axis and brand loyalty on the horizontal axis. I was surprised that Subarus ranked #2 in resale (behind only BMW's Mini brand) but Subaru apparently sucks at the brand loyalty thing.



Subaru is never mentioned in the article, even though the last paragraph reads: "Bargain hunters, Mr. Dominique says, should look to brands that have high resale values—an indicator of good quality and attractive design—but haven't yet built a strong loyalty base. Makes in that category include Hyundai, Audi, Kia, Volkswagen and Mazda."
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:15 PM   #2
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Very interesting piece, thanks for posting!
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:30 PM   #3
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Subaru has the same problem as Mini, a growing family simply grows out of the brand. Basically the entire line up is four passenger vehicles (yes, they are officially five passenger, but let's be realistic) That said, in my experience Subaru has extremely high brand loyalty so I am not sure where they come up with "below average"
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:34 PM   #4
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I wouldn't read too much into that article. What about taking into account sales volume? Looks like Subaru is about average for brand loyalty.

People who buy(i.e. can afford) brands like Porsche, MB, Jaguar, etc. will probably always buy those cars. Brands like Chevrolet and Toyota have so many different models and are pretty affordable for the most part so they will have more of the general public coming back to buy those cars.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:36 PM   #5
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I'm buying a 2nd WRX and selling my A4 if that makes you feel any better.

/anyone want to buy an 01 A4?
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:37 PM   #6
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I like Subaru and planned on buying another one, but with the problems I had from the dealership and Subaru themselves with repairing my car made me rethink if i would buy another Subaru. They claimed my notorious 2007 STi engine blowing was due to mods when I didn't mod it and they couldn't produce any evidence that I modded it, then Subaru had the nerve to say I cannot bring my car back to get work done.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:38 PM   #7
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Surprised that Minis would hold their value so well considering their not so stellar reliability.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:56 PM   #8
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I'm surprised, too. Very surprised.

The point was hit hard about Subaru not offering more than a 4 seater. It's true. They have no real variety in their options. It's the same product in different skins. Subaru needs to add variety to their line-up, improve MPG by a long shot, and kick interior quality and tech features up a lot. If they don't do these things, I certainly will not buy another Subaru again. I'm already considering my other options. For nearly $30k, I shouldn't have a car that rattles constantly and is subpar in technology. I hope they get this in line. The real appeal with Subaru is the AWD. That's what brings buyers to the brand. The things I mentioned are what drives people away.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decipher View Post
I'm surprised, too. Very surprised.

The point was hit hard about Subaru not offering more than a 4 seater. It's true. They have no real variety in their options. It's the same product in different skins. Subaru needs to add variety to their line-up, improve MPG by a long shot, and kick interior quality and tech features up a lot. If they don't do these things, I certainly will not buy another Subaru again. I'm already considering my other options. For nearly $30k, I shouldn't have a car that rattles constantly and is subpar in technology. I hope they get this in line. The real appeal with Subaru is the AWD. That's what brings buyers to the brand. The things I mentioned are what drives people away.
Improve mpg? You do know that the new Impreza is the most fuel efficient AWD car on the market right?
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:09 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Stevetoter View Post
Improve mpg? You do know that the new Impreza is the most fuel efficient AWD car on the market right?

AWD is a feature, a feature a lot of people don't opt for.

They'll look at a list of compacts, and see FWD cars that get far better mpg, and the AWD feature will be negated.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:24 AM   #11
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^I think that's heavily dependent on what region your live in.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtClassShank View Post
AWD is a feature, a feature a lot of people don't opt for.

They'll look at a list of compacts, and see FWD cars that get far better mpg, and the AWD feature will be negated.
AWD in Florida? pretty useless. AWD in the North? That could be difference between buying an MS3 or a WRX.
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:25 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troll Boy View Post
I like Subaru and planned on buying another one, but with the problems I had from the dealership and Subaru themselves with repairing my car made me rethink if i would buy another Subaru. They claimed my notorious 2007 STi engine blowing was due to mods when I didn't mod it and they couldn't produce any evidence that I modded it, then Subaru had the nerve to say I cannot bring my car back to get work done.

I think there really is something to this. I know there are a lot of people who have damaged these cars due to abuse and modding, but I really think in many cases there were some inherent design issues and a general refusal to accept responsibility on Subaru's part.

There should have been a formal factory recall on the turbo banjo bolt issue on a lot of the 05+ Legacys that were blowing turbos and eating engines on a regular basis, and it's more than a little messed up that some people with late model 2.5 engines really needed to go get a reflash as soon as they drove off the dealer lot to ensure that the car would last in the long run. If you hang around Subaru shops, you'll find that the infamous cracked oil pick-up tube isn't quite as uncommon as many would like to think, and that's an issue that usually rears its ugly head once the warranty runs out, leaving the owner screwed.

If a company wants to build loyalty, it should be at least somewhat concerned about how customer experiences are AFTER the warranty is out. I'd say this is especially the case with Subaru, which openly advertises its cars as durable devices that can even be passed down from one generation to the next.

As mentioned, I'm not referring to issues with owner abuse (and there is A LOT of that on here), but to matters that I view as inherent design flaws. Amend those problems, and a deserved reputation for durability will keep bringing people back.

I may be spewing crap, but just my opinion, fwiw.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:01 AM   #14
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IMO the main reason is mediocre build quality and lack of technical features. Crappy interiors that don't age well and crappy paint tend to turn off buyers. Also a lot of manufacturers have stepped it up with their interior designs and in-vehicle communications and entertainment systems while Subaru is still rocking these archaic NAV systems based on old Pioneer head unit design. The interior of my STI has the feel of something assembled in China and that's a turnoff for a lot of people.

Look how poor Mazda fares which is likely due to their horrendous reliability. It's easy to get a new owner to buy one of your cars but extremely difficult to keep their business if the perceived quality becomes a sore point of ownership.
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heavyD View Post
IMO the main reason is mediocre build quality and lack of technical features. Crappy interiors that don't age well and crappy paint tend to turn off buyers. Also a lot of manufacturers have stepped it up with their interior designs and in-vehicle communications and entertainment systems while Subaru is still rocking these archaic NAV systems based on old Pioneer head unit design. The interior of my STI has the feel of something assembled in China and that's a turnoff for a lot of people.

Look how poor Mazda fares which is likely due to their horrendous reliability. It's easy to get a new owner to buy one of your cars but extremely difficult to keep their business if the perceived quality becomes a sore point of ownership.
Mazda? Horrendous reliability?

Rotarys aside.

What are you smoking?
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:14 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Girion47 View Post
AWD in Florida? pretty useless. AWD in the North? That could be difference between buying an MS3 or a WRX.
This is why I chose wrx over ms3 or gti. And every time I use my awd I
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Old 01-26-2013, 04:34 AM   #17
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this is why i bought a new car. dealers were charing 1-2 year old car like new msrp price of a sti
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:28 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtClassShank View Post
Mazda? Horrendous reliability?

Rotarys aside.

What are you smoking?
I'll second this. We have a 2010 MZ3 and that thing has been trouble free.
I also have a buddy that has 0 problem with his 2 mazdas. And he is rough with his cars. 2 of his previous cars ended with blown engine due to lack of maintenance. well, granted that he is better at getting the oil on his cars changed now.
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Old 01-26-2013, 01:42 PM   #19
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I have a 2012 wrx, 2012 sport, and a 2013 xv. If that's not brand loyalty I am not sure what is. It too was cheaper for me to buy a brand new wrx vs buying a used one.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:22 PM   #20
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My wife and I currently own 2 subarus (07 outback, 10 impreza), previously 3 (2 sti's, 1 outback) others.

Main reason for buying: AWD, safety, fun (when I had sti's)

Main reason for our next cars NOT being subaru:
-with 2 kids in carseats, it is very uncomfortable up front in either car
-2 kids + House: no money for fun turbos
-better mileage cars available for my commute (aware of the mpg #'s of new impreza)
-tired of the rattles (read fit + finish)

Looking to get into an older Tahoe for family + wife's commuter (< 7 miles per day)

Cliff notes: I think I've grown out of subaru's.
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:15 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondaslayer View Post
Subaru has the same problem as Mini, a growing family simply grows out of the brand. Basically the entire line up is four passenger vehicles (yes, they are officially five passenger, but let's be realistic) That said, in my experience Subaru has extremely high brand loyalty so I am not sure where they come up with "below average"
They said VW had the biggest move in 2012. Maybe they were just referring to last year? Subaru had 60% conquest buyers last year; so, only 40% loyal returning buyers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Decipher View Post
I'm surprised, too. Very surprised.

The point was hit hard about Subaru not offering more than a 4 seater. It's true. They have no real variety in their options. It's the same product in different skins. Subaru needs to add variety to their line-up, improve MPG by a long shot, and kick interior quality and tech features up a lot. If they don't do these things, I certainly will not buy another Subaru again. I'm already considering my other options. For nearly $30k, I shouldn't have a car that rattles constantly and is subpar in technology. I hope they get this in line. The real appeal with Subaru is the AWD. That's what brings buyers to the brand. The things I mentioned are what drives people away.
Drives people away when they have sales increases the past 5 years and sales records the past 4?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtClassShank View Post
AWD is a feature, a feature a lot of people don't opt for.

They'll look at a list of compacts, and see FWD cars that get far better mpg, and the AWD feature will be negated.

What is your definition of "far better"? Find the rated numbers, then do the math of how much you actually save over an entire year. Is that really worth not having AWD? Obviously for some, but that number is miniscule for me to not have AWD on tap when I want it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Girion47 View Post
AWD in Florida? pretty useless. AWD in the North? That could be difference between buying an MS3 or a WRX.
It rains a lot in Florida, doesn't it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Steinbeck View Post
I think there really is something to this. I know there are a lot of people who have damaged these cars due to abuse and modding, but I really think in many cases there were some inherent design issues and a general refusal to accept responsibility on Subaru's part.

There should have been a formal factory recall on the turbo banjo bolt issue on a lot of the 05+ Legacys that were blowing turbos and eating engines on a regular basis, and it's more than a little messed up that some people with late model 2.5 engines really needed to go get a reflash as soon as they drove off the dealer lot to ensure that the car would last in the long run. If you hang around Subaru shops, you'll find that the infamous cracked oil pick-up tube isn't quite as uncommon as many would like to think, and that's an issue that usually rears its ugly head once the warranty runs out, leaving the owner screwed.

If a company wants to build loyalty, it should be at least somewhat concerned about how customer experiences are AFTER the warranty is out. I'd say this is especially the case with Subaru, which openly advertises its cars as durable devices that can even be passed down from one generation to the next.

As mentioned, I'm not referring to issues with owner abuse (and there is A LOT of that on here), but to matters that I view as inherent design flaws. Amend those problems, and a deserved reputation for durability will keep bringing people back.

I may be spewing crap, but just my opinion, fwiw.
Their reputation for reliability is deserved. The amount of problems you percieve and think are correct are not. I agree, ALL of those things suck and would have been nice that they not happen; but, they don't happen in the numbers you think they do/did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by heavyD View Post
IMO the main reason is mediocre build quality and lack of technical features. Crappy interiors that don't age well and crappy paint tend to turn off buyers. Also a lot of manufacturers have stepped it up with their interior designs and in-vehicle communications and entertainment systems while Subaru is still rocking these archaic NAV systems based on old Pioneer head unit design. The interior of my STI has the feel of something assembled in China and that's a turnoff for a lot of people.


Look how poor Mazda fares which is likely due to their horrendous reliability. It's easy to get a new owner to buy one of your cars but extremely difficult to keep their business if the perceived quality becomes a sore point of ownership.
The NAVs were Kenwood. And I like them FAR better than the Fujitsu 10 crap we have now; and, many NAVs from other companies. After reading how "bad" Subaru's NAV is/was, I made it a point to jump in trade-ins that had NAV and play with it to see. I disagree most of the time. I like Subaru's (older) system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stiman1 View Post
My wife and I currently own 2 subarus (07 outback, 10 impreza), previously 3 (2 sti's, 1 outback) others.

Main reason for buying: AWD, safety, fun (when I had sti's)

Main reason for our next cars NOT being subaru:
-with 2 kids in carseats, it is very uncomfortable up front in either car
-2 kids + House: no money for fun turbos
-better mileage cars available for my commute (aware of the mpg #'s of new impreza)
-tired of the rattles (read fit + finish)

Looking to get into an older Tahoe for family + wife's commuter (< 7 miles per day)

Cliff notes: I think I've grown out of subaru's.
The carseat thing shouldn't be as much an issue. The cars have improved in size nicely since your model years. MPG has increased also. Maybe just not enough for you(I can understand). I haven't had rattle issues with my cars, so I can't comment on that.

Hope you give them a look again and stick with them.

Last edited by JustyWRC; 01-26-2013 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 01-26-2013, 06:51 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtClassShank View Post
Mazda? Horrendous reliability?

Rotarys aside.

What are you smoking?
I don't smoke. However I read and listen to people that own them. Here's your chance to read and learn;

http://autos.jdpower.com/content/pre...lity-study.htm
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Old 01-26-2013, 07:04 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heavyD View Post
I don't smoke. However I read and listen to people that own them. Here's your chance to read and learn;

http://autos.jdpower.com/content/pre...lity-study.htm
CX7's eat turbochargers (or is it the CX9?) so bad that Mazda actually offers reman turbochargers. We have not been a Mazda dealer in over a year, we still stock 2 turbochargers plus all the necessary bits (bought out from another Mazda dealer)
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:16 AM   #24
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Sadly, I'm an example of 'growing out' of the brand. My 06' Impreza has limited me on several occasions in the recent past. Going camping we're forced to choose b/t bringing kayaks or bikes, not both. Furthermore, forget about bringing full camping/fishing stuff for the weekend if you want to take more than two people. More and more it looks like a truck will by my next purchase unfortunately.
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Old 01-27-2013, 01:40 AM   #25
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The moment it took 4 phone calls to get offered just a test drive in a Subaru was the day I stopped wanting to own one. I had 6 Subaru's in 12 years. In my house hold but the service was never great. So I moved to BMW.

100 times better service.
And they wanted me to test drive every car in the show room. begged me to come in and once I bought it they call me email me to make sure everythings good and hows my wife like it.
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