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Old 10-02-2000, 01:22 AM   #1
Kostamojen
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Angry The SUBARU misconception...

After reading one of the cop story posts, I realized that Im not the only one whose noticed that people totatlly have a stereotype of Subarus... Station Wagons.

When I did a speech for my speech class on "How to choose the right new car for you" I mentioned alot about Subaru because of the AWD, handling, quality, etc. and invited people out to see my mothers 2000 Legacy GT Limited Sedan that day.
Well, 2 people came out, and one of them said "This is a subaru?" and thought that all subarus had something to do with Australia, Crocidile Dundee and were Station Wagons or something... (the legacy is white with spoiler, VERY sporty looking as we all know)

And over on the Edmunds.com BBS, theres an Impreza thread that one guy said "ive been going to auto xing meets for my whole life and ive never seen an impreza." He hadnt even heard of the Impreza until some people were compairing it to hondas or something...

Anyone else have any simular situations?
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Old 10-02-2000, 02:47 AM   #2
MikeYOX
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Question

Am I the only one who thinks that is a perfect example of Subaru's poor marketing of the Impreza and Legacy? Outback commercials are all they ever see and they percieve that to be the only Subaru. I've seen it a million times.
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Old 10-02-2000, 02:52 AM   #3
lostsoul
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Question

Yeah, why is it that they only seem to want to sell Outbacks here?
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Old 10-02-2000, 03:38 AM   #4
deadbolt
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There are 2 reasons they have marketed the Outbacks & mostly wagons:
1) Subaru is a niche marketer by their own admission. They actually created a niche with the Outback.

2) The Outback/Paul Hogan saved the company, there were plans for Subaru of America to shut down in 95, the Outback was launched as a last ditch effort to get the company rolling again.

I don't think they need to do any less Outback ads, I just think they need to advertise more and throw in some of the other models they have.
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Old 10-02-2000, 03:49 AM   #5
lostsoul
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Smile

I didn't know that. Thanks for the new info. Do you think that if they advertised the Imprezas that we wouldn't be such a classy group? It would be more like the Honda thing?
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Old 10-02-2000, 04:11 AM   #6
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I agree that they should market the other cars more. The Outback's the big seller though, and whatever works........!

Not many people know that Subaru has a big foot in the door of the performance structure. Hell, neither did I until a year or so ago. My girlfriend likes Subarus. She told me, "Why not look at them?"

So I did. And lookee what I found.

-S2-
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Old 10-02-2000, 04:18 AM   #7
lostsoul
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Thumbs up

Yeah, I know what you mean. I had my first RS sighting Feb 00 when I rode with my best friend to pick up his wife's 00 Forrester. Been drooling ever since.
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Old 10-02-2000, 05:52 AM   #8
chillN 2.5RS
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ok i don't know bout that whole dunde thang. but when they first started doing the outback there were not many compact wagons being made anymore. (remember)toyota, honda, and a few more were done. saturn didn't have them i think. (oh you seen the hyundai one its weird looking) any way a lot of ppl still wanted wagons but no one was making them. at that same time vans were coming into play. and they swept the market. now ppl are making wagons again.

and subaru earlier commercials were about its awd...( every subaru comes with all wheel drive visit your nearest subaru dealer) but that didn't work that much. so they switched to dunde

i thinked they farked up when WV put the new bettle in as a rally car in its new commercial. i think it was smart of them to ride it off with subaru's almost but not quite rally blue color. ( something to think about). subaru should have used rally as it big market tool. about 1993 when dropping cars and racing and all that stuff was just gettin into our american blood they should have hit it off when they started to win in wrc then market awd. it would have been at the peak of the slam/ drop/ 17 inch rim/ turn my momo steering wheel and my car can ride on rails; phase of america.

just stuff to think bout

chillN
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Old 10-02-2000, 06:58 AM   #9
vinman
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Any time I've had a conversation about cars with other people, everybody looks at me like I have 3 heads when I tell them what kind of car I have. Then they ask "what's that?" "what does it look like?" Some of these people are not ignorant when it comes to cars, it just points to the fact that Subaru has essentially dropped the ball on marketing the impreza in the US.
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Old 10-02-2000, 07:19 AM   #10
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I think Motorweek's opening segment about the Impreza 22B sums it up best : I'll paraphrase it -

"Talk about 'high performance' with any American and the name SUBARU will never come up.......But in the rest of the world, like Asia, Europe and Africa, Subaru has long been known for serious performance!"

[This message has been edited by Snoopy (edited October 02, 2000).]
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Old 10-02-2000, 07:26 AM   #11
adam99rs
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I can't tell you how happy I am that subaru ONLY pushes the Outback here.........makes my car seem that much more unique. I cna tel you right now that if it were to become even as remotely popular as a Civic, I would surely get rid of it without a question in my mind.
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Old 10-02-2000, 07:29 AM   #12
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I'm surprised that even during WRC coverage on Speedvision, Subaru is showing Outback commercials. They used to have those RS and GT commercials with Judge Reinhold.
Like deadbolt said, the OB saved the company. Maybe they'll advertise the new WRX more. The average Joe/Jane will still most likely not connect it with Subaru though.
Dennis
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Old 10-02-2000, 07:29 AM   #13
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I agree with Adam. I was gonna post that I was glad that Subaru never pushed the Impreza. I'd hate to see those tasteless Civic owners(you know, the ones that give Honda a bad name) trading up to rice up an Impreza.
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Old 10-02-2000, 07:34 AM   #14
SkToBe
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I know it hurts us in the after-market, but would you like to see as many Impreza's as you do Honda's? Let's keep our little secret to ourselves!
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Old 10-02-2000, 07:42 AM   #15
63Alpine
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The biggest reason that they push the Outback is of course the profit margin. They make a ton of money on a station wagon by putting a lift kit on it and calling it a "Sport Utility Wagon"
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Old 10-02-2000, 07:44 AM   #16
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About a year ago a buddy of mine asked if there were any aussie car maufacturers other tham Subaru I thought it was hillarious, his face was really red.
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Old 10-02-2000, 07:51 AM   #17
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Talking

Quote:
all subarus had something to do with Australia,
You mean they don't

Richard

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Old 10-02-2000, 08:14 AM   #18
ImprezaL
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Lightbulb

STiTkacik, I too have met a few people who actually thought Subes were from Australia... But, truthfully, I've met quite a few people who know about the Impreza- "Isn't that the one with those things on the hood?" OK, well close enough...
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Old 10-02-2000, 08:37 AM   #19
Jude DeMeis
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Post

August 2000 sales from the Subaru USA September 1st press release:

Legacy = 9,026 units
Outback = 6,310 units
Forester= 5,137 units
Impreza= 1,850 units

Based on these numbers, we are lucky Subaru even bothers importing the Impreza to the USA seeing as it accounts for only 12% of their sales. They would probably make more money if they exported 1800 more Outbacks/Legacy instead (bigger profit margin)
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Old 10-02-2000, 08:51 AM   #20
Bahumut
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SOA has to be happy with the "success" of the Impreza.. I mean, if you could put a car on the market and have each unit sell without ANY previous advertising... What does that say to you??

As far as the wagon stereotype.. People look at my Impreza wagon and say, "wow, nice Outback!" I hate that.. What's worse is the whole Outback Sport badge that's on it. People don't even realize that it's NOT an Outback until a real Outback Legacy wagon pulls up next to mine. Then it's just.. "...oh."
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Old 10-02-2000, 09:55 AM   #21
Gambit
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Debadge your car if you so hate that Outback name....
Ppl still wonder what I drive.... "Err that silver wagon thingy".
Or "That funny civic with the scoops."
"It's an Isuzu Impreza right?"
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Old 10-02-2000, 10:13 AM   #22
8Complex

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The whole reason that the Impreza RS isn't marketed as much and sold more is because they are/were still experimental. Remember, they were just experimenting with a bigger (Forester) engine in their smallest car. It turned out to be a hit, but the quantities that they make of the car overseas for the USA, is very limited.

To really get the car sold in the USA, they'd need to open a plant at which they'd actually make them over here. There are a lot of expenses and whatnot in making the cars overseas and shipping, customs, etc have a lot to do with it. Granted they can probably get cheaper labor elsewhere in the world, if you are selling enough units here in the states, it will pay off having a plant right here.

Also, when they do market the Impreza, they market it as a rally car. How many people do you know that drive down dirt/gravel/forest paths & roads every single day in their _________ (fill in the blank) car and want a small car? Perceiving the car as a rally-type of car makes the world believe that it is only good on dirt & gravel. Personally I think it is excellent on tarmac, though not in a straight line.

With a better suspension setup, different tires, and some sort of variable valve timing and ignition system, this car would scream as a street car for straight line purposes as well. Possibly the engine needs to be built for some slightly higher RPM's and power up top, though the torque needs to stay about where it is at down low as well.

Damn, I just keep writing full articles today... sorry about the length.
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Old 10-02-2000, 11:02 AM   #23
Jude DeMeis
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It's worst than that, 8Complex...

Last year they scaled back Impreza production so they could use the factory to meet the high demand for Foresters which they make in the same plant.

As long as Legacys, Outbacks, and Foresters continue to outsell the Impreza 9 to 1, don't expect Subaru USA to care much about marketing the Impreza.
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Old 10-02-2000, 01:03 PM   #24
Jewbaru
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how about what happened to me?

First, at Carlisle, I was watching a car on the Dyno with a friend, and he was joking about how his car could spank mine. I laughed, and a kid who was listening in asked what kind of car I had. I said "It's a Subaru Impreza RS", he kind of laughed. I asked "what was that all about?" He said "I just never heard of that." Mind you, there were over 30 RSs at the show. So, me and my friend ran to the Subaru booth, jumped in my car and rolled up to the dyno. My friend hangs out the window, and yells "THIS is an Impreza RS!" After which I let him hear the N1 and took off.

Next just sat night, I got pulled over driving down the road. I was stopped because I spotted a police officer on the median, so I turned off the cruise control (set to around 80) and he heard my muffler when the engine revved down. He stopped me for that, and my plate covers, then after he told me why he stopped me, he said "what kind of car is this?" I told him and he said "oh, ok, that's what I thought." I got off with just a warning, and the police officer was really nice.

BTW, I shaved the Subaru off the rear of the car.
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Old 10-02-2000, 02:16 PM   #25
Jude DeMeis
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Faraz,

I personally don't expect a big marketing effort for the US WRX. Like the RS, Subaru can probably just rely on word of mouth, cult status, and Road & Track to sell the small number of WRX they import. I suspect any marketing that will be done will not be to sell WRXs, it will be done to enhance Subaru's image with the flashy car. The fact that the RS is even available with an automatic is testament to the clueless nature of the marketing here.
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