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Old 05-05-2005, 06:30 PM   #1
NYCshopper
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Default Fleet Sales Rising at Subaru

Fleet Sales Rising at Subaru

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SAN FRANCISCO – Subaru of America Inc. says fleet deliveries will total about 10,000 units this year, or roughly 5% of the 200,000 vehicles it anticipates selling in 2005.

Deliveries of the Outback midsize car and Forester midsize cross/utility vehicle will account for three-quarters of the non-retail sales, Bill Cyphers, vice president-sales, says here recently during test drives of the all-new B9 Tribeca CUV.

“We will do some fleet sales of the B9 this year, but the initial thrust is for dealer inventory,” Cyphers tells Ward’s.

While Subaru’s fleet sales still are relatively low – non-retail sales often account for 20% of total deliveries at higher volume competitors – they have been rising over the years.

Subaru began fleet deliveries in 1989, a company spokesman says. Annual fleet sales hovered around 3,000 units for several years. “It was more seasonal stuff in specific areas, like ski resorts, where we could get a premium rental fee,” Cyphers says.

But as Subaru’s overall sales have increased – from 92,727 in 1990 to 100,407 in 1995 to 172,218 in 2000 – so has the auto maker’s fleet business.

Subaru placed more products in fleets to raise familiarity of its quirky, all-wheel-drive products with the public. Avis Rent A Car System Inc., Budget Rent A Car System Inc., Dollar Rent A Car Inc. and The Hertz Corp. currently offer Subaru rentals, mostly in the Pacific Northwest and near major airports in the northern half of the U.S. But expect to see more Subarus in fleets in the South, where the auto maker wants to grow its retail sales.

“Some people think Subarus only are for colder climates where there is snow, since all of our products have all-wheel drive,” Cyphers says. “But I think more accidents actually are caused by rain.”

Cyphers is not worried that rising fleet sales will constrain supply. Subaru imports vehicles from Japan and also builds products at its Subaru Indiana Automotive Inc. assembly plant in Lafayette. IN. “It’s (10,000 fleet sales) something we can handle,” Cyphers says. “It won’t be a burden on dealers.”
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Old 05-05-2005, 06:54 PM   #2
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This acutally really isn't that great of a thing for owners. Fleet sales are the path to depreciation.
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Old 05-06-2005, 10:34 AM   #3
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“Some people think Subarus only are for colder climates where there is snow, since all of our products have all-wheel drive,” Cyphers says. “But I think more accidents actually are caused by rain.”


He's probably right, but AWD doesn't really help prevent rain accidents; good brakes and tires do (and of course good drivers).
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Old 05-06-2005, 10:43 AM   #4
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I do one-way car rentals for travel to and from New York City airports and two weeks ago I ended up in a 2005 Outback wagon from Hertz at LaGuardia. That was a pleasant surprise.
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Old 05-07-2005, 09:13 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wevrick


He's probably right, but AWD doesn't really help prevent rain accidents; good brakes and tires do (and of course good drivers).
We test drove a Forester in a typical Florida downpour a few weeks ago. The Forester was 100 x better in the rain than my wifes Corolla or any other car I've ever driven. Going though water puddles up to a foot deep was no problem at all. It was super, super solid.

We get these crazy monson like rains down here that leave the roads very slippery.
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Old 05-07-2005, 09:48 PM   #6
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fleet sales do mean depreciation...but i can't tell you how many people who were first introduced to Subaru by a rental car and were so happy with it they decided to buy one.

One problem was that prior subarus were a little dowdy so people loved the drive but the looks didn't move their meters. Now when someone hops in a 2005 base model outback and loves the ride...they can look at the dash and center stack and say...this is a nice car...and then they can get out, walk around and then say...this is a Beautiful car! The wife walks around to the front where her husband is standing and says, "This is a Subaru."

Whether it is SOA's intention or not...it really does get people thinking about the brand after they've braved the snow and rain on their vacation or business trip in a Subaru.

Last edited by SoDealer; 05-07-2005 at 09:55 PM.
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Old 05-07-2005, 10:27 PM   #7
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I would love to be able to rent Subarus more widely. I got an Impreza wagon in Iceland; perfect car for what we were doing (lots of unpaved roads). Lots of times I want something better than the typical fwd crapmobile but I don't want an SUV.
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Old 05-08-2005, 12:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wevrick
I would love to be able to rent Subarus more widely. I got an Impreza wagon in Iceland; perfect car for what we were doing (lots of unpaved roads). Lots of times I want something better than the typical fwd crapmobile but I don't want an SUV.
My family goes to Ohio and Pennsylvania pretty often and we are always able to either get a Forester or Outback.
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Old 05-08-2005, 04:57 AM   #9
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Hertz has the new Outbacks available at Stapleton in Denver.
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Old 05-11-2005, 06:02 PM   #10
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I just got back from a trip to Colorado and also saw quite a few Outback wagons at Hertz in Denver (DIA) and Hartford (BDL)
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Old 05-12-2005, 09:47 AM   #11
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You can also get Mazdas and Toyotas at Hertz. I do this evil move at Christmas where I rent from Hertz local and drop the car off at the airport so I don't have to hunt for a parking spot (I live too far from the airport for a cab, and I don't have the guts to ask someone for a ride to the airport on Xmas morning). The last two times I did this I got a Toyota Matrix.

By the way, the local to airport rental thing kicks ass. On a two week trip it is cheaper than parking and much more convenient.
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Old 05-12-2005, 10:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wevrick
I would love to be able to rent Subarus more widely. I got an Impreza wagon in Iceland; perfect car for what we were doing (lots of unpaved roads). Lots of times I want something better than the typical fwd crapmobile but I don't want an SUV.
when did you go to Iceland. I went there a few years ago. I love that place.

When I was there I was stuck with a Nissan Primera. Not bad, but not great. Didn't stop me from adventuring off road (I was looking at a road sign, wondering if I should take the road. Then a Superjeep pulled up, looked at the sign, and turned around a drove off. I took that as advice)
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Old 05-12-2005, 11:05 AM   #13
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^^^ ^^^
Great story
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Old 05-12-2005, 03:48 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derbagger
when did you go to Iceland. I went there a few years ago. I love that place.

When I was there I was stuck with a Nissan Primera. Not bad, but not great. Didn't stop me from adventuring off road (I was looking at a road sign, wondering if I should take the road. Then a Superjeep pulled up, looked at the sign, and turned around a drove off. I took that as advice)
Yeah, there are some seriously bad "roads" there. We saw some monster off-road vehicles: lifted vans and old subies, all sorts of suvs, etc.

We spent a week in Reykyavik, mostly at a conference, then another week driving around the whole ring road stopping at the major sights.
Photos here: http://www.dtm.ciw.edu/seager/Photos/Iceland/





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Old 05-12-2005, 04:05 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Wevrick
Yeah, there are some seriously bad "roads" there. We saw some monster off-road vehicles: lifted vans and old subies, all sorts of suvs, etc.

We spent a week in Reykyavik, mostly at a conference, then another week driving around the whole ring road stopping at the major sights.
Photos here: http://www.dtm.ciw.edu/seager/Photos/Iceland/

Now that's awesome...
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Old 05-13-2005, 02:30 PM   #16
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Thanks. One of my favorite pics ever; I have to get a big print

For anyone who goes to Iceland, this is the waterfall a mile or so upstream of Dettifoss in northern Iceland. It is definitely worth the extra hike.
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