When you think of Subaru you probably picture a Forester or Outback navigating through the woods on a dirt road, or a WRX STI racing on a rally circuit. AWD is it’s specialty, the ability that allows drivers to get from point A to point B throughout the winter, and give the owner a peace of mind when they get behind the wheel in treacherous driving situations. Subaru has never been known to appeal to the RWD, sports car community, and instead reaches the consumer who wants off-road capability or a vehicle that is immune to most, if not all weather conditions. The Subaru BRZ does not fit that mold and never will.
Last year Subaru managed to sell 7,500 BRZ’s, and during the best monthly sales, none of the figures reached 1,000 cars sold. Because Scion, Toyota, and Subaru collaborated on the BRZ/FR-S, Subaru isn’t taking a major risk, or one in which they’re not going to deal with the consequences of poor sales solely. Two other manufactures are also on the ship that appears to be sinking. The real question is whether Subaru is wasting their time with having the BRZ in their lineup.
Starting at $25,500, the BRZ is just a mere $1,000 cheaper than the base version of the WRX. They’re two completely different cars, but one offers more horsepower, AWD, four doors, and tradition, while the other is basically a rebadged Toyota. In the eyes of consumers the WRX’s 268 hp, coupled with a manual transmission, is more appealing than a 200 hp coupe. While they both are in different classes, the WRX will steal sales away from the BRZ because it offers more.
For Scion, the FR-S makes sense because they don’t have another sports car in their lineup that will compete in sales. The tC is cheaper with less horsepower, while the FR-S is more of a traditional performance coupe that attracts younger consumers who want a car with power. For the Toyota owned company, the FR-S isn’t as big of a waste of time, and in fact is seeing double the sales as the BRZ, and that’s because of the consumers that Scion attracts.
At the end of the day, there is no difference between the BRZ and FR-S except the badge on the front. The biggest variable however is the loyal consumers for both auto brands. Subaru is seeing limited sales, and from a numbers standpoint, they’re wasting their time by selling a coupe. Due to having a sports sedan within the same price range, the BRZ isn’t a great fit for the company. Scion on the other hand desperately needs the FR-S to succeed, and because of their minimal lineup range, the sports coupe can and will see better sales figures than it will for Subaru.
The BRZ was an experiment, one in which Subaru could see if they could make some noise in the sports coupe market. Because they have a tradition set on AWD and off-road capability, consumers aren’t flocking to Subaru dealerships to buy a RWD coupe that doesn’t fit in the AWD dominated lineup. Sales figures could rise, but it’s very unlikely. The remaining question is, how long will they keep the BRZ in their lineup before they cut their losses and move on?
2 thoughts on “Is Having The BRZ In Subaru’s Lineup A Waste Of Time?”
Did you do any research for this article. Subaru BRZ sales are up 5% while FRS sales are currently down slightly. Also the FRS is the rebadged BRZ, Subaru did the design work for the entire car excluding the D4S injection system and the interior and exterior styling. Also the reason the FRS sells twice as many cars as the BRZ is because there are 3 GT86/FRS built for every 1 BRZ… They import twice as many FRS to the United States as they do BRZ. This is the most incompetent article that I have ever had the displeasure of reading. Next time you want to post something do some legitimate research.
The BRZ’s sales figures are down from 2013 and at the current pace they won’t beat the 2014 annual sales. Please explain to me why having a BRZ priced in the same range as the WRX is a good idea when Subaru’s consumer base buys AWD cars? Whether they import more FR-S than BRZ’s or not, you can’t tell me that the BRZ was a wise decision because they’re seeing sales slowing.
At BostonAutoBlog, we look at the auto industry in a business sense more than the car itself. When you see dwindling sales for a specific model, clearly there is a problem. When it comes to the FR-S, Scion is also seeing diminishing sales.
Subaru has a car that competes with it’s best product and they’re paying the consequences of that by not selling more cars per year. True, BRZ sales figures are up from last month, but from a quarterly stand point, they’re selling far less than in previous years.