Oh dear, motoring media continues to grope its way blindfolded into another day by continuing to parrot press releases, this time from Subaru NZ.
The PR piece said Subaru NZ had received two awards from head office in Japan, one for a new sales record in 2016 and the other for outstanding sales growth – “117.2 per cent compared to 2015.”
Wow! Subaru NZ managing director Wallis Dumper (below) and his sales manager Wayne McClennan must be doing cartwheels. What will 2017 bring on the back of such a monumental 2016?
But, oops, hang on a minute. That “117.2 per cent growth” in 2016 was actually 17.2 per cent. An extra digit slipped into the press release. Easily done.
But the mistake has grown legs by appearing verbatim on motoring sites. That it was believed in the first place is mind-boggling.
For the record, Subaru NZ sold 2658 new cars in 2016, up 17.2 per cent on the 2268 it sold in 2015. The 2015 result was up 24.6 per cent on the 1820 vehicles it moved in 2014.
The recent growth has indeed been recognised by headquarters in Japan, particularly the 2016 result, Subaru NZ’s best-ever sales year.
Subaru Corporation – the new global name for former parent Fuji Heavy Industries – presented Dumper and McClennan with the awards at a special get-together in Japan. Company president and CEO Yasuyuki Yoshinaga did the honours.
Said Dumper: “It is extremely rewarding for myself, our dedicated Kiwi team and our Subaru dealer network to see the continued growth of the brand in New Zealand.”
Three months into 2017 and Subaru NZ continues the growth spurt, with sales up almost 16 per cent over the same period last year. The motor industry itself is 13 per cent ahead.
Dumper wants the yen/kiwi exchange rate to at least stay stable – that way he might be able to top 2016 numbers. “So long as the currency is kind to us we hope to achieve another record sales year,” he said.
The appeal of the new (above) Impreza 2.0 Sport, launched in NZ earlier in the year and priced at a hugely competitive $29,990, is an example of the popularity of Subaru versus factory allocation, Dumper said.
“The initial 300-unit allocation has already largely been snapped up throughout New Zealand, and the great news is that off the back of our sales success we have secured another 100 to arrive by the end of the year,” he said.
“Limited production means there are challenges around meeting the current demand but we are always working hard to gain a greater allocation out of the factory in Japan.
“Looking ahead, 2018 should give us a chance to satisfy a few more drivers wanting the invisible advantages of Subaru’s all-wheel drive.”