Subaru New Zealand is to stop stocking its dealerships with the BRZ model, citing the sports coupe market as “too challenging.”
The two-door will from now on be available as a special order-only model, unlike its sister car the Toyota 86, which has the marketing might of Toyota NZ behind it.
Subaru NZ has sold 25 BRZs since last year; Toyota NZ has delivered more than 340 examples of the 86.
“To think of the BRZ as competition for the Toyota 86 was too challenging,” said Subaru NZ manager director Wallis Dumper.
“We have made the BRZ a special-order model because we want to protect the customers who have them. If someone wants one we will get it.”
The BRZ and Toyota 86 are rear-drive coupes built by Fuji Heavy Industries, the Subaru parent company, in Japan.
They are pretty much identical, apart from minor bits and pieces here and there. But FHI builds 12 Toyota 86s for every one BRZ, an agreement that reflects the relative position in the motoring world of both carmakers.
The 86 is available in New Zealand in many variants, starting in price at $33,986 for an internet-order model through to $89,700 for a Toyota Racing special.
The BRZ is a two-price model only: $48,990 for the six-speed manual; $49,990 for the six-speed automatic.
“We accept we have a rear-drive model available but we are going to stick to our all-wheel-drive line-up in New Zealand,” said Dumper.
“We will make an exception for the BRZ because it’s an exceptional car.”
Subaru has launched its 2014 line-up, cutting between $4000-$7000 out of its Legacy range, adding a higher-spec Outback diesel, and including an entry-level Impreza at $31,990.
There is also a couple of special WRX Impreza models: a limited-edition called the N1WRC (Colin McCrae’s number plate on his World Rally Championship car in 1996) at $54,990, and Version X, a swept-up variant and the last of the current models, at $49,990.
The all-new WRX Impreza will be launched in New Zealand in March next year as a sedan only.