As 2019 wound to a close recently, Subaru of New Zealand reflected on another successful, busy year and looked ahead to an exciting 2020.
The stand-out performers for the year have once again been Subaru’s SUV models – the compact, stylish Subaru XV, the 2018 New Zealand Car of the Year award-winning Forester, and the spacious, popular Outback.
The All-Wheel Drive Subaru SUV range has led to an all-time record number of SUV sales for Subaru New Zealand in one year.
The Kiwi adventure brand’s SUV sales were ahead 2.8% year-on-year versus 2018, which is in fact an all-time record number of SUV sales for Subaru in New Zealand in one year.
In comparison, the industry SUV sales were down ever so slightly for the first time in many years by 0.08%.
The Subaru Forester SUV almost doubled sales results in 2019 and will be available as an eBoxer Hybrid later in 2020.
A family favourite, the Subaru Forester really came into its own last year, almost doubling its sales volume. Its multiple awards bore testament to its position as a safe, capable, comfortable SUV to transport Kiwi parents and their children to all their adventures.
Subaru of New Zealand’s Managing Director, Wallis Dumper says: “Having enjoyed seven consecutive record sales performance years we were a little upset to have the Japanese typhoon – that also disrupted the Rugby World Cup - impact our shipping and cost us another record. Having said that, 2019 was still the second highest ever total sales result, and we sold more SUVs than we ever have before.”
“New Zealand is now ranked among Subaru’s top dozen distributors worldwide, which is incredible when you consider that we outsell much more densely-populated countries, like England. To me, it just proves that Kiwis truly do see this place that we call home, as Subaru Country!” Mr Dumper concludes.
Subaru will start this year with some fresh-faced arrivals this month, as the 2020 Impreza and Outback X models hit New Zealand shores. The Impreza has predominantly aesthetic changes, with a redesigned front bumper, grille and alloy wheels. This 2.0 litre All-Wheel Drive, economical baby of the Subaru family will continue to be one of the best value, EyeSight technology-laden, safe, compact cars on the market.
The new Subaru Outback X will be arriving to New Zealand shores next month.
New Zealand’s favourite Subaru, the Outback SUV is introducing the most capable version of this model ever, into the line-up. The Outback X is a Limited Edition and is certainly a head-turner with its black 18” alloy wheels and grille. The green accents on both the grille, badge and interior seat stitching, add further to its physical attraction. Offering dual function X-Mode for the first time in an Outback model ensures that this good-looking trailblazer is still right at home in New Zealand, enabling Kiwis to get out and ‘do’.
2020 will also see the arrival of the much anticipated eBoxer Hybrid XV and Forester models.
The Subaru XV was a key contributor to Subaru's all-time SUV sales record in 2019 and will be available as an eBoxer Hybrid later in 2020.
Mr Dumper says: “Details will be revealed over the coming weeks about our eBoxer Hybrids, which we are already fielding many enquires about. The eBoxer Hybrids will enable Kiwis to tread a little lighter on their adventures in New Zealand and we are excited about offering them as an additional option in our current model line-up”.
In 2019, Subaru of New Zealand continued to proudly support a range of athletes and events and enjoyed partnerships with lifestyle champions. The competitive Subaru Brand Ambassadors have had a stand-out year, with impressive results achieved by Subaru WRX STI rally driver Ben Hunt and professional triathlete Hannah Wells.
Auckland-based Hunt executed a near-perfect Brian Green New Zealand Rally Championship (NZRC) season, where he and navigator Tony Rawstorn won the national driver’s and co-driver’s titles and ensured that Subaru claimed the 2019 Manufacturer’s Championship.
Ben Hunt won the New Zealand National Rally Championship in 2019 after a stellar year. Photo Credit: Geoff Ridder
The long-term driver/co-driver pairing won five out of the six NZRC rallies, giving Subaru a seven-point win over its closest rival marque and its third championship in four years, having been the top manufacturer in 2015 and 2017.
After this dominant season, Hunt now has 10 career NZRC rally victories to his name – good for eighth place on the all-time winners’ list. He is also now a two-time national champion after winning his first national championship in 2015 in a Subaru WRX Impreza.
Professional triathlete Hannah Wells joined the Subaru family in 2019 and has continued her racing successes. Photo credit: Jemma Wells Photography
Tauranga’s Dr Hannah Wells recently made the decision to hang up her lab coat to pursue her triathlon goals full-time. Subaru’s most recently signed Brand Ambassador had been juggling training and racing with her position as a research fellow in the engineering department at Massey University.
Her stellar results over the past couple of months indicate it was a worthwhile decision as she gives her blooming triathlon career her undivided attention. Hannah has claimed the top female spot in a staggering total of ten events in both New Zealand and Australia, including setting the course records in the Waiheke Half Marathon in May and The Speed Project relay in the USA in April, and most recently winning the Tauranga Half IRONMAN, the IRONMAN Western Sydney 70.3 and IRONMAN Taupo 70.3.
The 2019 year marked not only new Subaru relationships but also celebrated long-standing ones, such as, the brand’s 21 years of partnership with Ruapehu Alpine Lifts’ (RAL).
Subaru has been the Official Vehicle Supplier to RAL since 1998, initially with Turoa, and with both Whakapapa and Turoa since 2000 when RAL acquired Turoa.
Turoa once again hosted the ever-popular, annual Subaru Top Weekend in August, where drivers of any Subaru model enjoyed the premium parking spaces reserved for them.
In complete contrast to snow and cold weather, the warm 2020 summer months ahead will be action-packed for the Subaru team, with a range of events coming up. First on the calendar is a double duty weekend, where Subarus are the official pace cars at the Leadfoot Festival, in Coromandel, and also the official course cars at the Kathmandu Coast to Coast, in the South Island, from Friday, February 7 to Sunday February 9.
A month later, Subarus will be out in force again at the iconic, fun run Ports of Auckland Round the Bays event, held on Sunday, March 8, which attracts over 30,000 participants. The latest Subaru vehicle line-up will be on display at the finish line.
Subaru’s Marketing Manager, Daile Stephens says: “We’re looking forward to an exciting start of the year with our new Subaru models arriving in New Zealand. We’ve had a lot of enquiry about our eBoxer Hybrid models’ impending arrival, along with an updated Outback model, so it’s great to be able to deliver on both fronts in 2020.”
For more information about Subaru’s model line-up contact us