Will your ad spending be up or down in 2001, compared with 2000? By what percentage?
Our spending will be up by about 15 percent next year. This past year it was up eight to 10 percent compared with the previous year.
What media mix do you expect for 2001? How does that compare with 2000?
Our media mix for 2001 will be similar to 2000. It includes 43 percent spot TV in 40 markets, 35 percent cable TV, 18 percent print and 4 percent Internet. There's a nominal increase for Internet. We won't be doing National Public Radio this coming year.
Is the Internet still a good marketing tool for you? How will you use it in 2001?
The Internet has an ever-increasing role in marketing. We will shift away from banner ads. We'll be doing more sponsorships and one-on-one through mysubaru.com. We just launched mysubaru.com. Owners back to five years are automatically enrolled. Users can get online literature, manuals, etc. They can dialog with Subaru. We will have warranty information, an updateable service log and maintenance information for each owner. There will be links to convenient dealers. We will be doing more direct e-mail marketing in 2001. On subaru.com, we'll advise of product launches. We plan to be more active in participating with online communities.
How do you expect rebates and incentives to affect your marketing budget in 2001?
Subaru has had four record sales years, and we expect this year to be another. Our incentives have averaged less than $600 per vehicle. That's low by industry standards. We've never offered incentives on Forester.
What is the biggest launch you have coming up for 2001? When will it be?
The new 2002 Impreza - it's new from the ground up - will make its North American debut at the Detroit auto show. We'll show it at our dealer meeting in March.
What is your major marketing challenge for 2001?
Launching the 2002 Impreza. We will be offering a WRX turbocharged model based on our World Rally car in the United States for the first time. It has been on the lists of top 10 cars you can't buy in the United States. This will change that. We'll invest 20 percent of our advertising budget on the launch. We are stressing the idea of driving performance. We'll be in buff car mags, instead of backpacker-type publications, in Speed (magazine) vs. Discovery, in rally and driving books instead of skiing publications.