ORLANDO, Fla. -- Subaru of America wants to attract more customers to its stores and set a sales record, so it is giving dealers $500 per car sold to advertise in local markets.
The program began this month, replacing a local-ad program that was not based on sales."It is a more equitable program than the last one, and we have more flexibility," said Kirk Schneider, owner of Nate Wade Subaru in Salt Lake City.
At the make meeting, Subaru showed dealers ads that debuted this month using the theme "That's what makes a Subaru a Subaru."
"We've been winning all kinds of awards, and we need to play off those with our advertising," said Dale Walker, chairman of the dealer council and owner of Walker's Renton Subaru-Mitsubishi in Renton, Wash.
Dealers urged Subaru not to move drastically upscale with its pricing as it introduces new products. "Subaru has got to stay competitive with its pricing," said Walker.
Dealers waved the pricing flag because beginning next year, Subaru's range of models will be replaced. The new product cycles start with a replacement Impreza in 2007, followed by the Forester in 2008, the Legacy/Outback in 2009 and the B-9 Tribeca in 2010.
Fred Adcock, executive vice president of Subaru of America, said management backs the dealers, but prices haven't been set: "I don't think our dealers are any different from any others. There is concern about affordability in the marketplace. We agree with that."
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