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Fifth-gen will double Subaru Outback sales

Back out: Subaru's Outback range is on the offensive with extra kit, more frugal engines, handsome styling and price reductions of between $2000 and a substantial $10,000.

Subaru Outback goes after local heroes with price-chopped six-cylinder 3.6R

19 Dec 2014

ARMED with an all-new kit-boosted and price-sharpened Outback, Subaru says it can double sales of it's crossover by steering customers away from the locally made big hitters and into the Japanese all-paw wagon.

With a growing demand for large SUVs and soft-roaders, the car-maker is planning to boost monthly sales from 200 units to about 400, with customers attracted to the interior and exterior quality improvements and $10,000 chopped from the price of the flagship 3.6R.

The Japanese car-maker sees the greatest potential in the top-performing variant, saying Australians favour a big six-cylinder but potential customers may have been distracted by more affordable rival six-pot offerings.

Priced at $47,990, the 2015 Outback 3.6R is a whopping 17 per cent cheaper than the outgoing version, putting it on a level-pegging with the upper end of Ford's Territory range and the better equipped variants of Holden's Commodore Sportwagon.

Speaking at the 2015 Outback local launch, Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior told GoAuto the combination of revised quality and equipment with range-wide price reductions would boost sales by 100 per cent.

“That's the target – 400,” he said. “Particularly with the Outback 3.6R down, it's a car that is very suitable for the Australian psyche.

“It's got the six-cylinder which many Australians have grown up with, its got the space and the versatility so the Commodore wagons and the Territorys, they are the ones we should be doing a better job against and a lot of our focus will be targeting those customers.

“We were selling a handful of 3.6s a month so there is a considerable upside for us if we realise its not resonating at the price it was and we can grow volume by realignment.”

Mr Senior also said with more frugal engines and a more car-like drive, the new Outback range had the potential to attract customers who were considering a fully fledged off-roader but who might not necessarily need such a cumbersome vehicle.

“Our job is to convince people that yes it's an alternative for people coming in to the SUV segment and its got all those SUV traits but it has the ones of a car too including safety,” he said.

“It's also more efficient to run so it has this appeal that you don't need a heavy-duty off-roader for most of the stuff you're doing.

“The Outback has never been pigeon-holed in to an SUV or a wagon category, It’s the original crossover vehicle and I think that’s part of the appeal.”

While a strong emphasis will be put on winning new customers with the Outback range, Mr Senior said the 2015 version would also appeal to Australia's loyal Subaru following.

“We obviously want to attract the Subaru traditionalists but the secret here is to grow the appeal and attract new owners to the brand and I think this is the car to do it,” he said.

“I think it's a case of: please come and have a look at us, please drive us, and when you do I think we have a competitive story to tell you.”

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