The 2023 Subaru Solterra has been slow in coming, but it doesn't mean Subaru of America's customers are defecting to its EV rivals. Subaru reported its first 94 Solterra EV model sales as it finally arrived at U.S. retailers last month.
Which car brands have the most EV defectors, and who has the least number of customers who are leaving? A new report from Automotive News (by subscription) reveals that Toyota and Honda are losing loyal customers to rival brands that are further ahead in the electric vehicle transition. Toyota and Honda lose more customers than all other car brands, data from S&P Global Mobility research reveals.
The least most loyal customers in the transition to electric vehicles
Tesla's one-year conquest sales came from these car brands. Toyota ranks first, losing fifteen percent of its customers. Honda is second, losing thirteen percent. They are followed by BMW (6.7%), Mercedes-Benz (6.2%), Ford (5.4%), Lexus (5.3%), Chevrolet (4.7%), Audi (4.4%), and Subaru 4.3%).
Sales of the 2023 Solterra EV and Toyota's bZ4x were stopped for months after its launch earlier this year due to a risk that its wheels could fall off. But Subaru's customers didn't run to EV Rivals like Toyota's customers.
"S&P Global Mobility conquest data for Tesla's Model 3 and Y, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Ioniq 5, and the Chevrolet Bolt show strong captures of buyers from Toyota and Honda," the data firm said.
Why does Subaru have the most loyal customers?
Subaru is doing a lot right with retaining customers and getting new customers. S&P Global Mobility went beyond brand loyalty to factor in conquest and defection ratios, which show how many consumers are attracted to one brand from another, divided by how many leave and shop elsewhere.
S&P Global Mobility says when those two metrics are combined, the study finds mainstream brands like Subaru, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, and Mitsubishi, are the most successful.
Subaru keeps customers and attracts new ones who have active lifestyles and use their vehicles to escape the city on outdoor adventures. Many use their all-wheel-drive vehicles to get further off the grid for camping, hiking, snowboarding, and kayaking on the weekends.
Why are customers loyal to the Solterra EV?
The 2023 Subaru Solterra has 8.3 inches of ground clearance for active customers who use the new compact SUV to escape the crowded city streets. The all-electric Solterra has better ground clearance than the Mustang Mach-E (5.7-inches) and the Tesla Model Y (6.6-inches), the Mazda MX-30 EV has 5.4-inches of ground clearance, and the Volkswagen ID.4 has 6.7 inches.
An advantage of the Solterra is its Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system with X-Mode all-terrain management. Both are standard equipment and a new Grip Control function to improve stability on rough roads. The all-terrain technology provides additional capability in deep snow and wet sand and offers hill ascent and descent assist in maximizing control in extreme winter conditions.
What is the price of the Solterra?
The 2023 Solterra is offered in Premium, Limited, and Touring. Pricing for the Solterra Premium trim level starts at $46,220. The Limited trim carries a starting manufacturer's suggested retail price of $49,720. The top-of-the-line Touring trim is priced at $53,220. Prices include destination and delivery fees ($1,225). Subaru says US retailers set the actual price and may charge more.
How much range and electric efficiency does the Solterra have?
Subaru says the all-wheel-drive Solterra's estimated range is more than 220 miles. The EPA says the Limited and Touring trims levels get an estimated 111/93 city/highway and 102 combined MPGe.
The Solterra receives the highest global safety awards
The new Solterra EV recently earned a five-star safety award from JNCAP in Japan. The Solterra was also awarded five stars from the 2022 European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) safety performance test. It's the highest result in the battery-electric vehicle category.
Subaru keeps its loyal customers looking for a battery electric vehicle because of its all-wheel-drive all-weather performance, fun-to-drive, vehicle balance in severe conditions, and top safety scores. Subaru infused the 2023 Solterra EV will all of its core values. It's why they have the least number of defectors to rival EV brands.
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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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Photo credit: Subaru USA