Is demand for 2015 WRX already falling short of expectations?
In a surprising announcement made yesterday by Subaru Australia, the Japanese automaker said they were giving its first 100 customers the ability to pre-order the new-generation 2015 WRX online. On the companies Australian website, starting at 12 p.m. yesterday, customers could be allocated an individually numbered car upon delivery, plus get their first scheduled service for free. But interested buyers had to put up a $2,500 deposit to secure the new performance car.
Subaru offered a similar online ordering program for the popular BRZ and the saw the first 201 allocation orders for the two-door coupe sell out in less than three hours. But unlike the BRZ, according to Car Advice, the new WRX saw just one deposit placed in the first hour after the online site opened. And after 24 hours, only six more orders were placed. Is the new-generation WRX falling short of expectations?
In the announcement, Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior said the online ordering program was introduced following “significant pent-up demand” for the 2015 WRX following “a huge spike of interest in WRX” on its public website after the remodeled performance car made its global debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show last week. But the online orders tell a different story.
Subaru has yet to announce pricing on the new 2015 WRX and it’s expected to go up. Senior said last month it would come with a higher price tag than the outgoing model. "We launched the WRX at $39,990, 20 years ago. It's still $39,990 today – it's an incredible value for the money. But there's no doubt there's going to be substantially more kick, equipment and technology, in the new car."
Pricing and specifications will not be announced until closer to launch in March, 2014, and customers making online orders will have the right to have their entire deposit fully refunded. But how many buyers want to fork over $2,500 without knowing the sales price? Could Subaru be gaging interest before they decide on how much they can charge for the new WRX?
It could be many WRX fans are disappointed with the new WRX styling and expected it to look more like the WRX Concept car. Even though there have been significant upgrades to the performance cars suspension, steering and handling, the exterior styling fell short of many fans expectations for the newly remodeled WRX. We’ll see how sales go when it hits dealer showrooms.
The pre-order site for the WRX will remain open until 11:59 pm on December 13, or as soon as the 100 WRXs are pre-ordered, whichever occurs first. In the announcement made yesterday, Senior, said, “This initiative will offer our most dedicated WRX fans the opportunity to secure their car early, while also adding cachet to their purchase by getting an individually numbered vehicle.” But it looks like the most dedicated fans in Australia are speaking by not ordering the new WRX.
Subaru said after the first 100 pre-order deposits are taken, sales will continue through the traditional Subaru retail network. Subaru was hoping to see the 2015 WRX pre-sales to be a harbinger of things to come when the car reaches showrooms in March. Will dedicated fans get more excited once they sit in and drive the new WRX? Tell us what you think. Stay tuned.
Here is the link for Australia 2015 WRX pre-orders. www.subaru.com.au/wrx-top-100