Yesterday we reported that USA Today was saying that a $400 discount was being given on the BRZ, because Subaru dealers were selling so many fewer of the sports cars than the Scion FR-S. But Subaru representative Michael McHale has said there is a misunderstanding. McHale says the discount that was reported by USA Today, came from analyst’s calculation of the value of the current Subaru 2.9-percent APR program. It was all based on the financing of the car, not the actual sticker price.
Back in April, we reported that due to overwhelming demand, 2013 Subaru BRZ demand had pushed deliveries on the rear-wheel-drive sports car into January. And dealers were getting up to $5000 more than the suggested MSRP on the new sports car. We also reported last month that when the 2013 Scion FR-S was launched, we speculated that now that they had a choice, BRZ buyers might just drive down the street to their Scion dealer and get the Toyota version of the popular two-door coupe.
USA Today is reporting that Scion’s recent launch has forced Subaru dealers to cut prices on the BRZ because of the new competition from the FR-S. The online magazine says that even though the Scion FR-S is providing competition, Subaru dealers are getting an average transaction price of $29,085 for the BRZ, vs. Scion stores' average $25,653 for a similarly equipped FR-S. TrueCar.com who provided the data for the report, says there was a $400 sales incentive on the BRZ given by dealers in June. And no incentives have been offered on the FR-S.
The two cars are similar but different
Even though the two cars are very similar and were jointly produced by Subaru and Toyota, that’s where the similarities end. The two Japanese companies market their sports cars very differently here in North America. The 2013 Scion FR-S is offered in a single model and there are two choices: with an automatic transmission ($26,030), or a manual gearbox ($24,930). Just a few options are offered like Sirius XM satellite radio service, exterior trim, and wheel locks.
Subaru sells two versions of 2013 BRZ, the base, called Premium ($26,245 manual, $27,345 automatic), and the high-end, called Limited ($28,245 manual, $29,345 automatic). The Limited model offers features not available on the Scion FR-S. Things like leather seats, automatic climate control, heated seats, and proximity key. When you work out the math, the base BRZ is $1,315 more than the FR-S.
But the base BRZ comes with standard high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights and a standard navigation system. FR-S doesn't offer either of these even as options. Even though the BRZ offers more goodies on the inside, buyers are not seeing the value.
Even though the BRZ offers more, buyers are going down the street to the Scion dealer. Last month, Scion sold 2,684 FR-S models compared to 818 Subaru BRZs. Even though Subaru never intended the BRZ to be a large volume seller, that’s a large difference. Maybe the slick new ad campaign for the 2013 Subaru BRZ in Canada will make its way to the U.S. to help sales here.
Source: USA Today