Subaru & Mini?

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In a market that is seeing unprecedented declines in sales in all segments, across all product types, in all parts of the country, two marques defy the slump; Subaru and Mini.

At first blush, you might say to yourself, that makes sense both are smaller more fuel efficient cars, both are far from symbols of conspicuous consumption, both are relatively reasonably priced.  But there are tons of brands and models offering fuel efficiency, are reasonably priced and not symbols of conspicuous consumption.  This logic doesn’t explain why Subaru and Mini have dodged the recession.

I would submit that these companies have gone through the recession relatively unscathed because they have a loyal base of customers and brands that consumers understand clearly.  These brands enjoy an almost fanatical devotion by their customers and these customers are advocates for the brands to virtually every person who happens to ask and probably some who don’t.

Subaru has been in this country since the seventies and took over in college towns as the professor’s car when Volvos got a little pricy for the academics.   Good engineering, good quality and all wheel drive.  Eventually, Subaru made a commitment to all wheel drive as a point of difference and have been consistently hammering away at it.  Consumers get that Subarus have all wheel drive, are built like the proverbial brick s_ _ _ house and give years of service.  Owners wax poetic about the virtues of their “Subies.”

Mini, in it’s current BMW engineered form is a newcomer to the US market.  But the “Mini” brand has been here since the sixties…small, utilitarian, cute in an odd way.  The original Mini Morris has had a small but loyal cadre of fans for decades and those folks were excited about the prospect of the “new” Mini.  BMW engineering and build quality, some really smart marketing encapsulated by “Let’s Motor” and virtually overnight we had a “new” automotive brand with a legion of loyal owners.

What we have in Subaru and Mini are automotive brands unafraid to be who they are, a little different, maybe even quirky.  Brands that are clearly understood by the people who own and love them.  So far, these brands have been managed by people who understand the core values of their brands and recognize that they’re not for everybody and shouldn’t be.  Brands that are selling cars profitably for both manufacturer and dealer in the worst recession in generations.

There’s some good strategy going on at Subaru and Mini, the rest of the automotive world should pay attention.  Perhaps the company selling the most cars is really not the winner.

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2 Responses to “Subaru & Mini?”

  1. Tunahan says:

    Alit-zaamainformakaon found, problem solved, thanks!

  2. Thats a very good topic.

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