Subaru planning a 'reset' for stronger hybrid sales

Subaru will put the spotlight back onto its hybrid SUVs in 2021, after supply struggles and COVID took the wind out of their sails in 2020.

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Scott Collie
Scott Collie
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Subaru is getting ready to renew its hybrid push in Australia, after battling COVID-19 and supply struggles on its first attempt.

With lockdowns to curb the spread of COVID-19 hitting around Australia in April, the XV and Forester hybrid launches weren’t as smooth as Subaru first planned.

The Subaru XV and Forester hybrids arrived in Australia in February 2020, and were immediately sold out until May.

Along with supply struggles, Subaru Australia managing director Blair Read says launching the hybrids weeks before a nationwide lockdown killed “all the momentum”.

“We’ve really had to start rebuilding from early this year the whole hybrid story. A lot of the target customers for those vehicles have either not been in market or are slowly returning to market,” Mr Read told CarExpert.

“It’s really been a reset for hybrid, and we’ve got a job to do there before we start exploring other options.”

With more supply and a new marketing campaign starting in the second quarter of 2021, Subaru is anticipating a jump in demand for the hybrid Forester and XV.

Last year it sold just over 1000 hybrids across its two SUV models, accounting for 3.5 per cent of its total volume in Australia.

Although not Toyota numbers, it’s a base off which Subaru can build.

Along with its hybrid push, Subaru Australia is banking on a wave of new product to push its sales back to pre-pandemic levels.

The new Outback wagon has arrived in dealers and is expected to give the Forester and recently-updated XV a run for their money as a top-three seller in the range, and Subaru says it’s entering 2021 with a record bank of orders.

A new Levorg wagon is coming in the fourth quarter of 2021 with a renewed focus on performance, while the WRX is set for a much-needed reboot before the end of this year as well.

A new BRZ will provide another halo car for Subaru when it arrives, also this year.

MORE: Subaru BRZ news and reviews
MORE: Subaru Forester news and reviews
MORE: Subaru Outback news and reviews

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Scott Collie
Scott Collie
Scott Collie is the News Editor at CarExpert.
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