Subaru NZ supply buoyant despite Covid-19 suspending factory production
Subaru Corporation in Japan has announced that it is temporarily suspending production at Subaru’s manufacturing facilities in both Japan and the United States due to the spread of Covid-19.
The two factories will temporarily suspend production for almost a month from April 11th to May 10th.
With many countries on lockdown and customers unable to purchase vehicles, the forced adjustment to production volume is in response to a sudden decline in demand around the world as a result of the rapid spread of Covid-19. In addition, both Japan and the United States have their own challenges with Covid-19 and the factories’ closure will ensure physical distancing for a period of time, while both countries grapple with getting the virus under control.
Despite the production suspension, Subaru of New Zealand, which is Subaru Corporation’s 12th biggest seller globally for the brand, will continue to have vehicles available for New Zealand customers once the lockdown is over.
Subaru of New Zealand’s Managing Director Wallis Dumper says: “The lead time to order Subaru vehicles from Japan is close to five months and it’s no secret that we have been struggling to get factory allocations due to the huge demand for our 100% All-Wheel Drive products around the world. In recent times, our Kiwi market has been outselling much larger nations thanks to the fact that New Zealand is Subaru Country!”
“The New Zealand lockdown had the potential to cause us issues with possible oversupply and that’s not conducive to protecting the residual values of our loyal customers’ Boxer engine beauties. We simply do not want too many vehicles in stock in New Zealand. The factory production suspension is in fact a blessing in disguise. It will even out our inventory, while ensuring we will have vehicles on demand for our New Zealand customers, once our independently owned and operated Subaru Authorised Centres are able to re-open again after the level 4 restrictions lift.”
Mr Dumper wished to advise that following the lockdown period, the 16 Subaru Authorised Centres, supported by the ten local service-only centres, will be able to provide remote services and purchasing - enabling physical distancing - if customers wish to buy a new Subaru, or get their vehicle serviced in an environment with enhanced hygiene measures.
“Our Subaru Authorised Centres all have ways of ensuring customers can purchase and trade-in a vehicle with little or no contact with their staff. But we also recognise these Subaru dealerships are part of local communities, so it will be a learning curve for all of us, who are used to being greeted by that Kiwi g’day and a chat over a coffee. We are living in unprecedented times and we want to reassure our customers and potential customers that our dealerships have their customers’ safety at heart,” Mr Dumper says.
He continues: “What’s important now is that people are abiding by the Government’s restrictions to help eliminate this virus, and New Zealanders are looking after their wellbeing. Meanwhile, we are planning for the future.”
“Given totally unrelated incidents in the motor industry recently, our intention in issuing this announcement is to simply avoid any rumours or wrong assumptions about supply. We’ve taken the opportunity to spell out what the global statement issued by Subaru Corporation in Japan yesterday, means for our Subaru customers in New Zealand,” Mr Dumper concludes.
Subaru of New Zealand
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