Interview with Subaru Germany boss Jens Becker
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Mr. Becker, What do you expect from 2010, the year one after the scrapping bonus?
Becker: We estimate the total market at 2.8 million new registrations, for us we expect 8,500 sales after we had just over 9,000 last year. So, as always, we are very sensible.
How do you as a small importer resist the weak market?
Becker: We are small, so we don't have to duck so hard in a storm. This year we are celebrating 30 years of Subaru in Germany, We celebrate this with gifts to our customers: with special models and equipment packages worth up to 5,400 euros. We do not want to and cannot take part in the discount battle. And I personally think that you shouldn't either.
How do you appreciate them Situation for your dealerships?
Becker: It will be tight for many dealers. It is good that around 50 percent of our partners are still exclusive Subaru dealers. Last year we didn't have to complain about a single bankruptcy. Unfortunately, this year, I fear, it will also be tight for some of our dealers. But this is mainly due to the unwillingness of the banks to support car dealers. But we don't leave our partners out in the rain. We run various support programs and attach great importance to training, for example in our SIM - the 'Subaru Institute of Management'. In addition, we maintain a close and personal relationship with our dealers, which is clearly reflected in excellent dealer and customer satisfaction. And that has been the case for years, as the studies by Professors Meinig and Diez regularly show.
How do you rate discounting? of many competitors that seem to be even more attractive this year?
Becker: This behavior is suicidal and I strongly condemn it. Anyone who behaves like this is the gravedigger of our industry. Do individual manufacturers and importers want to attract sales to end customers in this way? The problem of global overcapacities of 30 to 40 million vehicles certainly cannot be solved bythe cars are pressed into the market at high discounts. These manufacturers and importers should rather invest manageable resources in presenting their products and brands to customers at trade fairs such as the AMI.
How do you see the topic of daily admissions?
Becker: Daily admissions are okay if they do not exceed a certain percentage of the sales.
How is the order intake at Subaru at the moment?
Becker: U If I neglect the scrapping bonus effect, our incoming orders are well below last year. January was good - also compared to the premium effect. But February will be weak, certainly 30 percent below last year. Our orders, however, are clearly for higher-priced vehicles. Will this trend continue over the course of the year? Everything is a little unclear, rather in the fog, but our job is to push the fog to the side, then we will see the sun again.