Subaru Dealerships & Women Buying Cars

Last week I had a reader write to me about her thoughts on Subaru dealerships, and women buying cars. She makes some great points, and after getting her permission I’ve decided to post up her email.


Subaru has done a terrific job with their brand and with their niche market. They have obviously studied their segmentation profiles. However, the Subaru dealerships are not congruent with the Subaru brand. Developing a brand mindset includes developing the brand values, vision, mission into the point of sale, which is the dealers.

This week, I embarked on the adventure to buy a new Subaru. It will be my 5th Subaru; therefore, there is a significant brand loyalty. As a woman, I should be able to buy a car myself. My experience with the two Subaru dealers were quite distasteful and included pushy salesmen, intimidation and poor customer service. It has been an experience that will drive me to try a Honda or Toyota.

Subaru is building a distinct and distinctive brand. The brand promise comes to life when it is understood by every employee or brand representative (the dealers). It energizes the brand when each employee “lives” the promise and delivers it consistently. “Genuine brands make a promise and they deliver that promise consistently, eagerly and at the customer’s convenience.” There is a missing link for the Subaru brand and the Subaru dealerships. Lexus and Toyota know better; they are living their Brand Promise.

Currently, Subaru is co-branding with various organizations including PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors) and the Canoe Club. They are doing promotions at ski areas to reach their targeted market. Subaru is doing this well; they have targeted their market. A poor experience at the dealerships obliterate the good work that the organization is doing.

My experience with the Subaru dealerships has been duplicated by several of my women friends. Can you encourage Subaru to make improvements at the dealer level?


An avid STi Blog reader
(Name taken out for privacy)

So, what are your thoughts on Subaru dealerships? If you’ve visited one recently, would you consider it to be a pleasant experience?

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One Response to “Subaru Dealerships & Women Buying Cars”

  1. Cara says:

    Too bad Subaru isn’t catering more to female purchasers. Women influence a great majority of household purchases, cars included. My husband and I bought a 2009 Forester and had no issues with our purchase experience. Since I do most of the driving at our house (and we are a one-car family), the final decision on the purchase was mine (it was a close call between the Honda CRV and the Forester).

    I went alone to test drive at a Subaru dealership and found the experience pleasant. The sales staff were very helpful and knew upfront that I was coming in to test drive and that was it.

    I was less than trilled with my experience at Toyota (too pushy) and Hyundai (too pushy), both with male sales staff. We dealt with a female sales person at Honda while doing our research and found the service excellent. Mind you, for this research, my husband and I went together to test drive and talk to sales staff.

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