As launches go, even Subaru admits that things have not gone entirely to plan since the new Impreza made its debut earlier this year at the New York Motor Show.
Initial reaction to the new model in the British press has been mixed, but the company plans to fix it with a spot of ‘Subaglue’.
The Impreza has become something of an icon for Subaru following the World Rally Championship success which spawned the hot and special WRX STI models.
In deference to a more environmentally friendly world, Subaru is taking something of a ‘softly, softly’ approach with the introduction of the new Impreza featuring normally aspirated 1.5- and 2.0-litre petrol engines only – although no diesel – while the tarmac-scorching 300bhp WRX STI will not appear until around this time next year.
The launch in New York was marred by some less than flattering, embargo-busting pictures before the motor show which were subsequently copied and doctored by a number of publications.
Redressing the balance is the job of Subaru’s UK marketing chief John Fossey who has come up with the Subaglue campaign. He said: “It’s a play on the fact that all models have all-wheel-drive and so the car sticks to the road like…well, Subaglue.”
Fossey said he will be making sure that the new model gets seen from all angles. One tool he is using is a car transporter carrying six Imprezas – three of them hanging upside down.
The transporter will tour the UK for two months while Subaru will also be setting up displays, with test drives available, at major shopping centres around the country.
Also planned is a presence on Sky movie channels where the company will sponsor up to 18 films a day.
Fossey added: “The WRX STI has built up something of a cult following and we will want to continue with that in the future but we do want the new model to reach a much wider audience, young families and also older people whose children have left home.
“This why the initial emphasis is on the 1.5- and 2.0-litre models as we want to compete more directly with the Ford Focus, Honda Civic and VW Golf.”Published 20 September 2007