The All new 2015 Subaru Legacy is designed to give universal appeal as a true sports sedan providing trust-inspiring driving excitement and value. Yasushi Enami, General Manager, Europe, Middle East & Africa Sales and Marketing, Fuji Heavy Industries, Japan who was in Muscat for the launch tells Oommen John P in an interview.

What are the features of the All New 2015 Subaru Legacy? What are the improvisations in the new model?

The sixth generation Subaru Legacy, completely re-designed for 2015, is available with both 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder BOXER engines. Legacy features improved fuel economy, all-wheel drive as standard, an upgraded interior, sharper styling and the largest cabin in its class. The New Legacy is also more appealing and spacious than its contemporaries in the mid-size car segment.

The new model has five main improvements- Fuel efficiency, quietness, smooth & quick acceleration, interior quality improvement, infotainment (Touch panel audio). It is designed to give universal appeal as a true sports sedan providing trust-inspiring driving excitement and value. Since its inception, the Legacy has continued to consistently offer drivers sportiness with value. This makes the Legacy more enjoyable to drive in all situations and gives drivers the exhilarating ability to direct the car exactly where they want.

How is the All new 2015 Legacy performing in the other markets?

Legacy has been doing well across various markets. In the US, where we have already launched in July 2014, sales volume has almost doubled.

Subaru of America, Inc. recently announced that The Car Connection has named the all-new 2015 Subaru Legacy as its “Best Car to Buy 2015.” The Subaru Legacy was recognised as this year’s winner from a competitive field of 11 all new or fully redesigned nominees.

How has Subaru performed in Oman? What do you attribute the success of Subaru in Oman to?

The Sultanate is a very important market for FHI. Subaru is doing very well in the Oman market. In 2014, the growth rate of Subaru in Oman was about 150 per cent. OTE Group understands our brand very well and has implemented strategies to grow the brand. Also, Legacy is popular in Oman and we plan to grow the Legacy significantly in Oman during 2015. Other top selling models in Oman are Forester – SUV and XV – crossover. The SUV segment is growing and will lead the growth in 2015.

What are the advantages of the ‘Symmetrical All Wheel Drive’?

Subaru has pioneered the ‘Symmetrical All Wheel Drive’ for over 40 years now. Symmetrical All Wheel drive is very well balanced. It provides very good handling and increases the crash avoidance capability. Of course, this also provides ‘fun to drive’.

Most of the Subaru models have been regularly receiving 5-Star Safety Rating /other safety awards. At Subaru, we believe that cars are more than just a means of transportation, but bring fantastic moments to life. All our vehicles are developed on the ‘Subaru All-round safety’ concept, setting high standards of safety to safeguard the lives of not only the driver and passengers, but of everyone. There can never be an end to the pursuit and enhancement of safety. Subaru safety is centered on people and develops in all directions.

Any brand’s success depends on the initiatives of their partners in their respective markets. What would you say on the efforts of OTE Group?

We are extremely pleased with our relationship with OTE Group. The growth in Oman has been exceptional. I thank Sheikh Saad Bahwan and his team for what they have done for establishing the brand in Oman.

What are the future plans of Subaru in the region?

We intend to grow the business in the Middle East region through our efforts in three main areas: Close touch with customers to understand their expectations; introduce products built on the platform of safety, performance & sportiness; enhance brand awareness.

The brand statement is a newfound resolution of the Subaru Brand for everyone both inside and outside the company towards the future. Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI) has established a new global brand statement, ‘Confidence in Motion’, as part of its ongoing efforts to enhance the Subaru brand. ‘Confidence’ reflects Subaru’s attitude toward engineering excellence and the trust generated among drivers by following through on its commitment to provide both enjoyment and peace of mind. “in Motion” expresses Subaru’s resolve to continue innovating to meet customer expectations in a world of constant change.

Subaru will proactively address global environmental issues and the demands of ever-maturing automobile use. Subaru believes automobiles should be more than just a means of simple transportation. They should also be a source of enjoyment, and enjoyment rests on a foundation of peace of mind. These two inseparable values are central to the Subaru experience. As customer expectations are diversifying, Subaru will foresee these needs with independent thinking and continue to offer enjoyment and peace of mind without losing sight of the essence of what an automobile should be. “Confidence in Motion” will be at the center of all Subaru activities.

What is the core value of the Subaru brand? What are the differentiating factors that has led to the growth in volumes?

We define that our core brand value is safety and durability and we have developed the vehicles to experience these core brand values. And these are well recognised by the customers across the globe. So our sales volume is growing.

Subaru’s 2014 annual sales have posted all-time records in its key markets including the US, Canada, and Australia. Subaru’s US sales in 2014 rose 21.0 per cent to 513,693 units, marking another year of significant growth following the increase of 26.0 per cent in 2012 and 26.2 per cent in 2013. Subaru has reached a 500,000 sales milestone for the first time in its history, achieved six consecutive years of record sales, and has become the only manufacturer in the US to post seven consecutive years of sales growth.

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