Subaru has introduced substantial price increases to all models in its UK line-up for 2020.
Quietly introduced last month, the price hikes are much more significant than with normal cyclical updates. The starting price for the firm’s BRZ sports car, for example, has risen £4160 to £31,995. That represents a 15% premium over its previous cost, and means the BRZ now costs £4165 more than its Toyota GT86 sibling.
Subaru’s revamped pricing strategy comes as manufacturers seek to compensate for heavy government-imposed fleet emissions penalties. Starting this year, the EU fleet-wide average CO2 emission target (which also affects the UK market) for new cars is 95g/km, down from the previous target of 130g/km.
Manufacturers must pay €95 (£80.50) for each g/km in excess of the new target.
Subaru does not yet have a bespoke EV on sale to bring its fleet’s emissions average down, nor does it have a credits deal in place with another manufacturer, such as that between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Tesla.
A spokesperson for Subaru UK claims the pricing increase is due to "a combination" of several factors rather than the fleet average targets themselves.
"We have had no real price increase since January 2018 when other manufacturers have had smaller, more regular increases over the last two years. Some price changes are due to model/spec changes as our e-Boxers were released in 2019 at an introductory price as part of our pre-sales campaign and for 2019 registrations, resulting in December 2019 being a record month for Subaru UK."
In June 2019, Subaru announced that it was working with Toyota to develop an electric SUV. As with the GT86 and BRZ, the new model is likely to be sold in largely identical forms by both manufacturers, and will help to bring the fleet emissions of each down.