Update 2/9/09: Finally, Subaru has announced that the Subaru Impreza Diesel will be coming to the UK, starting at £20,000 OTD for the 2.0D RC.
It does get difficult when markets go mad, and currencies fall out of the normal range of values, for none more than the big car manufacturers whose products are sold around the world.
The Japanese are really struggling with this at the moment, as the Yen has remained strong in relation to many western currencies, in particular the Pound. There are rumours flying around that several of the Japanese manufacturers, who rely on Western markets for their profitability, are even considering re-locating their businesses outside Japan.
Such is the problem that the Japanese are considering a devaluation of the Yen if the position doesn’t correct itself soon. The disparity in values is to a degree caused by the very low interest rates in Japan which have been evident since the big Japanese economic downturn a number of years ago.
For the Japanese, these low rates were already factored in to the Yen’s comparative value, but now the West has dropped its rates to unprecedented lows (the US has effectively got a 0% base rate), the Yen has soared in value. Makes for cheap imports for the Japanese, but if it’s not addressed quickly companies like Subaru, which only manufactures in Japan, are going to see their market decimated.
The first sign of this is the announcement that the much awaited Subaru Impreza Diesel will not now be coming to the UK for the foreseeable future. A source at International Motors, the Subaru importer in the UK, told Autocar:
“At the current rate we would have to charge vastly more than we can justify for the diesel Impreza if we were to make a profit. As a result we can’t guarantee when the car will go on sale as we can’t predict when the economy will change.”
Which is a shame. The diesel version of the Impreza would have opened up a big market for Subaru. Let’s just hope things get back to some semblance of normality sooner rather than later.