Is Scion's FR-S Causing Price Pressure On Subaru's BRZ?

2013 Scion FR-S

2013 Scion FR-S

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Despite coming from a shared design, the Scion FR-S and the Subaru BRZ came to market in the United States with completely different sales philosophies, aimed at slightly different demographics.

The Subaru BRZ would be better-equipped, with base “Premium” models including things like navigation as a standard feature. Priced higher than the Scion FR-S, the Subaru coupe was pitched to a more mature (i.e., wealthier) audience and would be available in limited quantities.

The Scion FR-S, on the other hand, would be less well-equipped, but priced at a lower point of entry and pitched to Scion’s target demographic of younger buyers. Unlike the Subaru, the Scion would be produced in larger quantities, ensuring that there was plenty of inventory to meet demand.

Word on the street was that Subaru had already pre-sold its initial allocation, which meant that Scion dealers were free to tack on “additional dealer markup” to available inventory as they saw fit. We’ve seen Scion dealers asking as much as $5k over sticker, and we’ve yet to see a single Subaru BRZ on the road or in a dealership.

2013 Subaru BRZ - First Drive, May 2012

2013 Subaru BRZ - First Drive, May 2012

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Now comes word from USA Today that the opposite may be true, at least in some parts of the country. Ready availability of the less-expensive Scion prompted Subaru to offer a $400 incentive on the BRZ in June, while no discounts or incentives were offered on the Scion, which seems to be selling well, even at pricing above sticker.

To date, the average transaction price for the Subaru BRZ has been $29,085, compared to $25,653 for the Scion FR-S, which likely indicates that Subaru is selling more of its range-topping BRZ Limited than its BRZ Premium.

What does all this mean? If you’re shopping for a Subaru BRZ, perhaps they’re still available in your local market, maybe even with price-lowering incentives. If you’re shopping for a Scion FR-S, don’t be afraid to cast a wider net; just because your local dealer is asking for additional profit doesn’t mean that all dealers expect the same.
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Comments (7)
  1. maybe someone can answer this: isn't this a win win situation for Subaru anyway? Aren't they the suppliers of the engines and other major parts in both cars so wouldn't they also profit from every FRS sold and keep all profits on all BRZ sold??

  2. @Chris, if I'm not mistaken, both cars are built on a Subaru assembly line, too. Subaru realizes higher margins on its own cars, but I'm sure it still makes a profit by selling FR-S / GT86 components to Toyota.

  3. I'm sure for a couple of thousand dollars or more those who would prefer the BRZ over the 86 and/or FRS really wouldn't mind.

  4. @gazzed, that's if you can find a Subaru BRZ for purchase. I've looked down here, and there are none to be found.

  5. I live in the midwest and have seen a Subaru BRZ. I have been very underwhelmed by the photos of these cars but I must admit it was very sexy in person. Personally I don't see why people wouldn't spend a couple more G's on the Subaru Limited version considering what it comes with... but then again, I'm not a Scion fan.

  6. @M, I agree that the Scion looks better in person that in photos (and like I said, I've yet to see a Subaru). Also agree that the Premium is so well equipped that the Limited seems like overkill; personally, I prefer cloth upholstery to leather, anyway.

  7. If the BRZ can be found it is the better bang for the buck , The HID lamps, Nav and available Dual Auto climate controls are all worth thousands more than the price difference between it and the FR-S. BRZ all the way!

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