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Discussion Starter #1
I knew the Ascent was eventually going to make an appearance, but it was not until recently I began to look into the details. I did the usual research and talked to the local Subaru people. I saw the Ascent at the auto show and the day my local dealer started to accept orders, I plunked down a deposit. The process of getting the details must have put me on a number of lists and I received numerous calls before and after placing the order. They all seem to have to do with Subaru at some level, but I am not sure who they are what their role is. I suppose I could have asked how they fit into the general scheme of things, but I was busy with a bunch of other stuff and otherwise distracted. I figured out how at the dealer level, the right hand did not know that the left hand had already written up an order. However, who is this Concierge person that seems to have taken an interest in my acquiring a new Subaru? I did get an inquiry from yet someone else in the Subaru food chain who wanted to make absolutely sure that if I decided not to buy a new Subaru, it was not because they did not try hard enough.

I have another somewhat unrelated question. I recall reading about someone who owns a monopoly on Subaru new car sales in the New England states. It went on to say that this billionaire gets a piece of every sale and that it affects the final cost to buyers across the country. Does anyone know about this? Am I buying from Subaru of America? Not that I get too wrapped up in the politics of people with money, but the author seemed to take exception to large donations to the Trump campaign. That is something for a forum somewhere else. However, I do find it amusing that the progressive folks in Vermont who buy a Subaru indirectly contributed to getting The Donald elected.
 

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I recall reading about someone who owns a monopoly on Subaru new car sales in the New England states. It went on to say that this billionaire gets a piece of every sale and that it affects the final cost to buyers across the country. Does anyone know about this? Am I buying from Subaru of America?
What people pay in the New England states (which go through Subaru of New England - SNE), or New York and northern New Jersey (which is through Subaru Distributors Corporation - SDC) does NOT affect what the rest of the country pays. Typically in those states customers will pay a slightly higher price than everywhere else in the country, which is covered by SOA.

What DOES happen is that out here in the rest of the country, if I want to order an Ascent (like I did today), I get onto what we call SubieNet and simply order the car. I can immediately see the VON for the car when the process is done, and can give my customer updates because I know when it's shipping. And if you want accessories put on it, then I do so, and when the car leaves Lafayette, it has those accessories on it. What happens in the northeast is that if you come in to order the car, the salesman takes your information, then his dealership has to contact SNE or SDC to order the car. He typically cannot access ANY information on the car. And if you want accessories on it, when the car gets to the SNE or SDC center, then THEY put the accessories on it.

That's also why, at the bottom of our pricing sheets, is the disclaimer that the D&D charges include delivery to the retailers location (aka, straight from the factory to my lot) may vary in CT, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, RI, and VT. Hawaii is also a variable D&D state, but that's because it's Hawaii. Alaska is a fixed rate state, but it's higher than the $975 of the rest of the country. That's because the cars aren't shipped directly to the dealer, they have to go to the distributor, who then puts the accessories on them and then THEY ship them on to the dealership.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So, SNE is a Legacy (pardon the pun) of the original arrangement for selling the first Subaru. I have a friend in northern New Jersey who has had a number of Subarus and now an Outback and a Forester. He has commented that he felt that there was a lot of cloak and dagger going on at the dealer. My daughter lives in Baltimore and is looking at the Impreza or Crosstrek to replace an aging Mazda. I hope ordering there in Maryland is more straightforward. I have a printout that shows a VON and an ETA of 2018-7. I was told that I was their first Ascent order, other than what they may get for the showroom. It took a little extra poking around in the computer to figure out how to put the car together from the available option packages and accessories. The tricky part was package AAD kept getting kicked out because it could not be added to a new order; 0CA (Aero Cross Bars) was the glitch. Inputting the order as: Limited with Code 23, AAC and 0C7 (trailer hitch) was accepted.

But, who is this Concierge guy that called me?
 

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I live in the Baltimore area as well and put down my pre-order deposit but have received really no information other than the car should be available late May or early June.


This was from a Mile One dealership which owns a 3 of the 5 Subaru dealerships around me. Still waiting to hear about tracking or something about the car.


One of the other two was Autonation but the guy there didn't seem to know anything and when I asked about tracking kept going back and saying "We are a public company so we can't hide nothing". The other dealership just seemed to not care at all and said yes they are pre-ordering them but nothing else really.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I live in the Baltimore area as well and put down my pre-order deposit but have received really no information other than the car should be available late May or early June.


This was from a Mile One dealership which owns a 3 of the 5 Subaru dealerships around me. Still waiting to hear about tracking or something about the car.


One of the other two was Autonation but the guy there didn't seem to know anything and when I asked about tracking kept going back and saying "We are a public company so we can't hide nothing". The other dealership just seemed to not care at all and said yes they are pre-ordering them but nothing else really.
When you say 'pre-order', what sort of position does that put you in? That makes it sound like a 'show of interest' rather than a commitment to buy or a commitment on their part to follow through. I am looking for recommendations for dealers in the Baltimore area and maybe in the Frederick area where there is family. My daughter is interested in a Crosstrek, but that model configured the way she wants is not as likely to be on the lot and will have to be ordered. The Crosstrek out here would be very close to MSRP as they can't keep them on the lot. Like the Ascent, if you see one that is not spoken for, buy it today; it won't be there tomorrow.
 

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When you say 'pre-order', what sort of position does that put you in? That makes it sound like a 'show of interest' rather than a commitment to buy or a commitment on their part to follow through. I am looking for recommendations for dealers in the Baltimore area and maybe in the Frederick area where there is family. My daughter is interested in a Crosstrek, but that model configured the way she wants is not as likely to be on the lot and will have to be ordered. The Crosstrek out here would be very close to MSRP as they can't keep them on the lot. Like the Ascent, if you see one that is not spoken for, buy it today; it won't be there tomorrow.
I put down a $500 deposit and told them I wanted a Blue Ascent Touring. According to the dealer they already put in my order and I'm second in line (possible sales speak). They still have not contacted me about what options are available although they said they would but as I ordered the Touring trim most of the options aren't necessary from the factory.


They have stayed in touch but it has been more of a "we will let you know if we hear anything" type of response from them.


Overall I do like my rep and they have been exceptionally appreciative and polite compared to the two other places I called where I got a vibe that I was wasting their time because they didn't have a sale today.


I did not contact any dealerships in Frederick as this is a brand new car I wanted the place I bought it from to be close by so the managers know me just in case it has issues.


I'm working with Heritage Subaru in Owings Mills (owned by Mile One). I called the Hunt Valley Subaru (Autonation) and Jones Junction in Bel Air. The other two Subaru dealerships are owned by Mile One and in the past I have found their pricing to always be similar. Good luck to your Daughter getting a car. If she does go to the Subaru in Owings Mills I worked with Konstantinos Kohilas to put in my order.


Dealer website https://www.heritagesubaru.com/ I do not plan on getting any maintenance done here I do oil changes at home or use a local mechanic who I trust a bit more.
 

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I put down a $500 deposit and told them I wanted a Blue Ascent Touring. According to the dealer they already put in my order and I'm second in line (possible sales speak). They still have not contacted me about what options are available although they said they would but as I ordered the Touring trim most of the options aren't necessary from the factory.
On the one hand, this is correct. There are no options for you with the Touring. However, what about accessories? Did you want a trailer hitch? What about remote start? Those can be added at port for less money than putting them on at the dealership, simply due to the difference in labor rates.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I told my dealer get me an 8 passenger Limited in blue and spare no expense. And no, you can't have our 2014 Forester; I have other plans for it. (Maybe a trade for a BRZ later). I gave them $3,000 upfront (my idea) and in about ten minutes I had a VON. So, how does this work? If the plant in Indiana can produce X number of cars each month and there is an allocation set for the dealers, what determines how many cars at each trim level are produced and what color they will be? Has the production been set or do the orders for customers and for the floor plan affect what gets built? If initially, everyone gloms onto a Limited or Premium, does that have any impact on the Standard or Touring production? In other words, if an unanticipated number of people order exactly or nearly so what I ordered, is someone going to have to wait?
 

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On the one hand, this is correct. There are no options for you with the Touring. However, what about accessories? Did you want a trailer hitch? What about remote start? Those can be added at port for less money than putting them on at the dealership, simply due to the difference in labor rates.
Well looking at the accessories I don't think I will really need any as I thought the Touring comes with the trailer hitch (no ball mount and ball). Remote start not necessary or a good idea since I will keep it in a garage.


Only accessories I was thinking of getting was all weather floor mats and maybe the engine block heater for when I go up North but I might just buy aftermarket when I need them instead of getting them right now.
 

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I thought the Touring comes with the trailer hitch
That's a negative, Ghost Rider, the pattern in full.

In all seriousness, no, everything Premium and above come with a 5,000 towing capability, but the hitch itself is NOT standard on anything. The hitch COVER is the center part of the lower rear bumper, similar to other larger SUV's.
 

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If the plant in Indiana can produce X number of cars each month and there is an allocation set for the dealers, what determines how many cars at each trim level are produced and what color they will be? Has the production been set or do the orders for customers and for the floor plan affect what gets built? If initially, everyone gloms onto a Limited or Premium, does that have any impact on the Standard or Touring production? In other words, if an unanticipated number of people order exactly or nearly so what I ordered, is someone going to have to wait?
The allocation set to us is, you get X number of cars total for July, so you can pre-order about Y, which is about 78% of X. What trim level is ordered is completely up to each dealership, the factory simply needs this information now so they can get materials lined up from their suppliers. Based upon our experience so far, pre-orders are 65% Touring, 25% Limited, and the other 10% are split between base and premium. Once the supply chain is fully set up, it really doesn't matter what the mix will be. They run just in time supply (or in the winter, when the roads are bad, almost in time supply) anyway.

Keep in mind that we're expecting this to be a supply and demand situation, similar to what we had with the Forester when it had the body style change (where for 9 months we had diddly squat for inventory, because nearly everything coming in was pre-sold) and when the Outback had its body style change (where we went a full year and a half with effectively zero inventory on the ground because they were all sold before they got here). It's going to be interesting this fall with the Forester having a body style change again.
 

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That's a negative, Ghost Rider, the pattern in full.

In all seriousness, no, everything Premium and above come with a 5,000 towing capability, but the hitch itself is NOT standard on anything. The hitch COVER is the center part of the lower rear bumper, similar to other larger SUV's.

Good to know I'll try and get that added then. Subaru really needs to add that to the website with the footnote where it says it has 5,000lb towing capability.
 

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On the one hand, this is correct. There are no options for you with the Touring. However, what about accessories? Did you want a trailer hitch? What about remote start? Those can be added at port for less money than putting them on at the dealership, simply due to the difference in labor rates.
What's the difference between "option" and "accessory"? I asked for the hitch, auto-dim mirrors, etc... basically, I asked for every... accessory?... available for the Touring except the front windshield shade.
 

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What's the difference between "option" and "accessory"?
I explain this to customers here all the time. An "option" is an item or package of items that has to be built into the car when it comes down the line, such as the moonroof or the eyesight system. An "accessory" is basically anything that could be added to the car either at the port of entry OR at the dealership, such as a trailer hitch, body side moldings, or the rear bumper cover.

Thus, in the Ascent we have four different main builds (Base, Premium, Limited, Touring), with certain option packages (01, 11, 12, 14, 21, 23, and 31). Option package 23, for example, takes a regular limited Ascent and adds Harmon Kardon Sound System, Panoramic Moonroof, Navigation, and Cargo Area Cover. So if you want a Limited Ascent with those features, you HAVE to purchase an Option 23 version, you can't take an Option 21 version and then later add them.

On the Ascent, there's not that many choices of option packages, but you do have the 7 or 8 passenger choice that make a difference on which model code you buy (KCB, KCC, KCD, etc.) So you could get a KCB OP 11, because that's the only choice you have, but you could get a KCC in OP 12 or OP 14. Where the exact car and model code gets REALLY important is in some of our other lines. For example, the Impreza has two different bodies (sedan and hatch) and then 12 different option packages spread out over the three trim levels available. Makes for some fun when we're trying to locate a car for someone on a dealer trade or we're ordering one from scratch for someone.
 
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