Subaru chief says size does matter and bigger isn’t the answer
Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, president of Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) who manufactures Subaru automobiles, told Automotive News, size really does matter and smaller is better. He told them recently that Subaru will put a cap on global sales to stay small so they don’t loose their niche identity. The cap will be put at around 1.1 million vehicles annually in order to preserve their niche appeal around the globe.
That niche brand identity Subaru has worked hard at building, is producing safe, quality all-wheel-drive vehicles that are powered by a boxer engine. It’s a formula that is working well for the small Japanese automaker and they don’t want to mess with what’s working.
Most automakers keep growing bigger and loose that identity as they go for mass appeal and blend in with all the other cars on the road. Subaru has chosen a different path and will stay the course as they move forward with the brand’s core values. At the Tokyo Motor Show where Subaru unveiled two new concept cars, Yoshinaga told Automotive News, "We are at an important turning point. Many companies try to be bigger or sell more vehicles. If Subaru does the same thing, we will lose our characteristics.”
Subaru plans on only brining out one new offering in the next two years, a seven-seat SUV for the U.S. market. It will only be sold in the U.S. and will be built at Subaru’s plant in Lafayette, Indiana which is being upgraded now to accommodate the newest Subaru. Subaru says they will not build any new plants in the near future and will stay small to remain customer focused.
Subaru also plans to come out with a new plug-in hybrid and it won’t be a new model but will be built on an existing car in their lineup. The Subaru boss also confirmed that Subaru’s joint partnership with Toyota will produce a next-generation Subaru BRZ/Scion FR-S sports coupe. Subaru Tecnica International (STI) is also working on a new BRZ STI performance coupe. Stay tuned.
Media source: Automotive News