Subaru seven-seat SUV to start production in U.S. after 2017
We’ve been talking about Subaru’s new seven-seat SUV for over two years and it’s still a couple years away from hitting U.S. showrooms. According to a report by Bloomberg, Subaru CEO Yasuyuki Yoshinaga told them the seven-seat SUV that will replace the Tribeca will be built at the Subaru plant in Indiana starting after 2017. Yoshinaga did not give a specific time frame when production will start. We would expect production to start in 2018 and be available in late 2018.
The Subaru boss also told Bloomberg it will be built exclusively for the North American market where SUVs continue to be a growing segment. Japan gets the sporty Exiga seven-seat SUV pictured above and Australia and Europe get the smaller Levorg sports tourer that will not be sold in the U.S. Subaru will strengthen its lineup in the U.S.,with the larger SUV that will accompany the top-selling Subaru Forester and Outback.
Subaru continues to grow in North America and the Japanese automaker plans to sell 700,000 vehicles in the U.S. by 2017. They will likely sell 600,000 vehicles in North America this year which will be five years ahead of their mid-term plan. Subaru wants to capture more market share with the new 7-seat SUV. Subaru executive Nobuhiko Murakami, senior vice president of global marketing for parent company Fuji Heavy Industries said the new 7-seater will be built because that mid-size SUV market “Is so strong.”
The new SUV will be competing against vehicles like the Hyundai Santa Fe, Kia Sorento, Nissan Pathfinder, Mitsubishi Outlander, Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot. Subaru will need to set itself apart and Subaru design engineers are deciding what the new 7-seater will look like now.
Subaru is expanding production capacity at their Indiana plant in the U.S. and the new seven-seat Subaru SUV will be built in the U.S. Expansion at the Indiana factory will be completed by 2017 and will be ready to handle production of the new model. Look for the new Subaru seven-seat SUV to arrive sometime in 2018 and be exclusive to the North American market. Stay tuned.
Media source: Bloomberg