Subaru was once the automaker that was the furthest behind in the electric car race. They plan to catch up and lead electrification and other new technologies. I've covered the automaker for decades, and it doesn't surprise me that they were cautious at first, and then once they decided the time was right, they didn't hesitate.
A recent report from Automotive News (by subscription) reveals how Subaru can leap forward and why the Japanese automaker is investing heavily in a shift to electric vehicles and hybrids now. I've had some fun creating what some of Subaru's new electric cars could look like.
Subaru can thank its U.S. customers.
Subaru reports profits surged 79 percent in the last quarter, as the Japanese automaker channeled robust U.S. sales to the bottom line for investment in electrification and other new technologies.
The report says the upswing puts the all-wheel-drive niche player on a trajectory for its best fiscal-year earnings in almost a decade as it zeroes in on a double-digit operating profit margin of 10.5 percent.
Subaru funnels those profits into new EV development.
The report says that Subaru is boosting research and development investment by 25 percent this fiscal year to $957.6 million and increased capital expenditure by nearly half to $1.28 billion.
New Subaru EVs will be built in the U.S.
Subaru's electrification plans will eventually include localized EV production in the U.S.; however, Executive Vice President Tomoaki Emori said the company still has yet to decide when or where that will happen.
"We had factored in a plateau of EV demand in the U.S. when we announced our EV plans," Emori said. Subaru is still determining the details of the U.S. system, including the timing and production volume and the possibility of working with alliance partner Toyota. "We are in the final stages of making those decisions," Emori said.
Subaru CEO Atsushi Osaki said he wants to get half its global volume, about 600,000 vehicles, from full-electric models by 2030. He envisions worldwide sales of 1.2 million cars that year.
"To achieve that stratospheric surge," the report says, Subaru plans to roll out four full-electric crossovers by the end of 2026, including a remodeled Solterra EV. And it will add four more electric vehicles by the end of 2028.
New 2025 Subaru Forester Hybrid Details Leaked From Dealer Meeting @SubaruReport @torquenewsauto#subaru #forester #subaruforester #foresterhybrid #subaruforesterhybridhttps://t.co/5yOkLjCzTb
— Denis Flierl (@DenisFlierl) February 9, 2024
Subaru’s next phase in EV development
Subaru will soon shift to developing its own electric and hybrid vehicles after "piggybacking on partner Toyota for research and development."
How Subaru Will Dominate Electric AWD Off-Road Vehicles @SubaruReport @torquenewsauto#subaru #subaruawd #subaruwilderness #wilderness #subaruevhttps://t.co/C1NxV9K4uk
— Denis Flierl (@DenisFlierl) February 5, 2024
In-house EV production in Japan will start in 2025 on an assembly line with an annual capacity of about 200,000 vehicles. Subaru will add another line dedicated to EV production in Japan around 2027 with an additional capacity of 200,000 cars.
Thanks for reading, everyone. I hope you enjoyed the Subaru electric and hybrid vehicle story. See you tomorrow for my latest Subaru Report.
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I am Denis Flierl, a 12-year Torque News senior writer with 20+ years of Subaru and automotive journalism experience. I enjoy bringing you, the Subaru fans and customers, the most up-to-date Subaru news, reviews, and new model information. You'll find the latest Subaru stories on the Subaru page. Follow me on my The Dirty Subaru website, Dirty Subaru blog, SubaruReport, All Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierl, Facebook, and Instagram.
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photo credit: Denis Flierl AI