Subaru was one of few automakers whose sales actually picked up during the recent recession. But now that auto sales are back on track (and expected to hit pre-recession numbers this year), Subaru is trying to come up with new products to fill voids in its current lineup. Wards Auto had a chance to talk to Subaru's director-product manager Ken Lin, who indicated that the automaker is planning to introduce new models this year that will help it attract new buyers without alienating current ones.
The biggest void, of course, is a competitive three-row crossover, a role the Tribeca does not fill in one a very popular segment. Lin said that while there's no current plan to kill off the Tribeca, Subaru is looking at creating a larger three-row CUV with more interior space. In addition to to something big, Subaru is getting ready to bring its customers more luxury with new touring models, but does not anticipate going toe-to-toe with Mercedes-Benz or BMW.
By the end of this year, Subaru will be introducing a new hybrid model, although we don't yet know on which model it will be based. What we do seem to know is that the car will get its power from a nickel metal hydride battery rather than a more modern lithium-ion pack for the sake of simplicity. Finally, Lin mentioned a new product being brought into the sports car segment, but while the article takes this as a hint toward a possible BRZ Turbo, it could also be a reference to the next generation of the WRX and WRX STI.