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Out of all the automakers doing business in the US, Subaru is the one that has carved out the most interesting niche for itself in the minds and lifestyles of buyers. Outdoorsy types, dog lovers and active families alike flock to Subaru's rugged nature and all-wheel-drive utility – and they're fiercely loyal, which is probably why Subaru has become a success story.

But Subaru is still a relatively small player in the US market, and with recent profits surging, parent company Fuji Heavy Industries is facing a dilemma: continue on with the successful niche market Subaru has carved out for itself, or attempt to go mainstream and give big players like Nissan and Toyota a run for their money. According to Carscoop, Japan Times and Bloomberg News are reporting that Fuji Heavy is beginning discussions this month to determine which direction Subaru will take.

To deviate from the current model lineup would likely mean making cheaper cars and sacrificing some of the features that have made the brand so well loved. As Fuji Heavy President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga told reporters, "We're not a carmaker that can grow as big as Toyota. And even if we could, reaching that sort of scale would mean we'd stop being Subaru."

What do you think? Should Subaru stay its current course or sacrifice its cult-like following for a bigger piece of the pie? Have a say in our poll below, then sound off in the Comments!

Should Subaru keep its niche or go mainstream?
Stay unique and continue on as a niche player 1 (33.3%)
Go mainstream and challenge the big automakers 1 (33.3%)
I don't know 1 (33.3%)


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