Fuji Heavy Industries
The Subaru name will be used for the entire company.
Subaru will hit a North American sales goal five years ahead of schedule, and is celebrating that fact by expanding production at its Indiana factory.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles isn't the only big name in the auto industry releasing details on its future plans. Subaru, and its parent company Fuji Heavy Industries, is aiming to bump its North American sales up from 478,000 to 600,000 by 2020. Now, that seems pretty reasonable, especially in the face of FCA's hugely ambitious goals for Alfa Romeo and Maserati. It's how Subaru will go about increasing the sales, though, that has us intrigued.
Thanks to currency fluctuations and their impact on the bottom line, a growing number of Japanese automakers are starting to increase vehicle production in the US, and it appears Subaru could be the next to do so. According to Bloomberg, Subaru is looking into expanding production capacity at its Lafayette, Indiana assembly plant, which currently builds the Outback, Legacy and Tribeca as well as the Toyota Camry.
Ask Subaru about the difficult car market and it is likely to ask in response, "What difficult car market?" The little Japanese brand has its XV sitting on top of sales charts in (one small corner of) Europe, the BRZ is still allergic to sitting on dealer lots, the company has raised its financial forecast due to strong US sales and being in the top five of Consumer Reports' reliability ratings is the sprinkles on the cupcake. Just-Auto now reports that Subie is considering increasing US product
Fuji Heavy Industries has raised its projected operating profit for the next six months due to higher transaction prices for its Subaru vehicles in the US, according to Reuters. Subaru sales jumped by 27 percent between April and September, thereby exceeding the manufacturer's early estimates. Much of that gain came without heavy incentives, which helped FHI increase its earnings estimates for the first half of the fiscal year from $401 million to $539 million, a bump of 34 percent.
In mid-May, Subaru announced plans to expand its Lafayette, Indiana factory where it builds the Legacy, Outback and Tribeca, along with some Camry models for its partners at Toyota. The 52,000-square-foot expansion will bump capacity out to 180,000 units from 156K, and the $75M commitment will lead to around 100 new jobs. But that may just be the tip of the iceberg for Subaru's plans here in North America.
Subaru has been trying to figure out the direction for its three-headed monster, as the Impreza and its WRX and WRX STI variants have grown increasingly at odds over the past two generations. Now this gets thrown into the mix: When the new WRX gets released in late 2013, it may ditch the traditional exhaust-gas powered turbocharger for a new, electric design.
Subaru is walking away from minicars. According to Just-Auto.com, parent company Fuji Heavy Industries is looking to concentrate its efforts small and mid-sized vehicles moving forward. While Japan still enjoys a thriving kei car market, the vehicles aren't as profitable as their larger counterparts and require the same level of engineering commitment. Fuji will focus on the company's drivetrain development as well as improving vehicle safety with the cash it saves from creating new minicars.
Fuji Heavy Industries has just released a new five-year plan for Subaru under the banner "Motion-V," and the blueprint calls for at least three new models and a hybrid vehicle to be on dealer lots by 2016. The move is part of a strategy to draw in an ever-larger brand fan base in an attempt sell 900,000 units by that date – a 40 percent jump over current figures. That means increasing North American sales to 380,000 units and broadening its Chinese presence to 180,000 vehicles. Subaru sold
Subaru's Third-Generation Boxer Engine – Click above for high-res image
Toyota Ractis – Click above for high-res image gallery
Subaru Legacy B4 2.5GT tS – Click above for high-res image gallery
Cosworth Impreza STI CS400 – Click above for image gallery
Toyobaru testing on the 'Ring – Click above for high-res image gallery
It's only been a couple of days since Toyota released initial details and photos of its TF-86 coupe concept scheduled for debut at the upcoming Tokyo show, but we've already been waiting for the other shoe to drop. The project nicknamed "Toyobaru" by the media and fansites is to be a test case for future cooperation between Toyota and Subaru, and the TF-86 is based largely on Scooby mechanicals. A Subaru-branded version of the coupe is expected to follow, and now sketches outlining the design ha