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model overview, snapshot 2014 or previous model years
> Outback: 2014, more
> Forester: 2015, 2014, more
> Legacy: 2014, more
> Impreza: , 2014, more
> WRX, STI: 2015 Specs, 2014, more
> BRZ: 2014, 2013
> Crosstrek, 2014
>Tribeca: 2014, more
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a completely 100% unofficial unauthorized unapproved website. info always subject to change, correction, updating
-> Finance Rate webpage, February 4 - March 3, 2014. For the NW Seattle area only
> financing is through Subaru/Chase with no prepayment penalty, no loan fees, no buy down fees, on approval of credit.
an oversupply of BRZs means this is a good time to make a deal on a 2014 or remaining or 2014
Dealers are motivated to move Outbacks, Legacys, Tribecas, BRZs
new 2014 Tribeca 0% from 24 to 72 mos
new 2014 BRZ 0.9% to 48 mos
new 2013 BRZ 0% to 63 mos
2014 Finance rates
Forester 1.90% 24-36-48 mos, 2.90% 60-63-72 mos
Outback 0%-24-36 mos, .90%x48-60-63mos, 1.90% x72 mos
Legacy 0.90%-24-36-48 mos, 1.90% 60-63-72 mos
Crosstrek 2.90% 24-36-48-60-63 mos
WRX, STI, 2.90% 24-36-48-60-63 mos
new Tribeca 0% to 72 mos
Impreza 0.90%24-36-48mos, 1.90% 60-63-72 mos
new BRZ .9% 24-48 mos, 1.90% x72 mos
2013 Finance rates- final month
Impreza 0.90% 24-36-48 mos, 1.90% 60-63-72 months
Crosstrek 2.90% 24-36-48-60-63 mos. No 72 month rate announced
Outback 0.0% 24-36-48 mos, 0.90%x60-63 mos, 1.90% 72 months
Legacy 0% 24-36-48 mos, 0.90%x60-63mos, 1.90% 72 months
Forester 0.0% 24-36-48-60-63 mos, 1.90% 72 mos
WRX, STI 2.90% 24-36-48-60-63 mos. No 72 month rate announced
new BRZ 0% now to 72 months
Tribeca .0% to 72 months
> Lease rates- available on 2014s. Ask your local dealer.
> Payment calculator I GTP Guaranteed Trade Value- what is your car worth
>Find a Subaru dealer Alabama-Montana; Nebraska - Wyoming; Canada; Mexico. Dealer news and updates wanted.
> Buy a Subaru in Shoreline/North Seattle or the greater NW. Discounted prices. I've been selling Subarus since 1996.
Have a Subaru? Get your Subaru Badge of Ownership
This website is created and maintained by Joe Spitz. I've been selling Subarus in the Shoreline (N. Seattle), Puget Sound and greater Northwest area since 1996. If you're anywhere in the area (including Idaho, Montana, California, Oregon, Alaska) and buying a Subaru, call and lets talk about what you want.
Note- this unofficial independent, unauthorized Subaru research website is designed to help you learn about Subarus. It's not authorized, approved, sponsored, or supported in any way by Subaru or a Subaru dealer anywhere. Comments and links have been edited and summarized. All info subject to change, correction, frequent updating. Comments, tips, and corrections are welcomed and appreciated.
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contact info or call 206 769-7821 I much more news
3/9 2015 Foresters available for order Monday 3/10. 2015 Forester specs, options, details research page
Cars expected starting in late April.
Are you buying in the greater Puget Sound area or have questions? Call me at 206 769-7821
3/8 Spring forward- turn clocks ahead one hour
3/7 2015 Forester orders will be available starting 3/10
3/6 Consumer Reports annual April car issue is out, and worth getting if you're thinking of buying a car, or just into cars...
It has reviews on all the new 2014s, and suggestions as to best and worst new and used to buy or to avoid, the cheapest and most expensive to own over 5 years, the thriftiest fuel sipper and thirstiest fuel guzzler, a handy chart of safety/crash test results and much more.
There's a wide spread of models from a variety of companies, and no one company rules the rankings...
A few highlights... in the Top Picks section, the Tesla S is the Best Overall, and the Subaru Impreza makes the cut as a Top Pick Compact Car and the Forester in the Small SUV category.
In the 'Who Makes The Best Cars' section, #1 is Lexus, followed by Acura, Audi, Subaru, Toyota, Mazda, Honda....
The Crosstrek makes the list of least expensive cars to own over 5 years, The Impreza, Legacy, Forester and Crosstrek make the Best cars under $25000 list.
Its worth picking the magazine up at your local newsstand....
3/3 February sales- 34909 a strong 24% increase over 28,163 February 2013, and the 19th record setting month in a row.
YTD Feb 2014 sales is already 67909 which is 22% over 55826 YTD 2013. If these numbers continue for the next 10 months of 2014, Subaru could sell 510,000 cars, that's in the unlikely case there were enough cars to reach that lofty total.
Crosstrek is now consistently outselling its sibling Impreza, with only a tight supply holding Crosstrek sales back (inventory is a frequent Subaru issue, a problem of being popular).
There's a strong supply of BRZs, and new lower finance rates should increase sales in March. I have over 20 available!
Call me for local price if you're buying a Subaru in the greater Puget Sound area- 206 769-7821
February sales by model
BRZ 617, up 47% over 420 Feb 2013. There's currently a strong supply of BRZs
Forester 10,773, up 95% over the 5529 remaining 2013s, Feb 2013
Outback 8967, down 1% from 9016 Feb '13
Crosstrek 5489, up 68% over 3258 Feb '13
Impreza 4459, up 1% over 4515 Feb '13
Legacy 2575, down 31% from 3745 Feb '13. The redesigned, updated 15 Legacy has already been announced, available June/July
WRX STI 1801, up 21% over 1486 Feb '13. The all new redesigned 15s will be available starting late April/May. I can order now for you...
Tribeca 128, down 34% from 194 Feb '13. The Tribeca has been discontinued, this is a good time to get one with 0% financing
For comparison, the top 5 cars in February are #1 Ford with 176,688 sales, down 7.2%. #2 was Chevy with 153,913, down 2.9%. #3 Toyota with 135,900, down 5.6%. #4 Nissan with 105,631, up 16.7%. #5 Honda 88,860 down 8%
2/28 KBB's Top 10 Hybrid list... the Crosstrek comes in at #10
#1 Prius, 2 Accord, 3 Camry, 4 Prius V, 5 Fusion, 6 Acura ILX, 7 Ford C-Max, 8 Prius C, 9 Jetta, 10 Crosstrek
"Today's hybrid cars aren't just more efficient than yesterday's, they also offer better performance. In fact some hybrids are quicker than their gas-only counterparts, thanks to the immediate boost provided by the electric motor. And with more choices than ever, going gas-electric has never been more appealing. There are more than 20 hybrids priced under $30,000, and we've hand-picked the 10 best.
> #10 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek
Subaru's first hybrid doesn't deliver all the efficiency of the other cars on the list, but it's the only one with all-wheel drive. Combined with higher ground clearance and cargo versatility, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid is among the most capable and flexible hybrids you can buy for less than $30,000. City/hwy/combined: 29/33/31 mpg.." read the entire article
2/27 Outback 3.6L orders shut off after tomorrow 2/28
The 3.6s have been uncommon for a while and now they can't be ordered anymore. 2015 3.6Ls will reportedly have a CVT instead of the 5 spd automatic, and be available this June/July.
2/26 2015 Forester specs and prices released.
Destination now $850, was $825. Subaru crosses a threshold with destination to Alaska at $1000
new- base 2.5i gets rear view camera and color multi-function display like the 14 Premiums with fuel economy gauges, maintenance reminders etc
new- base 2.5i CVT has optional alloy wheel and roof rail package.
new- 2.5i Premium manual gets moonroof
new- 2.5i Touring and 2.0XT Touring loses navigation but gets keyless access with pushbutton start, HID low beams, chrome rocker panel trim, and 18" alloys
new- 2.0XT premium gets the All Weather Pkg
new- optional Eyesight is now available on 2.5 Premium, Limited and Touring models
The good changes
- roof rails available on the base model CVT with #02 pkg
- backup camera standard on the base model, so it's now on all models
- 2.0XT Premium gets the all weather package.
- Touring models lose the navigation system (its now optional), and instead get standard pushbutton start and HID low beams.
Things I wish they had changed on the 2015s but didn't..
- added Paddle Shifters. It didn't happen.
- fixed the very problematical power rear gate mechanism. It didn't happen. Only available on the Limited and Touring models, the overly complicated rear gate needs 4 pages of instructions in the owner's manual (!?), plus its slow to open and tugging on it makes it not open correctly.
- 2nd generation Eyesight. Doesn't seem to have made it to the 2015 Forester
2/20 2015 WRX, STI webpage finally up.
Contact me if you want to talk about ordering one in the NW- phone 206 769-7821
2/17 watch a WRX get a cop car moving in the snow
"Sometimes a simple 4-cylinder will do you better than all the RWD Hemis out there. We all love the sound and power of a good American sedan, like the RWD Dodge Chargers used by numerous police departments across the country. Whether in V-6 or V-8 form- they are the classic choice for an American 4-door. But when it comes to getting around in the aftermath of a massive snow storm, an AWD H-4 will fare you much better. This lesson was learned the hard way by a policeman who needed the help of a kind 2nd gen Subaru driver to get his cruiser back on the road." watch this video
2/16 what can a Crosstrek do in a snowstorm? Check out the video of Ezra Dyer working out his green Hybrid
"How we rescued a snowbound UPS truck using a Subaru and a tow strap
Sometimes the secret to success is being just dumb enough to attempt the impossible. For instance, trying to tow a snowbound UPS truck up a steep hill with a small Subaru. That doesn’t seem like a feasible idea, does it? But you’ve got nothing to lose by trying, which is how I find myself dragging a UPS truck up a hill with a Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid.
The day before the latest crippling Southern snowstorm, I’m in possession of a bright green Subaru and a head full of bad ideas. I visit Lowe’s and buy a forged steel hook, which I shackle to the Subaru’s tow eye to create a beefy attachment point for my tow strap. I figure that when the storm hits, I’ll just cruise around in the all-wheel-drive Subaru and rescue the non-Subaru-having motorists. I get more action than I bargained for....
The Subaru will now face its real test. The Crosstrek Hybrid, despite its compact wagon packaging, rocks a downright SUV-worthy 8.7 inches of ground clearance. And its all-wheel-drive system is beefier than that of most crossovers, with an active center clutch that can send 100 percent of the torque to either end of the car. Moreover, when you deactivate the stability control system it will allow healthy wheelspin while still stepping in to shuffle torque via the traction control system. This thing can sink claws.
As for the hybrid part of the equation, this system is more for marketing than fuel economy, with a tiny electric motor built into the CVT transmission and a .55 kw/h battery lodged under the rear cargo area. Compared to the standard Crosstrek, the Hybrid gains 12 horsepower (for 160), and three miles per gallon, for 31 mpg combined. But you won’t be running 45 mph on the battery as you can in, say, a Ford Fusion Hybrid. The Crosstrek Hybrid’s biggest boon is its torque curve, topping out at 163 lb-ft at 2,000 rpm. On its own, the peaky standard 2.0-liter manages 145 lb-ft at 4,200 rpm.
So, the Crosstrek Hybrid has the torque curve of a decent turbo motor paired with the four-wheel traction of, well, a Subaru. Would those ingredients be enough to turn it into a righteous little green tow truck?
The cop manning this approach to the glut is bemused at my assumption that I can help anyone, but he’s game to let me try. An F-250 is towing the first UPS truck up the hill, so I drive down to hook up to the second one. The delivery driver, like the cop, doesn’t seem to expect much. Frankly, neither do I.
I throw a hook on his bumper, draw the strap tight and deactivate VDC. We both hit the gas and for a long moment the Subaru strains and spins its tires to no avail. But I stay on the throttle and the Crosstrek soon mines its way down to pavement. I saw the wheel to get it dancing — an old truck-pull technique that, safe to say, is finding its first application in Subaru-to-delivery-truck assistance — and to everyone’s disbelief the big brown truck starts moving.
For the next 30 seconds, the silence of the falling snow is broken by the UPS truck’s diesel chatter commingled with the signature sound of a wailing Subaru flat-four. The Crosstrek resolutely drags the truck up the slope while a crowd of bystanders gawks in amazement. But we soon reach an impasse as we try to navigate between a street sign on the shoulder and a stuck Grand Marquis in the middle of the road. The UPS truck drops his left rear wheel onto the shoulderand we stop to regroup. We need to get the Grand Marquis out of here first, but once that’s done he should be able to back down the hill onto the road for a straight shot up and out.
I hook the Crosstrek to the Grand Marquis and easily tow it up the hill to send it on its way. A guy in the passenger seat, having just witnessed the Subaru towing the UPS truck, asks the price for the Crosstrek Hybrid. I tell him it’s about 26 grand and he replies, “You tell them they did a good job with that one.”.." read the entire article, with photos and a video.
2/13 2015 WRX and STI orders start tomorrow 2/14. Its a Valentine's Day to remember.
Contact me if you want to talk about ordering one
2/7 NW Flower and Garden Show, February 5-9, 2014, Seattle Convention Center.
Have a Subaru? Show your car key at the Subaru display for a free "Love, Peace & Subaru" magnetic bumper sticker.
2/6 Portland Auto Show
see the all new 2015 WRX (too bad they didn't also bring one to the NW Flower and Garden Show in Seattle this weekend)
The auto show is Thursday Feb 6 to Sunday 9th. PortlandAutoShow.com, Oregon Convention Ctr, 777 NE MLK Jr Blvd, Portland
2/5 Subaru True Love Event. Red heart shaped Subaru lollipops for Valentine's Day. Click the image for more photos
2/3 January sales total 33,000, a new record, beating January 2013's 27,663 total by 5,337 cars (19%)
Forester was the volume leader for the January. Current Forester supply continues to be very tight with many models unavailable for immediate delivery, and while the shortage is bad, it adds to the strength of the buyer's desire.... as in "absence makes the heart grow fonder", "you always want what you can't get", "no one wants to eat in an empty restaurant", "everyone wants to date the popular gal/guy" and etc.
Current Outback and BRZ inventory is high, and Legacy, Impreza, Crosstrek, and WRX/STI inventory is weak.
January sales by model
Outback 8,230, down 402 from 8632 sold Jan '13
Forester 10,771, 4,206 car more than 6565 in Jan '13
Crosstrek 4801, up 2037 over the 2764 sold Jan '13
Impreza 4252, down 338 from 4590 in Jan '13
Legacy 2735, down 449 from 3184 in Jan '13
WRX STI 1553, up 227 over the 1306 sold Jan '13
BRZ 592, 129 increase over 463 in Jan, 13
Tribeca 86, down 73 from the 159 sold Jan '13.
1/31 The giant NW Flower and Garden Show in Seattle Feb 5-9.
Visit the Subaru display, see the Crosstrek Hybrid, and show your Subaru keys for a free gift. The Garden Show
1/30 tomorrow Friday 1/31 is the last day to choose a Share the Love charity if you bought a car from November 21- January 2, 201
1/29 current finance rates end Feb 3rd, new rates announced on Tuesday 2/4
1/28 2015 WRX and STI orders open 2/14/14, Valentine's Day
1/30 Jet Chevrolet ran a promotion before the Seahawks beat the Giants in December that if the Seattle team shut out the New York team, 12 people would split $420,000 equally.
Jet Chevrolet, a car dealership in Federal Way, Wash., located 25 miles south of Seattle, had a promotion that if the Seahawks shut out the Giants, 12 people would split $420,000 equally. "This is crazy," said Jim Johnson, one of the owners of the dealership. "We never expected that we'd actually be giving away the money."
"A Federal Way car dealership doled out $420,000 to 12 lucky customers on Friday 1/24.
Seahawks blew away the Giants 23-0 at Met Life Stadium in New Jersey.
Co-owners Jim and Dan Johnson cut the $35,000 checks on Friday for the 12 fans. Luckily, Jet Chevrolet took out an insurance policy on the shutout money giveaway. Instead of the $420,000, the contest cost the dealership about $7,000.
1/29 what does your really know about you? with all the technology and black boxes in cars means they about your driving.
"Auto industry needs privacy rules, Ford’s Mulally says
The automotive industry needs legislation to protect drivers’ privacy as more cars utilize data for location tracking and other services, Ford Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally said... The second-largest U.S. automaker has countered comments made last week by its global marketing chief, who said Ford knows when drivers of its vehicles violate traffic laws through its GPS data.
“It’s just really important that we have boundaries and guidelines to operate,” Mulally told reporters on the sidelines of the show. “Our homes, the cars, everything is going to be on the Internet. Everything’s going to be connected. And so what are the guidelines? What do we want?”
In-vehicle technology is the top selling point for 39 percent of car buyers today, more than twice the 14 percent who say their first consideration is traditional performance measures such as power and speed, according to a study that consulting firm Accenture released in December.
A separate Government Accountability Office (GAO) report last month said that while carmakers and navigation-device companies are taking steps to protect privacy, some risks may not be clear to consumers.
Jim Farley, executive vice president of global marketing at Ford, said on a panel at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week that Ford can use technology to know when a driver commits a criminal act.
“We know everyone who breaks the law; we know when you’re doing it. We have GPS in your car, so we know what you’re doing,” he said, according to Business Insider. “By the way, we don’t supply that data to anyone.”
Mulally said Tuesday that Farley’s comments were inaccurate. “What he said was not right,” he said. “We do not track the vehicles. That’s absolutely wrong. We would never track the vehicles. And we’d only send data to get map data if they agree that that’s OK to do that, but we don’t do anything with the data, we don’t track it and we would never do that.”
The GAO published its report in response to a request by U.S. Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., who in 2011 proposed a law intended to protect the privacy of mobile-device users’ location data. The report “underscores the need for me to reintroduce and pass my location-privacy bill,” Franken said in a Jan. 6 statement.
Franken is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law, and has offered separate proposals to require more disclosure by the National Security Agency of its operations, after documents released by former government contractor Edward Snowden sparked a firestorm over privacy concerns.
Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of the third-largest U.S. automaker Chrysler Group and its owner Fiat, said Monday his companies don’t collect data on its customers.
“We have been very, very wary of either having direct access in a personal way to the vehicle itself,” Marchionne told reporters at the auto show.
“We have left this information in such large data status that it cannot, in any way, shape or form, allow us to formulate a view of either a particular individual or a class of people.”
The number of cars connected to the Internet worldwide will grow more than sixfold to 152 million in 2020 from 23 million now, according to researcher IHS Automotive.
“We’re in a connected world,” Mulally said Tuesday. “So this whole thing about our data, privacy, whatever; there’s going to be a lot of good work done to establish guidelines and expectations. It’s great that is happening now.” read the entire article
1/28 growth and keeping the new customer happy
Subarus exponential growth the past few years has brought in many new owners- 60% of 2013's growth came from first time Subaru buyers. The new buyers have high expectations of Subaru's initial quality and overall reliability. And since this is their first Subaru, every noise, sound and feature is different from their previous brand car and a reason to visit the service department. Service departments aren't ready for the increase in activity following the years of growth, and as hourly service rates pass $100/hr, free service loan cars and waiting room snacks are a common way to offset the inconvenience of maintenance and repair visits.
The quantity of repair bays affects appointment availability and turn-around times so Subaru is encouraging and helping dealers to expand their service departments.
At the 2014 NADA convention in New Orleans..."Subaru dealers were given preliminary details of the brand's new program to increase fixed-operations capacity at its U.S. dealerships.
Called Fixed Operations Expansion, or FOX, Subaru wants to increase its service capacity by 70 percent in four years. Each dealer will receive a report with recommendations based on projected future growth by Subaru.
Dealers will get financial support from Subaru based on how much they spend for the service upgrades, said Phil Porter, chairman of the Subaru National Dealer Advisory Board and owner of Subaru stores in Connecticut and Florida.
"It is a fabulous deal and it is very fair. If someone came and offered you this kind of assistance and you didn't take it, you would be crazy," Porter said at the NADA convention here on Sunday.
He declined to provide details. The expansion program aims to increase the number of lifts and service bays and to upgrade service technology, shop equipment and amenities, said Tom Doll, president of Subaru of America. "We have a pool of money set aside, and how much we spend will depend on how many people sign up for the program," Doll said. "It is optional but we are highly encouraging our retailers to participate in the program." read the original article
1/28 a summary of various AWD systems by auto.msn.com. Its not complete but is a good start for understanding the various AWD systems.
"The sales say it all: Americans are increasingly opting for all-wheel-drive vehicles.
Nearly one third of new vehicles sold in the United States last year were equipped with some form of all-wheel drive, and the rise of brands such as Audi means that those numbers will likely grow larger.
To better understand how all-wheel drive works, we're taking a brief technical dive into some of the best-selling all-wheel-drive vehicles on the market..."
read the entire article
The article covers Subaru Symmetrical AWD, Mitsubishi S-AWC, Audi Quattro, Mazda Active Torque Split, Acura SH-AWD, BMW xDrive, Mercedes-Benz 4MATIC, Nissan ATTESA-ETS, Ferrari 4RM, Jeep, Hybrid AWD system.
Not all the details are completely correct however.
Subaru manuals use Continuous AWD- 50/50 front back power split, mechanical system
Subaru CVTs use Active AWD, 90/10 or 80/20 front/rear power split (Subaru wont release details). eclectronically controlled
Subaru 6 cylinder 5 speed automatics use VTD (variable torque distribution) with 45/55 front/back power split, electronically controlled.
1/27 Share the Love ... time to select the charity to receive $250 from Subaru
if you bought a car from November 21- January 2, 2014, you have until January 31, 2014 to select the charity to receive the $250 donation from Subaru. The charities are ASPCA, Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Meals On Wheels. New this year are the National Park Foundation and Teach For America, and a 6th choice chosen by the dealer that will vary from dealer to dealer.
1/27 beyond the Hybrid, lurking just around the corner...
January 10 "...This week at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Toyota announced plans to release a fuel-cell car in 2015. At the fall auto shows, Honda and Hyundai also revealed their fresh take on this headline-grabbing technology. All three have unveiled design studies intended to signal that fuel-cell vehicles, which produce zero tailpipe pollutants, are close to production.
Each concept vehicle demonstrated progress in the efficiency and packaging of their fuel-cell systems, which generate electricity onboard by combining hydrogen and oxygen and emit only water vapor.
What these automakers failed to deliver in terms of specifics they offset with lofty promises of a real and rapidly approaching hydrogen-based future.
Before you file this news with reports of the imminent arrival of flying cars, consider this: For the past four months, I have been living with fuel-cell technology, logging more than 2,500 miles at the wheel of a Toyota Highlander FCHV-adv test bed.
The technowonder that visited my driveway was based on a 2008 Highlander midsize crossover. It offered nearly 300 miles of driving range and five-minute fill-ups — a combination that no battery-electric car offers. I drove for days without tailpipe emissions and without depleting the tank.
"Toyota made a decision — the fuel-cell car is going to be a big part of our future," says John Hanson, a Toyota spokesman. "That's the direction we're going, big time."
In addition to Toyota, Honda and Hyundai, two other carmakers — General Motors and Mercedes-Benz — are also promising fuel-cell cars in the next few years.
For me, the transition from an EV to a fuel-cell car meant trading one refueling limitation for another. My Nissan Leaf offers less than a third of the range of the fuel-cell Highlander, but replenishing it at home is as easy as charging a cellphone. When the tanks in the Highlander were nearing empty, I needed to make a 15-minute drive from my home in Berkeley, Calif., to the only accessible hydrogen station in Northern California, 6 miles away in Emeryville.
A kilogram, or 2.2 pounds, of hydrogen contains nearly the same amount of energy as a gallon of gasoline. To top up, I added 4 to 5 kilograms of gaseous hydrogen into tanks at a pressure of 10,000 pounds per square inch. The Highlander traveled about 55 miles on a kilogram.
I paid $12 to $13 a kilogram. Measured against a baseline of a 2008 Highlander Hybrid, which carried an EPA rating of 27 mpg in the city and 25 on the highway, that's roughly equivalent to paying $6 per gallon of gasoline.
According to Toyota, full-scale production of hydrogen is projected to drop the cost below the current price of gasoline. The main challenge facing the company's engineers, however, is the vehicle's price.
"The effort to bring this car to market is about lowering the cost while providing satisfactory performance," says Matt McClory, principal engineer of fuel-cell development for Toyota in the U.S. Toyota executives say they believe a target price around $50,000 is needed to make the cars attractive. With developments like more efficient fuel-cell stacks, higher pressure in tanks, greater range and lower cost compared with a decade ago, fuel-cell cars are getting a second look.
Steven Chu, energy secretary in President Barack Obama's first term, summed it up this way: "I think automakers are saying, 'Look, hydrogen could be a long shot. But we're going to put a little bet on it, and we'll see.' " read the original article
1/26 Super Bowl Feb 2nd, Seahawks v Bronco, should be a great game. Not into it? Check out the Subaru sponsored Puppy Bowl X on the Animal Planet. But its not all puppies on TV anymore ... this year there's competition, the Hallmark Channel's Kitten Bowl, and Nat Geo's Fish Bowl. Really, a fish bowl? a... fish... bowl? What, a camera pointed at a bowl with a few goldfish and guppies in it? That's called Jumping the Shark (pun intended)... unless all the shows get viewers, in which case sponsors will line up next year for the Slither Bowl, Bird Bowl, Bowl Bowl, and show with the camera pointed at people on the couch warching the TV, the Couch Bowl...
About the Puppy Bopwl... " "Puppy Bowl" came from the Christmas airing of the yule log, and early incarnations were only a bit more elaborate than the classic video of a fireplace. But in the 10 years since Puppy Bowl's debut, it's become much more than the original continuous loop of puppies running across the screen.
Now replete with penguin cheerleaders, a bird to tweet about the action and a kitten half-time show, Puppy Bowl is not only one of Animal Planet's biggest events but an interesting opportunity for advertisers looking to be part of Super Bowl Sunday.
"For an advertiser who wants to get a small pop and some buzz up against the Super Bowl, it's carved out a really nice and unique niche," said David Campanelli, senior VP-director of national broadcast, Horizon Media. "And it's been really strong in social media as well, so taking advantage of that is also a nice bonus."
The first Puppy Bowl aired in 2005, a 12-hour montage of wandering dogs with no commentary and no sponsor ads decorating the stadium. That was enough to get more than 5.6 million viewers to watch at some point during the telecast.
Almost a decade later, the doggie extravaganza's 12-hour run is watched by an aggregate of more than 12 million people and Animal Planet has successfully sold nearly every inch of the field. In 2012, it sold the naming rights to the stadium to Geico. This year it is introducing a VIP suite, sponsored by Sheba cat food, where cats will hang out.
The telecast this year has nine sponsors, up from six in 2013, and ad revenue that's up 30% from last year, said Jeff Pellegrini, VP-ad sales, Animal Planet. AT&T is the newest sponsor of the game, while Chase is expanding its presence. Subaru, Hershey, Geico, Bissell, Warner Bros., Walt Disney and Sheba owner Mars round out the list.
This will be Subaru's fifth year as a sponsor of Puppy Bowl. For the automaker, the event has always been a natural fit, appealing to its customers' passion for animals, said Alan Bethke, VP-marketing, Subaru. About 70% of Subaru owners have a pet, and a large percentage of those have a dog, according to Mr. Bethke.
Subaru will air four traditional ads during the "Puppy Bowl" along with custom vignettes throughout the game. It's also the sponsor of the "drive of the day" and "kiss cam" segments.
"We like to partner with properties our viewers can see themselves in and there is a genuine connection," Mr. Bethke said.
The new VIP suite being sponsored by Mars' Sheba will include TVs, Sheba-branded food and toys for entertainment.
To take advantage of the Super Bowl's location in the New York area this year, Animal Planet will host a "Puppy Bowl" experience the week before the game at the Discovery Times Square museum and exhibition space in Manhattan. The 15,000 square-foot area will include puppies to play with, a recreated set and booths for sponsors to interact with fans.
"Puppy Bowl," actually a two-hour show that plays six times, was watched by an average of 2.6 million people during its initial two-hour run in 2013, and averaged 1.1 million viewers during the Super Bowl blackout that night. Those are impressive numbers for Animal Planet, but not the largest audience it's seen. Last May's controversial faux documentary "Mermaids: The New Evidence" delivered 3.6 million viewers, a new network record.
While "Puppy Bowl" has reigned as the top dog of ancillary Super Bowl programming, for the first time it will need to compete for the attention of animal lovers: Hallmark Channel and Nat Geo Wild are airing Super Bowl programming featuring kittens and a goldfish.
Like its forerunner on Animal Planet, Hallmark's "Kitten Bowl" features shelter animals that are available for adoption. "Kitten Bowl," scheduled to air from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday, will be hosted by Beth Ostrosky Stern and Yankees radio sportscaster John Sterling. A Feline Fantasy League on Facebook allows viewers collect digital interactive trading cards, read up on the "competitors" and watch a live kitten cam. (Puppy Bowl has a fantasy league too.)
Nat Geo Wild will air "Fish Bowl" from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday, when viewers can tune in to see a goldfish swim around her bowl.
Neither event is expected to impact "Puppy Bowl" much more than "Puppy Bowl" impacts the Super Bowl.
"Puppy Bowl was there first, it was unique and different," Mr. Campanelli said. "I don't think either will get the play that Puppy Bowl does." read the original article
1/25 its a boat, it as a car... it's both.. its the Honda powered WaterCar
All it takes is a sense of 4 wheeled adventure.. and some money
"Dave March takes a sip of his coffee and looks through the windshield of his car, which is idling in the water in Newport Harbor, next to his 65-foot yacht.
"This has been a dream for 10, 15 years," he says, his gaze fixed toward Catalina. "Every time I see that island, I think, 'Oh, it's not that far.'"
March, 58, has spent more than a decade developing the high-speed amphibious car he is about to take to market for $135,000 apiece. He has taken deposits from the Prince of Dubai, tycoons in Silicon Valley and millionaires from around the world.
On this day, he hopes to prove the car's mettle by driving it from his WaterCar headquarters in Fountain Valley, Calif., to Catalina Island.
The only problem is he has never tested the car on open water, and 30 miles is a long way to swim.
March has been building and testing amphibious cars, or amphibians, for years. He filed patents for his first amphibian in 2003. Six years later, he set the Guinness World Record for fastest amphibious car with the Python, which has a 450-horsepower Corvette engine and can hit 60 mph on the water.
The car that March is test-driving to Catalina is the Panther, a smaller, off-road amphibian that is the entrepreneurial fruit of 12 years of trial and error and hundreds of thousands of dollars in research and development.
Ever since he posted a video online of the Panther driving on the freeway, scaling sand dunes and impressing scantily clad ladies at a lake, March's phone hasn't stopped ringing. The car already has been filmed in three reality shows, including an episode of the current season of "The Bachelor." He also has received a deluge of emails from buyers around the world.
The embassy of the United Arab Emirates has ordered one, and Sheik Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, the crown Prince of Dubai, has ordered six. Two of the most powerful men in Silicon Valley each have sent deposits — with nondisclosure agreements to prevent their names from appearing in the media. NASCAR drivers are knocking at his door.
"I've got guys that are throwing money at me," March said. "It's a fun position to be in...." read the entire article. How it works
1/24 IIHS front offset crash test, mini cars do poorly. These are the smallest cars on the market (Subaru doesn't have a mini car).
Of 11 cars tested, only the Chevy Spark earned an acceptable rating. Mazda 2, Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris and Prius C, Nissan Versa sedan, Kia Rio, Ford Fiesta, Mitsubishi Mirage, Hyundai Accent and Fiat 500 all did poorly. But these are cars are great in the city.
"Only 1 minicar out of 11 tested achieves an acceptable rating in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's small overlap front crash test, making these tiny vehicles the worst performing group of any evaluated so far....Introduced in 2012, the small overlap test replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object such as a tree or utility pole. In the test, 25 percent of a vehicle's front end on the driver's side strikes a rigid barrier at 40 mph.
The test is more difficult than the head-on crashes conducted by the government or the longstanding IIHS moderate overlap test because most of the vehicle's front-end crush zone is bypassed. That makes it hard for the vehicle to manage crash energy, and the occupant compartment can collapse as a result. Nevertheless, in many size categories, manufacturers have found ways to improve vehicle structures to meet this challenge.
"Small, lightweight vehicles have an inherent safety disadvantage. That's why it's even more important to choose one with the best occupant protection," says Joe Nolan, IIHS senior vice president for vehicle research. "Unfortunately, as a group, minicars aren't performing as well as other vehicle categories in the small overlap crash."
In contrast to the minicar group's performance, most models in the small car category, which are a little larger, have done much better in the test. There are five good ratings and five acceptable ratings among 17 small cars that have been evaluated so far." read the entire article
Note Subaru's Impreza is in the IIHS's Small Car category (small cars are larger than mini cars) and has earned a Top Safety Pick rating. More on the 2014 Impreza here.
1/23 2nd generation Eyesight upgrades... some really good upgrades coming on 2015 models. It will work up to up to 30mph speed difference (a 5mph increase), recognizes brake lights, and with new rear radar sensors includes side blind spot detection, 230ft side vehicle approaching detection, rear cross traffic vehicle detection.
"Subaru of America, Inc. has announced the debut of a new and improved version of its popular EyeSight™ driver assistance system. The new system now features color stereo cameras that deliver an approximately 40 percent longer and wider detection range, brake light detection and can now fully function when the speed differential between the Eyesight equipped car and another vehicle is up to 30 mph, up from 19 mph. The current generation Eyesight system earned the highest rating given by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), superior, when the IIHS conducted it first test of accident avoidance technology last year. Combining safety and convenience features, the Subaru EyeSight system is one of the most affordable crash avoidance technologies available in the U.S. market. On sale for almost two years in the U.S. the system has been widely praised by safety experts and customers. Research shows that nine out of ten Subaru customers who purchased the EyeSight system would recommend it and more than half say that the system has helped avoid an accident.
Also debuting in Subaru models later this year are three additional technologies; blind spot detection, lane change assist and rear cross traffic alert. These new systems will be introduced on Subaru's product line-up starting in 2014.
Eyesight Features The new Eyesight uses two color cameras developed by Subaru and functions more smoothly and has a quicker reaction time. EyeSight is mounted inside the car on the upper edge of the windshield and the housing for the new Eyesight system has been made 15 percent smaller. Locating the system within the vehicle reduces the potential for damage that could occur in bumper-mounted systems. The EyeSight system processes stereo images to identify the vehicles traveling in front, as well as obstacles, traffic lanes and other items. The video information is relayed to the EyeSight computer, which is also networked with the car's braking system and electronic throttle control. EyeSight is also capable of detecting pedestrians in the vehicle's path and can activate in order to mitigate or even avoid the collision. Under certain circumstances, Eyesight is able to bring the car to a complete stop, thus avoiding a collision.
The Eyesight system integrates adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking and vehicle lane departure warning. At relative speeds under 30 mph, EyeSight's Pre-Collision Braking System can detect vehicles in the car's path and, if the driver has not applied the brake, the system can do so to slow the vehicle or bring it to a full stop to help avoid the potential collision. Pre-Collision Braking is always on in the background to act as a second set of eyes for the driver. It can also be turned off temporarily for off-road or rough road travel.
Lane departure warning monitors traffic lane markers and lines and can detect if the car begins to wander outside the intended lane without a turn signal being used, or begins to sway within the travel lane. Using the turn signal cancels the warning.
Adaptive Cruise Control is intended for freeway use and can maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front, braking or accelerating the car to maintain the driver-selected target speed and traveling distance. Adaptive Cruise Control operates from 1-90 mph and can fully bring the vehicle to a stop if the system "locks on" to a vehicle ahead. As an added convenience, Adaptive Cruise Control assists the driver in "stop and go" traffic by maintaining distance from the vehicle ahead.
New Technologies for 2015 Model Year
Blind Spot Detection
This driver assistance technology senses cars coming up in the vehicle's blind spot and if the turn signal is on, it alerts the driver not to change lanes. The driver is warned by a flashing light on the side view mirror and the alert stays active until the car in the adjacent lane is in view. Subaru BSD uses radar sensors on the side and rear of the car.
Lane Change Assist
The lane changes assist system warns the driver of a fast approaching vehicle on either side of the car. It only flashes an alert in the side view mirror when the turn signal is engaged and has a range of 230 ft.
Rear Cross Traffic Alert
Rear cross traffic alert uses rear facing radar to detect vehicles approaching from behind on either side of the vehicle such as when reversing out of a parking space at the mall. The radar sweeps 230 feet on either side of the vehicle to detect an approaching vehicle and triggers a warning light on the dash. The system can also detect cars up to 23 ft behind the vehicle." read the press release
"Everyone who drives experiences unpredictable situations on the road. SUVs tend to have a higher center of gravity and can become unstable if evasive action is needed in certain driving situations. The United States Auto Club implemented an independent test which measured the time required to negotiate obstacles on a dry surface. They put each of these vehicles through the same evasive lane change test. The 2014 Subaru Forester, Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, and Mazda CX-5. Who comes out on top?
1/20 The USAC U.S. auto club) tested 4 all wheel drives, the Ford Escape, Toyota Rav, Honda CRV, and the Forester. Which was the best? Its no surprise....
"The United States Auto Club tests the stability, traction and control of the 2014 Subaru Forester, Honda CR-V, Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4, and Mazda CX-5. Which one comes out on top?
They tested these popular mid-size SUVs to see how each reacted to adverse driving situations like an evasive lane change on a dry course. They tested the stability, traction and control of each SUV. The professional drivers conducted the test to see how each of the top five small all-wheel-drive crossovers were able to handle unpredictable situations on the road.
The USAC drivers drove each mid-size SUV and performed a series of runs on a dry surface. Each test driver drove through the obstacles on the course and increased speed with each run to determine which vehicle could navigate the course in the fastest time without hitting any obstacles. They started with the Ford Escape. One driver said, “Well it felt like it kicked in a little bit on the front wheels, almost felt like the front wheels would come up off the ground.” Another said, “Okay I’m not happy with the Ford. The Honda CR-V was next which slid through the course and wiped out one of the obstacles.
The Toyota RAV4 ran through the course and the driver said, “Its under-steering terribly, and I didn’t feel the traction control kick in. And the car is talking to me, it must have said that it can't do that anymore.” The Mazda CX-5 was next up and the whole back end of the car just started to swing right out. “That’s what we call oversteer.”
Next up was the 2014 Subaru Forester which went through at increasing speeds without mishap. “Here we go now we're talking, that was good. It was totally controllable.” The driver said after taking it through the course. The Forester stayed in total control even at forty mph. The driver said all you have to do is trust the car and it will perform.
When the final analysis was in, the Subaru Forester outperformed all the other vehicles. The USAC test showed the Forster finished first, followed by the Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape and Honda CR-V. Subaru with its Symmetrical all-wheel-drive and traction control worked better than all the other popular mid-size SUVs on the market.Subaru has created a niche market with their multi-use all-wheel-drive vehicles and have been developed this kind of stability, traction and control over the years. They designed the all-new 2014 Forester with all these features. I guess driving a Subaru does give you “peace of mind.” read the original article
1/17 Subaru's huge growth the past few years is based on capturing many new, first time buyers. Now the goal is to keep them happy. These are people who jumped ship from Toyota, Honda, Kia, Ford etc. With Subaru currently producing at capacity, some models are consistently in short supply so continuing to focus on growth isn't a good idea if there already aren't enough cars. According to President Tom Doll, Subaru is going to shift focus to service and keeping all these new Subaru owners happy happy happy.
"Our challenge over the next couple years is to make sure we have the necessary service capacity -- the lifts, service bays, technicians, better waiting rooms and loaner cars so that when customers so come in for service we have everything in place back to handle them," says Subaru of America President Tom Doll says. Subaru of America sales will likely grow to 500,000 units by 2016 as the brand adds capacity at its only U.S. plant, said company President Tom Doll.
Subaru has been one of the fastest growing brands in the United States during the past five years. Sales last year jumped 26 percent to 424,683 vehicles.
Speaking at the Automotive News World Congress today, Doll said Subaru will "have to moderate that growth."
Subaru will focus on improving its customer service and dealer service capacity, he said. "We have sold so many cars we do not have the service structure at our retailers to handle all the vehicles coming back."
"Our challenge over the next couple years is to make sure we have the necessary service capacity -- the lifts, service bays, technicians, better waiting rooms and loaner cars so that when customers so come in for service we have everything in place back to handle them," Doll said.
Subaru expects its sales to grow 6 percent to 8 percent in 2014 to 450,000 or 460,000 units and perhaps another 7 percent to 8 percent annually the next year, he said.
Subaru does not need another factory in the United States and is expanding the capacity of its plant in Lafayette, Ind., by 100,000 units to 300,000 by 2016. The plant, which makes the Outback and Tribeca crossovers and the Legacy sedan, will also produce the Impreza four- and five-door compact.
Doll said Subaru will have a battery-electric car by 2018 to meet stringent regulations in California. Late last year, Subaru's first hybrid, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid, went on sale.
Doll said Subaru will replace its Tribeca crossover, with a true seven-seat vehicle but did not give a timetable. "We are working on it."
Subaru is not developing that vehicle jointly with its partner Toyota Motor Co., he said." read the original article
1/16 Deep Indigo Pearl has been discontinued on 2014 Outback and Legacy
1/10 advertising that is remembered years later... starring Paul Hogan, Lance Armstrong (the hero that wasn't), and Martina Mavratilova...
"Whats with Lesbians and Subarus...When Saturday Night Live’s Kate McKinnon channeled Billie Jean King on the Dec. 21 “Weekend Update” segment right after King was named to the official U.S. delegation to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, the tennis great declared herself “President Obama’s big gay middle finger” to Vladimir Putin. She then promised to “drive my Subaru Outback into Red Square, doing doughnuts and blasting Melissa Etheridge.” We all know that Melissa Etheridge is a lesbian singer-songwriter, but why are Subarus so closely associated with lesbians?
Some would like to think that there’s some special Sapphic significance in the name, since Subaru is Japanese for Seven Sisters—albeit in the sense of the Pleiades rather than historically women’s colleges. In fact, though, the car company’s place in the roster of the righteous among the LGBTQ nations is a result of some very canny niche marketing.
Subaru is by no means the only car company to target gay and lesbian buyers—in fact, Saab was the first to advertise in the gay press, back in 1994—but it is arguably the most high-profile and has waged the most sustained campaign for the pink dollar. Subaru was one of three charter sponsors when the gay-themed TV channel Logo launched in 2005, and the company has gained recognition for “gay-coded” ad campaigns, including one that featured custom license plates like "XENA-LVR," "P-TOWN," and "CAMP OUT."
Those ads weren’t targeted exclusively at lesbians, however. The "Lesbaru" connection seems to have been cemented when Subaru featured out tennis player Martina Navratilova in a 2001 campaign. Then in 2004, the company supported a another lesbian tennis player: Dana Fairbanks of Showtime’s The L Word. When the fictional Fairbanks was forced out of the closet, the show’s storyline had the real car company rolling out a campaign with the slogan, “Get Out. And Stay Out.”
According to Subaru’s research, lesbians are "four times as likely as their heterosexual counterparts to own a Subaru." But what kind of Subaru? NPR’s Car Talk found the Outback to be the No. 1 car among lesbians, with the Forester coming in second." read the original article
1/10 Subaru diesel in a hybrid Humvee replacement?
"The military has been studying the implementation of alternative drivetrains for years, a tiny sampling of which includes the diesel-electric hybrid technical hauler and L-ATV from Oshkosh Defense and the Aggressor from Quantum Technologies. There was also ADA Technologies' work with ultracapitors, General Motors' focus on fuel cells and the roll out of electric motorcycles for Special Forces. In the Ultra Light Vehicle (ULV) prototype vehicle pictured above, we have the latest developments in the Department of Defense's hybrid interest combined with a need to develop a lightweight replacement for the AM General Humvee.
In 2010 the Office of the Secretary of Defense put the Army's Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center (TARDEC) in charge of developing a personnel carrier that could "balance payload, performance and protection," and do so without exorbitant cost. Armored Humvees can weigh more than seven tons, and while the ULV is just under 14,000 pounds, the new vehicle can do a lot more with its weight.
The Subaru turbodiesel under the hood puts out 175 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. That's not much for pulling 13,916 pounds, so it's assisted by two Remy 410HVH HT electric motors each capable of adding 268 continuous hp and 369 peak hp, along with 844 lb-ft of continuous torque or 1,221 ft-lbs at peak. They're only limited by the 14.2 kWh lithium-ion battery rated at 65 kW of continuous power and 180 kW of peak power, but still, TARDEC says the ULV can do 21 miles on electric power and on the flats has a combined range of 337 miles at 35 mph.
It's Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) design protects occupants - as does the lack of a driveshaft - it has 18 inches of suspension travel, can traverse a 40-percent slope, climb an 18-inch step and climb a 60-percent incline. If it meets OSD specs it will also cost no more than $250,000. It's a long way from going into service, but it has entered ballistic and explosive testing and, assuming it passes the tests, it will move on the next phase. There's a clip of it in action in the video below, or head to the TARDEC site for a thorough spec-sheet rundown." read the original article
1/8 STI. The redesigned 2015 STI's long awaited, highly anticipated official debut is scheduled for next week at NAIAS in Detroit but its getting harder and harder to keep a secret anyplace these days.
Here are some early, supposedly leaked images of the STI that pretty much look like brochure photos. http://es.autoblog.com/photos/subaru-wrx-sti/2135400/
1/7 SVX. Every so often, someone writes an article about the SVX (b 1991, d 1997).
This is the story about the SVX but it could also be about the Baja (b 2002, d 2006).
The SVX is a car with more of a following now as a sexy curiosity for car writers than it once had as a car to purchase. But from 1997 to around 2005 (ie right after you couldn't buy a new one) the following was cultishly strong, and good, near new ones sold for a lot of money. This is pretty similar to the Baja's story, where once they weren't available new anymore, demand increased.
Even now, a survivor SVX would sell, depending on condition of course, to someone who wants to drive a footnote many people won't recognize. The early ones (92, 93) were known to have transmission issues, and the later ones just plain cost too much money, topping out at $37000. And working on them was always expensive. But they really were great all-wheel-drive cruisers, very solid and comfortable, the 3.3L 6 cylinder was strong, and the look (its always the look with the SVX) was eye-catching.
here's an article from John Voelker "The Subaru SVX was the quirky Japanese brand's last attempt at a grand touring coupe, nominally replacing the previous XT coupe and running from its launch as a 1992 model through the 1997 model year. It was Subaru's first entry into a more luxurious sector, but its unusual looks and the unlikely combination of the unpretentious, rugged, robust brand with a stylish premium coupe meant that it never found huge success in the U.S. market.
On its launch in 1991, the Subaru SVX retained much of the styling of a 1989 concept car styled by famed Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro of ItalDesign. Most notably, it retained the canopy-style windscreen and front window design. While the SVX--it stood for "Subaru Vehicle X"--had conventional front doors, the window glass was fixed, with a smaller inset opening window covering about two thirds of the glass, to enable drivers to pay tolls and receive items from drive-through windows. The line dividing the two pieces of the window followed the angles of the upper door frame and windshield pillar--a design flourish usually seen on only the most exotic of supercars, often with gullwing or scissor doors.
Mechanically, the SVX used a single engine, a 3.3-liter flat-six producing 231 horsepower and 228 lb-ft of torque. It powered the wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission. Subaru's characteristic all-wheel drive delivered power to all four wheels. Acceleration from 0 to 60 mph was quoted as 7.3 seconds, with a top speed of 150 mph or more. Fuel economy was rated at 18 mpg combined (15 mpg city, 22 mpg highway). While the SVX was lauded for its handling and roadholding by reviewers, it acceleration was only considered average. More troubling, it wasn't at all clear what it competed against. On paper, the closest vehicle may have been the Mitsubishi 3000GT, with its far more powerful V-6 but also offering all-wheel drive as a standard feature.
The Subaru SVX was offered in three trim levels: the base L, the mid-range LS, and the top-of-the-line LS-L (later the LSi), which included leather upholstery, a tiling and sliding sunroof, and eight-way adjustable front seats. An optional rear spoiler was made standard in 1993.
Starting at a price of $24,500 in 1992, the SVX was by far the most expensive car in the otherwise mass-market Subaru lineup--fully 50 percent pricier, in fact. It also suffered from being launched into the recession of the early 1990s. The top-of-the-line model, priced at $28,000 in 1992, had soared above $36,000 by the end of the model run. To offer a lower entry price, a version with only front-wheel drive was offered during 1994 and 1995, though few were sold. Through seven model years, total SVX sales in the U.S. totaled slightly more than 14,000 altogether." read the original article
1/7 new interest rates announced for January.
A few highlights
new 2014 Outback 0% x 24-36 mos, 0.90%x4-60-63, and also lower lease payments depending on model
new 2014 Impreza 1.90% x 24-36-48mos, and also lower lease payments
new 2013 BRZ 0.90% now to 72 months
1/5 from Spokane's HKQ channel 6 12/30/13, an upside down Subaru and everyone was ok
"Late Monday morning emergency crews responded to a rollover crash on Spokane's South Hill in the 4500 block of S. Scott. No serious injuries have been reported...." the original article
1/4 What is the future for Subaru, where do they go from here?
26% growth 2 years in a row is phenominal. Subaru is already tempering 2014 expecations with a small (for Subaru) 8% increase.
2013 was not Subaru's first year with major growth but it was the year they broke into mainstream car buyer's awareness. Subaru is now 2.8% of the US market. More people are taking a first look at Subaru than ever before. The accolades continue with the Forester, Crosstrek, Outback all getting mostly rave reviews. Foresters are selling faster than Subaru can ship them and people who ordered are waiting more than 3 months for cars that should be readily available, if Subaru could produce enough of them that is.
Will Subaru follow Volvo's path? Back in the 70s/80s, Volvo was the car people thought of for safety. With their boxy but safe ad campaign, Volvo built strong, durable and safe cars that people still want even 25 years later for their young drivers. After all, if you're picking a budget car that could be in an accident, a 1980s Volvo wagon would be a good choice. And then Volvo started to get fancier and more technologically advanced and the price went up and the quality dropped. Volvo is now a Chinese owned company.
Subarus dilemma is to continue growth by gaining new buyers who previously drove other makes while maintaining the loyalty of the core group of Subaru fans that got the company where it is today. And those buyers are not looking for high dollar cars but they do expect safe. And unfashionably stodgy is ok.
from Bloomberg on Subaru's growth "Subaru, the auto unit of Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (7270), added the most U.S. market share of any foreign carmaker last year as the brand long known for quirky all-wheel-drive vehicles continued to win more mass-market fans.
A revamped Forester crossover and new XV Crosstrek wagon helped boost annual U.S. sales for the unit of Tokyo-based Fuji 26 percent, matching 2012’s gain and ending 2013 with a record 424,683 deliveries. Subaru’s market share rose 0.4 percentage point to 2.7 percent, an improvement topped only by Ford Motor Co. 0.45 point increase, according to Autodata Corp.
“Subaru is still somewhat out of the mainstream, but they’re at that crossroad where they have to decide which direction they want to go,” said Alec Gutierrez, an analyst at Kelley Blue Book in Irvine, California. “Do they keep a kind of cult status or go further into the mainstream?”
Subaru benefited as U.S. auto sales grew 7.6 percent last year to 15.6 million cars and light trucks, the most since 2007. A strengthening U.S. economy and improving job market have led automakers and analysts to forecast further growth in auto deliveries to at least 16 million new vehicles this year. The automaker’s sales gained 9.6 percent to 40,172 in December. Combined U.S. sales of Japanese and Korean autos grew 1.2 percent in December and 6.6 percent for the year." read the original article
1/3 December sales and 2013 grand totals
For the year, Subaru sold 424,683 cars, a healthy increase of 26% over 336,441 cars sold in 2012.
Coincidentally, 2012s total was also 26% over 2011's total of 266,989.
2013 totals by model
Forester 123,592, a whopping 62% increase over 2012s 76,347
Outback 118,049, 496 cars over 2012s 117,553
Impreza 58,856, down 14% from 2012s 68,175
Crosstrek 53,741, the first full years of sales, up 627% from the 2012s total of 7396. The Crosstrek was introduced September 2012
Legacy 42,291, down 10% from 2012s 47127
WRX, STI 17,969, up 32% over 201s13,624
BRZ 8587 for the first full year of sales. The BRZ was introduced March 2012, and sold 4144 that year
Tribeca 1598 for what is expected to be the final full year of sales since Subaru announced production has stopped and the model discontinued. In 2012 there were 2075 Tribeca's sold.
December 2013 totals by model
Forester 13,229 up 51% over 8764 for 2012
Outback 11,002 down 9% from 12072 in 2012
Impreza 4949 down 16% from 58623 in 2012
Crosstrek 5525, up 62% December 2012's 2409 total
WRX, STI 1680, 38 cars over 2012's 1642 cars
BRZ 705, up 208 cars, 42% over December 2012s 497
Tribeca 143, down from December 2012's total 189
1/2 2014 STI will be shown at Detroit's North American International Auto Show 1/13-17
January 2, 2014. The 6th Share the Love ending
Subaru donated $250 per car purchased from 11/21 to 1/2 to the buyer's choice of ASPCA, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Meals On Wheels, National Park Foundation, Teach For America, and a 6th dealer selected charity. The total donated this year will be $10,000,000, for a total of $35m over the past 6 years. The first 5 Share the Love event donations was $5m per year.
12/21 just in time for christmas- a free Subaru
"Subaru plans to give two Dallas teenagers 2014 Forester crossovers in recognition of their bravery in helping to save a kidnapping victim earlier this year.
Aaron Arias, 19, and Jamal Harris, 17, will receive the Subarus at a ceremony Thursday afternoon at Sewell Subaru in Dallas.
The Foresters have a base price of about $22,000 each.
Earlier this year, the young men were at an intersection and noticed a distressed-looking woman in the back seat of a vehicle. The victim, who was not identified, mouthed “help me.” Arias and Harris called 911 and followed the car until police arrived and stopped the vehicle, arresting the suspect." the original article
12/17 BRZ review and why its cooler than the FR-S
"Why the Subaru BRZ is $3K Better than the Scion FR-S. I love both the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ. And when I was in the market for a new car about three months ago, the two were on my short list (along with the likes of the Focus ST and Veloster Turbo). But I came to a crossroads when deciding which new car would be sitting pretty in my driveway for the next few years or so — Scion FR-S or Subaru BRZ.
I chose the more expensive BRZ (about $30K sticker price), and yes, I am ragged on constantly as my buddies ask me how the “FR-S” is treating me. Very funny.
But why is the Subaru BRZ just plain ol’ better than the FR-S? Here’s why:
Inside and out, the average consumer has a very difficult time telling both of these cars apart. But any well-versed enthusiast (like myself) will give you every single specific difference and detail until they’re blue in the face.
With the BRZ, the front end is cleaner, arguably meaner looking, and more refined. In the back, you get a sharper factory spoiler. And on the sides, Subaru does away with the “86″ badge for obvious reasons. Inside it’s much of the same.
Alcantara seats coat the BRZ compared to the cloth of the FR-S. And while I can undoubtedly admit the infotainment system on the FR-S is leaps and bounds ahead of the the BRZ’s Pioneer system, the BRZ has much more detail elsewhere. It’s just a better experience.
Ok, so I’ve driven both of these cars and I can tell you that they are phenomenally fun. For a lot of you, choosing between the two is quite difficult. But here’s the thing: the FR-S — while driftier on the track — is almost actually uncomfortable on the open road. That was really my only gripe with the car, the suspension is pretty harsh in comparison.
The BRZ on the other hand — while not necessarily as drifty, but still capable enough — is tweaked a wee bit softer for everyday use. It’s not as spine jarring as its Scion counterpart, and that’s a very good thing.
Growing up as a product of the 90s, my hero cars weren’t from Maranello, but rather, lands further East. The Supra, the Evo, the NSX — proper Japanese sportscars. So, when Toyota announced that its sporty car would live on through the millennial generation, I was happier than a kitten with a q-tip. The Supra/Celica was born again.
And then Scion stepped in. Oh dear god why Scion? It’s not a brand as much as it is a moneymaking tool for Toyota aimed at buyers like myself (teens to late 20s). It’s hip, it’s cool, it’s new — but it doesn’t do a damn thing for me in terms of relatability or history. And yes, that actually matters.
Subaru, on the other hand, is a brand that has a very positive reputation amongst the younger crowd. The WRX and STI are phenomenally great, and the BRZ lived up to that great reputation through the badge.
So, is the Subaru BRZ $3K (or so) better than the FR-S? Absolutely. The Scion FR-S — as amazing as it is — is still too brash for some Americans. Of course, they’re both still selling like hot cakes, and will continue to, but if you have the extra scratch, the BRZ is the way to go." read the original article
12/15 Impreza review
"The Subaru Impreza 2.0i PZEV is one of the best, most affordable, most reliable compact sedans available. It just needs some sound deadening and cosmetic updating. The engine whined. It sounded like a small child trying to con a parent — with a cry not quite a cry, but a persistent noise created to irritate: Wha-a-a, wha-a-a-a, wha-a-a-a-a!
Seeking relief, I turned on the radio in the 2014 Subaru Impreza 2.0i PZEV. But the sound coming from the Impreza’s speakers was so static-prone and monotone — below the quality of anything in a comparable Honda, Hyundai or Kia — it reminded me of the woefully quirky sound reproduction in a 1950s Motorola car radio.
Yes, I’ve lived that long, which is why I was able to overlook the Impreza’s little demons in favor of the compact car’s much larger angels.
The Impreza 2.0i PZEV is a good automobile — well built, faithfully reliable and actually fun to drive — the latter quality attributable largely to Subaru’s symmetrical all-wheel-drive system, which is standard on the Impreza and most other Subaru vehicles.
The all-wheel-drive system is one of the best ever, certainly on small economy cars. It is what sets the Impreza above the rest of its rivals in the compact segment.
Symmetrical all-wheel drive simultaneously sends power to all four wheels. When one set of wheels slips — for example, in snow or rain — more power automatically flows to the gripping wheels. Subaru has been perfecting that system for the past 40 years, and it now works wonderfully well. The effect invites cliche. The car sticks to the road in weather fair or foul. It handles with confidence. It provides a peace of mind not undermined by the engine’s wha-a-a, wha-a-a-a.
I suspect that the engine’s noise is more attributable to Subaru’s skimping on sound-deadening materials than it is to the engine itself. It is a spunky, gasoline-fueled machine — four cylinders horizontally opposed, a “boxer” engine in automobile industry parlance. It produces 148 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque, delivered with enough chutzpah to get you up and down hills and pull you along mountain roads problem-free. It is mounted low enough in the engine bay to enhance the Impreza’s center of gravity, greatly helping the car’s balance on the road. And it gets a very decent, for an all-wheel-drive car, 27 miles per gallon in the city and up to 36 mpg on the highway using regular gasoline.
It’s just so darned noisy, and that’s too bad. Subaru’s competition in the small-car league is catching up quickly. South Korean automobile manufacturers Hyundai and Kia, both of which also have U.S. plants, are keen on turning their small cars into motorized jewels — eliminating such buyer disincentives as engine noise and another Subaru irritant: sturdy but dowdy vehicle interiors.
I think the real problem here is Subaru’s parent company, Japan’s Fuji Heavy Industries. FHI makes a lot of things other than Subaru vehicles — attack helicopters, jet aircraft, myriad industrial products of all sorts. The company has a heavy-industry mind-set, which shows up pitifully in the interiors of too many Subaru automobiles.
Here’s a hint to FHI: Check out your Japanese brethren at Toyota. That rival company is beginning to put color into the interiors of its cars. It is experimenting with different material textures and things such as interior ambient light. It is what you heavy-industry types might call silly stuff. But it is silly stuff that attracts buyers, which is one of the reasons Toyota outsells Subaru in the United States. It doesn’t have to be that way, FHI. Consider that you are making automobiles, not tanks. Car buyers demand comforts and something that at least approaches beauty. Subaru has the best practical cars and crossover-utility vehicles in the world. But “practical” isn’t everything. Sex sells. Check out your U.S. sales numbers and you’ll see that I’m right." read the original article
12/9 Subarus are selling and some models, like Foresters or Crosstreks for example, are in short supply everywhere.
Some models are almost always going to be in short supply- the Hybrid, WRX, Forester XT for example. But currently Subaru is having trouble supplying all Impreza and Crosstrek models, Forester 2.5s, and even Legacys. Some shortages will be regional, other national. Subarus sell quickly these days and people are putting deposits on incoming cars. An incoming car has an ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival). ETA dates change frequently, even by a month or more. There are 2 ETAs- either a specific date or a vague "month of..." . 'Month of ETAs eventually get a specific date, and even then the car sometimes arrives early or late. Thats the 'Estimated' part.
Unfortunately a side effect of Subaru's huge increase in sales is that many more cars are moving through the system than before and people are waiting longer and longer for some models. And Subaru is not able to accurately update ETAs which means dealers can't keep customers informed on when their car might actually arrive. So if you're waiting for a car and your salesperson can't tell you where the car is in the process or when its going to come in, that's because Subaru won't release the information.
12/8 2015 WRX 12 page mini pamphlet now at dealers. photos here
12/7 Subaru has fun with the pogo-stick of the future with their eyesight system, and then makes a fun video.
For their LA Auto Show Design Challenge entry, Subaru's Global Design Team had fun. They came up with the concept for a kangaroo body kit that combines Iron Man with Pixar's Luxo Jr. on a super pogo-stick.
Watch Subaru's video
"The innovative, affordable and fun personal mobility vehicle from Subaru’s designers was created to change the man-vehicle relationship in a revolutionary way. The “SUBA-ROO” is a one-legged, self-contained, wearable mobility vehicle with a propulsion method which mimics the efficient yet powerful jumping motions of a kangaroo. With the SUBA-ROO’s all-road, go anywhere capability and Subaru’s Eye-Sight safety system, the path to your destination is unlimited. On the road, a trail, a beach, or in a building, SUBA-ROO will widen the boundaries of mobility and bring back the joy of personally mobility for everyone to enjoy." LA auto show webpage
> And a good article on it.... "If you think Subaru is just a small niche automaker who doesn't have global aspirations, their Global Design Team will make you think again. They were inspired by the unique motion dynamics of a kangaroo and came up with something remarkable. For the "LA Auto Show Design Challenge", the Subaru global design team came up with the "SUBA-ROO" personal mobility vehicle presentation. The competition was based on the theme of "Biomimicry and Mobility 2025".
Now that will get any design team motivated to be creative. And they decided to mimic the unique motion dynamics of the Australian kangaroo.Subaru's Global Design Team says the wearable mobility vehicle was created to be "fun, safe and capable in all-road conditions." Right now it's still a future imaginary vehicle called the "SUBA-ROO." But could this really be something that will be available in the year 2025?
With the advent of the powered exoskeleton, also known as powered armor developed for the military, the production of such a device may not be that far fetched. The exoskeleton is a mobile machine consisting primarily of an outer framework similar to an insect's skin but worn by a person. It's powered system of motors or hydraulics that delivers at least part of the energy for limb movement. It's primary purpose is to boost the strength and endurance of the wearer.
There are already working prototypes for military and civilian use. But various problems remain to be solved, the most daunting task is developing a compact power supply powerful enough to allow an exoskeleton to operate for extended periods without being plugged into an external power supply. Although it's still in its infancy, that's where Subaru can come in and develop the power needed to sustain the yet fictional "SUBA-ROO" active personal mobility vehicle. With the help of Fuji Heavy Industries, the parent company of Subaru, it could be a real possibility.
Subaru says the innovative, affordable and fun personal mobility vehicle from Subaru’s designers was created to change the man-vehicle relationship in a revolutionary way. The “SUBA-ROO” is a one-legged, self-contained, wearable mobility vehicle with a propulsion method which mimics the efficient yet powerful jumping motions of a kangaroo.
And it certainly fits into the Subaru lineup of off-road vehicles and the niche market they have created. The SUBA-ROO has an all-road, go anywhere capability that will take the wearer anywhere they want to go. Just like the Current lineup of cars, this personal device will be ready for the road, a trail, a beach, or even inside a building. The possibilities are virtually unlimited for the SUBA-ROO.
Subaru says it will "widen the boundaries of mobility and bring back the joy of personally mobility for everyone to enjoy." Subaru is a conservative company when it comes to staying with their core values of building multi-use vehicles with weekday practicality and weekend utility.
The futuristic SUBA-ROO would fit into their linup well. It could be a real possibility after all." the original article with video
If you think Subaru is just a small niche automaker who doesn't have global aspirations, their Global Design Team will make you think again. They were inspired by the unique motion dynamics of a kangaroo and came up with something remarkable. For the "LA Auto Show Design Challenge", the Subaru global design team came up with the "SUBA-ROO" personal mobility vehicle presentation. The competition was based on the theme of "Biomimicry and Mobility 2025".
Now that will get any design team motivated to be creative. And they decided to mimic the unique motion dynamics of the Australian kangaroo. Subaru's Global Design Team says the wearable mobility vehicle was created to be "fun, safe and capable in all-road conditions." Right now it's still a future imaginary vehicle called the "SUBA-ROO." But could this really be something that will be available in the year 2025?- See more at: http://www.torquenews.com/1084/meet-subarus-personal-mobility-vehicle-called-suba-roo-video#sthash.6zEXMqK0.dpuf
12/6 some early 2015 WRX photos from the LA auto show
12/5 FINAL DAY FOR 2014 FORESTER ORDERS
12/4 Forester orders cut off tomorrow, they end Thursday 12/5!
This is really early. And only one days notice isn't enough. If you want a specific car, tomorrow is the final day to order it.
This means production is filled through the end of the 14 model run and they don't want new special orders entering the system.
2015 orders will be available in March (no changes announced yet)
12/3 November sales total 36,621. That's 8,415 cars more than November 2012's 28,206
YTD sales 384,411. Subaru hopes to blast through the 400,000 total number on their way to 415,000+ total sales for 2013.
Outback 8,852, down 13% from 10,124 11/12
Forester 13,410, up 135% over 5,703 11/12
Crosstrek 5,311, up 158% over 2,060 11/12
Impreza 3,767, down 17% from 4,552 11/12
Legacy 2,911, down 22% from 3,723 11/12
WRX/STI 1,507, up 11% over 1,353 11/12
BRZ 756, up 43% over 527 11/12
Tribeca 107, down 35% from 164 11/12
11/26 car sales get political
"A Cadillac Subaru dealership fired a salesman for refusing to attend presentations urging employees not to vote for President Obama because of the Affordable Care Act, the fired salesman claims in court. Dietrich Seney sued Renick Cadillac Subaru, in Orange County Court.
Seney claims he was a Subaru salesman for more that 2½ years before he was fired just days before the Nov. 6, 2012 presidential election. Seney claims the dealership made him attend a "mandatory" meeting on his day off in late October 2012, under the pretext it would be about health insurance and filing taxes.
Seney claims the presentation "had nothing to do" with employee taxes, but was a jeremiad against Obamacare, hosted by a corporate insurance broker.
"The presentation put 'Obamacare' in a very negative light and the presenter said that one of the big problems was that it was passed by only one party, the Democrats," the lawsuit states. "The last line of the very last slide that was presented to the employee and Seney stated that the outcome of the 2012 election would have a huge impact on whether or not all of the changes (rate increases) would take effect. The message at the meeting was very clear: Vote for Obama and your health care costs will be higher."
Seney claims the dealership's vice president James Renick attached an anti-Obama message to workers' paychecks two weeks before the meeting.
When a "very upset" Seney complained to the dealership's general manager, (nonparty) Sherry Hosmer, she shrugged off his complaints, telling him it was "Obama's fault that the rates were going to increase, so she didn't see a problem with the presentation," Seney says in the complaint.
Seney says he was fired on Nov. 1, 2012, after he told Hosmer he would not attend "politically motivated," meetings on his day off. He demands lost wages and benefits and damages for wrongful firing, Labor Code violations, discrimination and pain and suffering. He is represented by Andrew Jones with Wagner, Jones, Kopfman & Artenian, of Fresno. Renick Cadillac did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment." read the original article
11/24 Walkers Renton Subaru moved into a new building at 555 SW Grady Way, Renton, Wa 98058
Their old building was at 720 Rainier Ave S, Renton, Wa, 98055 on 11/21/13
11/22 Crosstrek/Crosstrek Hybrid and Impreza brochures now at dealers
11/19 SIA storm damaged
"The severe storms that rolled through the Midwest over the weekend caused damage to the Subaru plant in Lafayette, Ind. -- the only Subaru assembly plant in the United States -- and interrupted production there for at least a day.
The plant manufactures the Subaru Outback, Legacy and Tribeca. It also produces the Toyota Camry, the top-selling car in the United States. It plans to add Impreza production in the future.
"We believe that it was a tornado that did damage to our plant due to the amount of uprooted trees and other damage," Tom Easterday, vice president of Subaru of Indiana Inc., said in a voice message left with Automotive News today.
"The plant itself suffered damage to the roof, glass, some blown debris and sustained water damage. Operations have been cancelled for today, but we hope to have things up and running tomorrow or the next day."
Damage to the plant is bad news for Subaru, which was already facing capacity constraints in the United States. The company is in talks to end production of the Camry at the plant so it can focus on keeping up with booming sales of Subarus.
Subaru needs more capacity as it aims for annual U.S. sales of 500,000 units by 2016. That would be up from an estimated 420,000 units expected to be sold this year.
The Indiana plant has capacity for about 170,000 Subaru vehicles a year, and the company hopes to expand production to about 300,000 units by the end of 2016, Subaru said. It is expected that discontinuing production of the Camry would free up 100,000 units of addional capacity.
Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, president of Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries, recently told Automotive News that he thinks "capacity is the only risk" Subaru faces in the United States.
Through October, U.S. sales of Subarus rose 28 percent to 347,890 units, in a market that was up 8 percent. That put the brand ahead of Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and Chrysler. Subaru is on pace for its fifth consecutive year setting a U.S. sales record." read the original article
Update Subara of Indiana Inc. said full production resumed at its plant in Lafayette, Ind., today after damage from severe storms this weekend disrupted operations on Monday.
Photos from the scene showed significant damage to Subaru's only U.S. plant, but it appears to have been limited to the lobby area and other non-essential operations. "There was quite a bit of damage, and the roof came off, but only in the 'vehicle evaluation station,' where we inspect the vehicles for quality," Subaru of Indiana spokeswoman Jennifer McGarvey said. "The area that is damaged is not essential and first shift reported on time. You can hear a lot of vacuum cleaners in the background though."
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence had toured the damaged plant on Monday." read the original article
11/15 The service dept is the next area of growth
"Subaru boss Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, worried that customer service is being swamped by the brand's sales boom, is pushing U.S. dealers to upgrade to keep new conquest buyers loyal.
The brand's U.S. operations introduced a new service improvement program Nov. 1 aimed at expanding after-service in line with the company's breakneck growth, Yoshinaga said.
"We are enjoying growing sales, so that means we are getting new customers from our competitors," he said in an interview Monday at the global headquarters Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the parent company of Subaru.
"It of the utmost importance that the service structure keeps them within the Subaru brand," he said. "Our expansion was so rapid, this is one of our challenges. The service expansion can't keep up with the sales themselves."
Subaru is on pace for its fifth straight year of record U.S. sales, and Yoshinaga expects another record year in 2014. Volume surged 28 percent to 347,890 vehicles through October, and Subaru is targeting sales of 420,000 for the year.
Last year, the company sold 336,441 vehicles. That total marked a 26 percent increase over the previous year.
The new service improvement program aims to help dealers make investments to improve fixed operations areas, Yoshinaga said.
Subaru of America will chip in part of the cost. But dealers investing early can expect more aid, he said. He did not give details about how much money dealers were expected to invest. But the improvements would cover items such as increasing the number of service bays, Yoshinaga said.
Subaru will continue to improve the overall dealer network by culling weaker dealers and recruiting stronger ones, he added. But Subaru wants the overall number to stay steady around 621. Over the past five years, about 25 percent of those dealers have been swapped out. Said Yoshinaga: "The quality of the dealer body is improving. We will keep the same overall number of outlets, but we want to strengthen the dealers' performance."
Yoshinaga said U.S. sales could climb to 600,000 units by 2020, but that the company was not chasing global volume in excess of 1 million units by then. The goal: Keep global sales in the 1 million range and don't overextend into volume brand territory. "That is not the Subaru way," he said. "That is a like a mass market brand. To do that, we would have to introduce such products as a mass-produced compact car for emerging markets. Subaru will never pursue that path. Never." read the original article
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