Subaru Unveils New Five-Year Plan: More Efficient Engines, RWD Coupe, Hybrid

Spurred by the upcoming release of its newest rear-wheel drive sports coupe, Subaru announced that it will boost sales over the next five years by dropping three new models and a hybrid. It’ll also likely continue its partnership with Toyota in developing new hybrid technologies.

The biggest announcement by parent-company Fuji Heavy Industries would be a roughly 42% increase in sales over fiscal year 2012 projections, from 633,000 to 900,000 units worldwide. Like many other automakers, Subaru expects many of these increases to come from an improved market standing in the U.S. and by catering to car-hungry China, where it expects to reach sales of 180,000 models per year by 2016.

As far as specific products are concerned, Subaru didn’t intimate much, other than the fact that the rear-wheel drive coupe being developed with Toyota is slated to be released in Spring 2012. On the production side, Subaru will continue to produce the Toyota Camry through the upcoming model cycle.

Subaru said that they will also release “three all-new models” of indeterminate name or detail within the next five years, as well as a hybrid model. Seeing as the automaker’s “future in environmental technologies” is likely with Toyota according to the release, don’t be surprised if Subaru’s hybrid model (or any hybrid versions of existing models) uses a modified version of Toyota’s famed Hybrid Synergy Drive.

It’s part of a plan to make Subaru more fuel efficient -- a necessary task, some argue, seeing as Korean and American competitors have blitzed the Impreza, Legacy, and Forester’s four-cylinder fuel economy numbers. The automaker is shooting for a 30 percent increase in fuel economy across the board.

Further down the product range, it looks like Subaru will sign an agreement with Japanese automaker Daihatsu (in which Toyota has a majority share) to source Subaru-branded minicars, which comes after Subaru will change production from minicars to passenger cars at its Gunma Main Plant.

Subaru’s plan is not unlike the few other five-year plans unveiled by Volkswagen and Nissan: strong market share increases buoyed by rising sales primarily in the US and China. But will it work? Let us know what you think.

Source: Subaru

It's a shame that Subaru of America refuses to bring the Subaru Forester diesel engine to the United States. It's only available with a manual transmission and their reasoning is that U.S. car buyers will not buy a manual transmission equiped diesel powered Forester. I can tell you in my case they are wrong. I would love to own a manual transmission equipped 40+mpg diesel Forester, while I'm dreaming add a dual-range transmission to it too!
To meet its ambitious marketing goals, Subaru has to take advantage of its turbocharged-engine prowess, add direct fuel injection, shrink the displacement of its boxer-bangers and combine it with a high torque CVT. This way Subaru could improve its cars fuel efficiency by at least 40% , without giving up their sportiness. Until then, I'm gonna stick to my LPG fueled 1998 Outback... And wait.... And wait.
A RWD Subaru will be an exciting car and will definatly be more affordable then a mazda rx-8 or bmw 128i.

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