Subaru's sales continue to climb with sales increasing the last five years. Subaru expects sales to grow around 8% this year alone, which would mean that Subaru will sell around 365,000 vehicles in the US this year. Although Subaru recently launched the all-new 2014 Forester, there are some other models that the automaker is planning to boost sales even further.
Ken Lin, Subaru's director-product management, gave WardsAuto a few hints at what we could see in Subaru's showrooms. Last year Subaru released the rear-wheel-drive BRZ coupe, which is Subaru's version of the Scion FR-S. Although sales of the BRZ are lower than the FR-S, Subaru is looking at ways to keep it fresh. "That segment has to have something fresh to keep the interest level high," Lin says. "It will be important for us to manage the lifecycle of that product." It's been speculated that Subaru is going to eventually offer a turbocharged version of the BRZ, but nothing has been officially confirmed.
The Forester is easily Subaru's most popular crossover, but Subaru does offer the larger Tribeca. Sales of the Tribeca have dropped off significantly with only 159 units sold in January. Lin says there are no immediate plans to kill off the Tribeca, but he does feel that the Tribeca's three-row interior may be a bit too small and its fuel economy may fall a bit short for most buyers in the segment. A larger 3-row crossover could be in Subaru's future.
In order to increase its profit margins, Subaru may also offer new luxury versions of some of its models. "Luxury is certainly one of the opportunities with profit potential," Lin says. "We could do touring-editions of products but would not be competing with BMW or Mercedes. There is no move to create another brand."
Lastly Subaru is going to release a new hybrid later this year. Subaru hasn't confirmed which model will get the new hybrid variant, but it will use a nickel-metal-hydride battery instead of a more modern lithium-ion battery. Subaru apparently wants to keep it simple with its first hybrid.
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