Subaru Wants to Ditch its "Quirky" Image

Subaru has a very loyal, but somewhat small following in the US. Subaru’s are constantly known for their great engineering (all-wheel-drive, boxer engines), but styling has always been something simply described as “quirky.” In the past few years Subaru has been one of the few brands to actually remain strong and to actually gain more market share in the harsh economic climate. But now Subaru has decided that it wants to broaden its appeal.

Osamu Namba, the newly hired manager from a small independent styling studio, stated, “We want to broaden the appeal to make it accessible to more than a small, loyal crowd. We need to add a more contemporary element.”

Although Subaru styling as always been behind Subaru’s engineering, sales have actually increased with sales up 35 percent through June this year. This will most likely be Subaru’s second straight year of record sales. But Subaru hopes to do even better with models that are more eye-catching.

Namba’s goals are to keep Subaru’s utilitarian spirit, but to add a stronger overall presence with a more pronounced front fascia, more defined bumpers and a stronger side accent line.

“We have to show the function through design with simple, clean lines,” says Namba, who counts the compact, no-frills Renault 5–remembered in the United States as American Motors’ Le Car–among his all-time favorite rides. “I want a very simple design that exhibits strength.”

Full Story: AutoWeek

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