Subaru Confirms New Modular Platform, Business Strategy

Mike Stevens | May 10, 2014

Subaru has revealed details of a new modular platform that will underpin future models beginning as early as 2016.

According to industry paper Automotive News, the new architecture will first appear with the next-generation Impreza, suggesting a late 2016 debut is likely.

The versatile new ‘Subaru Global Platform’ will underpin everything from small cars through to a new seven-seat SUV, replacing the Tribeca that was retired in 2013.

SUVs will form a major focus for the brand going forward, as part of a new business strategy developed to boost global sales from 825,000 in 2013 to 1.1 million per year by 2020.

Those are relatively low ambitions - Toyota moved more than 10 million vehicles in 2013 - but Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) says its new ‘Prominence 2020’ plan is focused more on quality and safety than overall size.

"In the new management vision 'Prominence 2020', FHI, as a small-sized automaker, has set its corporate vision for 2020 as “not big in size, but a high-quality company with distinctive strengths,” the company said in a statement.

“To achieve this goal, the company will focus on two activities -’enhancing the Subaru brand’ and ‘building a strong business structure’ - through which it will further pursue added-value business and increase tolerance for changes in the business environment."

The company aims to become the number-one carmaker for overall safety (even now Subaru boasts a five-star ANCAP safety rating across its Australian line-up), while its future design direction will continue to focus on a ‘Dynamic & Solid’ philosophy.

Although not confirmed for production, we can likely expect the recent Viziv concepts to represent the next evolution of Subaru’s familiar styling language.

On the technology front, Subaru will add direct-injection to all of its engines, along with a gradual introduction of cylinder deactivation for improved efficiency.

A new boxer engine is also planned, although no technical or launch timing details were offered.

New hybrid options will appear in the lead-up to 2020, suggesting that the Viziv concept’s diesel-electric all-wheel-drive system could soon see a production application.

Among those hybrid models will be a new plug-in offering, based on Toyota technology. This model, although not identified, will appear by 2018 when new zero-emissions regulations take effect in the United States.

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Filed under: Featured, Subaru, future, News, industry, subaru tribeca, 7seat, subaru viziv, 2020my, subaru global platform

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  • DMR says,
    4 months ago
    2 likes
    Subaru had the perfect business plan 15 years ago.
    Good looking, well built cars that were a cut above everything at the time in terms of value, safety and performance.
    Then their cars became ugly, their engines limp and interiors an afterthought. Yet they still charge a premium price for a very un-premium product.
    They need to decide what seperates them from the market. Simpy, relying on the AWD thing isnt enough any more in an age of ESC.
    Subaru were one of the pioneers of turbocharging, why arent they replacing their limp NA 2.0 with a 1.0 turbo with far more torque? Where is the handling briliance, rather than the understeering mess? Where is the interior quality with a bit of quirkiness. Take a look at a new clio and see what you can do with a small budget.
    Until they have a good look and ask themselves what their value proposition is, they can forget markets outside Japan. There are far better cars out there for the money. Its a real pity, as they bused to be a leader, now they struggle to even keep up.
    • Phil says,
      4 months ago
      1 like
      Subaru have recently been breaking records for sales in the US and Australia. The new WRX set an all time monthly sales record here in April. It handles very well and has an excellent engine for the money.

      I think they know exactly what they're doing. bleh

      PS Subaru's have always been ugly. There's nothing new there.
      • DMR says,
        4 months ago
        Phil, the WRX last month broke a sales record.... that was set 14 years ago. It is also the first month that a completely new model went on sale. The new WRX seems a far better car than recent examples, but I was talking across the range, not 1 niche model.
        Ask them how sales of the regular Impreza are going? How is the Liberty selling?
        They are doing well with 3 cars. WRX, RV and Forester. The rest barely rate a mention as far as market share goes.

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