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Old 10-21-2001, 06:03 PM   #1
DTR00GT
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Default Based on Population - I don't get it!

First off, I know there's all kind of talk about SOA having to do something to beef up the power of the Legacy to compete in the North American market . I believe they are bringing (planning to bring) the impreza STI soon. And in a odd kinda way, why? The WRX is eating up the market with no competition? (Don't get me wrong, we still need the STI)

So here's the question. Based on population size, how come they are not here already, the B4 or the STI ?!?

For example, Australia has a pop. of only 19.4 million and they have both the STI and the B4. Canada alone has a pop. of 30+ million. That should be enough. Now let's add the US @ 300 Million for a grand total of 330 Million ALL ON ONE continent. See where I am comming from!

Given our GDP, its definatly not because 'we' can't afford the car.

What's the story....

Signed,

Genuinely Interested
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Old 10-21-2001, 06:44 PM   #2
North Ursalia
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It has nothing to do with how many people we have or how much it costs- it has everything to do with making the car DOT legal, passing crash tests, and passing emissions tests. Your average JDM car is easily made legal in almost every country in the world... except the USA . It comes down to how much does Subaru have to do to make the car legal here, and how much they want to bother doing it. They can, essentially, make the B4 for Japan the same as the one for OZ. A USA model would end up being significantly different. So, they make one model that can be sold in the US and one for everywhere else, or one model that can be sold almost everywhere else and tell the USA to go screw... fairly easy choice don't you think? We got the New Age Impreza a year later than the entire world- not because Subaru is coy and fun, but because it was a PITA to make it legal here.

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Old 10-21-2001, 06:50 PM   #3
Snowphun
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Aussies, Brits, Japan and some others also have the distinct honor of being right hand drive, so it's alot easier for those guys to get unique low volume cars. Suppose it may cause for shortfalls in terms of left hand only cars...
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Old 10-21-2001, 07:13 PM   #4
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Plus, despite being a large market, we Americans (and you Canadians, by default) only like our large-bore, gas-hogging, rear-drive, clumsily-designed, 8-track playing V-8's.

Subaru tested the North American market cautiously with the 2.5RS and it paid off (in small numbers). Now they will only increase the performance models we may purchase, as we prove the above stereotype to be false.

Ed (no offense to you Camaro owners, heck, I own a '99 Explorer too!)
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Old 10-21-2001, 07:50 PM   #5
DTR00GT
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If it boils down to a stereotype, then I can see that. Heck, even Ford makes a better Focus (featurewise) for Europe that it does for its own domestic market.

However, I always thought that was intentional, to keep the stereotype going. Word has it they have shares in Oil companies and a patent on 8-tracks
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Old 10-21-2001, 07:56 PM   #6
SubEd
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Quote:
Originally posted by DTR00GT
Word has it they have shares in Oil companies and a patent on 8-tracks
Hmmm, Conspiracy theory???
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Old 10-22-2001, 10:32 AM   #7
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Well I dont know if it is so much sterotype as what the automakers can get away with. If the US market doesnt demand higher quality vehicles they dont have to make them. On the other hand the STi will eventually end up here especially since mistubishi is bringing the EVO VII to compete with the WRX. A little one ups manship.
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Old 10-22-2001, 10:40 AM   #8
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It comes down to money, pure and simple. The UK has equivalent emissions standards to US "49 State" regulations, so emissions are no longer an issue. Heck, we get more power than they do in the WRX.

Money - Toyota sells more Camrys in ONE MONTH than Subaru sells its entire line of cars ALL YEAR. It's a very small market for Subaru, and for it to bring over a very specialized car to the States for a minimal sales number, it would have to charge enough to make it worth while. $45G B4, anyone? $30+G STi? Remember the SVX! Especially with this recession in the US (spreading to the world), it's not as likely as it once was to see the STi here.

Heck, how many dealers have a half-dozen WRXs sitting on their lots? We're not even half-way through the first model year for that car.
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Old 10-22-2001, 10:56 AM   #9
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Julian has gotten closest to the real truth of it as I understand it. DOT isn't too hard(except for FMICs) unless you make your power and speed in not exactly the best way. The real crux of the problem is California(CARB). No automaker wants to ignore that market, and making your car have legal enough emissions for it is not easy. You can't make your power as easily or you simply lose power from what you can make under JDM regulations.

Subaru made the New Age WRX sellable in California and gave everyone else the same car. Some companies sell a 49 state car and a California only car(that is normally down on power compared to it's sister car). I for one am glad Subaru didn't do that(Since I live in California)
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Old 10-22-2001, 01:42 PM   #10
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And the WRX is a CARB certified LEV or ULEV. It's all about the coin.
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Old 10-22-2001, 02:47 PM   #11
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What I don't get is why they don't simply drop the WRX motor into the Legacy. The engine has already passed emissions, and the car has been crash tested. Even if it needs to be re-crashed with the new engine, that can't be too much of a hurdle. It would be a major image (and hopefully sales) boost for Subaru. It would also bring the legacy up to horsepower parity in the midsized sedan market, which is quickly heading towards the 250 mark. The new Altima has 240 in V6 trim, the Maxima 255. Mazda's RX-8 (which is expected here next fall as a 2003 model) will be available either with 210 or 250 Hp, if rumours are correct. The next generation Accord, debuting next fall as well, will probably be in the 240 Horsepower range. The Legacy is rapidly falling behind the pack in this regards: 165 Horsepower (forget the H6, it's not available in the GT, nor with a manual transmission) isn't going to cut it. Neither will waiting to 2005 to up the ante. If Subaru wants to be seen as a sports car manufacturer (and by bringing the WRX here, they seem to) they've got to offer a real engine in their mid-sized sedan, and quickly.
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