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Old 05-09-2014, 10:25 AM   #1
AVANTI R5
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Default Subaru plans more U.S. capacity, unveils new technology

Parent company Fuji Heavy boasts record financial results, sales for fiscal year


Quote:
TOKYO -- The maker of red-hot Subaru vehicles, flush with record profits, today unveiled an ambitious new business plan targeting a 20 percent increase in sales by 2020 through the introduction of a new vehicle platform and more efficient fuel-injected engines.


Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd.'s plan forecasts North American volume of 600,000 in that time frame, up from 478,000 units in the just-ended fiscal year, as Subaru benefits from booming U.S. demand.


The Japanese company says it may also expand annual capacity at its Indiana assembly plant to 400,000 units after 2017, from a planned expansion to 310,000 slated to happen before then.


Subaru is the only brand to increase U.S. sales in each of the past six years and has recorded double-digit increases in each of the past 16 months.
Through April of this year, Subaru sales are up 22 percent while the U.S. industry has risen 3 percent.


Subaru may need the extra output to meet its sales goals.
And it now has more room to expand because Toyota Motor Corp. confirmed separately that it will end contract production of its Camry sedan at Subaru's Lafayette, Ind., plant in the fall of 2016. Toyota will shift the Camry to its Georgetown, Ky., plant, leaving Subaru with unused capacity of about 100,000 vehicles.


Record sales and earnings
Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, president of Fuji Heavy, unveiled the plan today while announcing a slate of record earnings for the fiscal year ended March 31, including record unit sales, record revenue, record operating profit and all-time high net income.


Unit sales climbed 14 percent to 825,000 units in the 12-month period. Subaru projected another 11 percent increase to 916,000 vehicles in the fiscal year that began April 1.


Sales should exceed 1.1 million units in 2020, Yoshinaga said.
Yoshinaga actually had to introduce the new mid-term plan, dubbed Prominence 2020, because he had achieved the previous business plan two years ahead of its 2015 timetable.


“We were fortunate in being able to achieve almost all our objectives two years ahead of schedule,” Yoshinaga said.


The Fuji Heavy boss said his new business plan aims to strengthen the brand power of rapidly growing Subaru, which sells the Forester crossover, Legacy sedan and Outback wagon.


“We want to be a company that may not be big in size but has distinctive character and high quality products,” he said. “We will enhance the Subaru brand.”
New product underpinnings are key to the new strategy.


New platform and engines
Starting in 2016, Subaru plans to introduce a new modularized platform called the Subaru Global Platform that will support every model from the Impreza to the Outback.


It will debut in the next-generation Impreza and be engineered with a focus on safety, maneuverability and interior space.


Among the new products on tap is a seven-seat SUV geared toward the North American market to replace the aging Tribeca.


Subaru did not give details about the vehicle but said it will debut sometime between 2016 and 2020. The production site has not been finalized, but Yoshinaga said the company is leaning toward manufacturing the vehicle in North America.


The vehicle could plug the gap created by the Camry pullout.
Subaru will also convert all its gasoline engines to direct injection, starting the same year. The technology will be standard in a next-generation boxer engine Subaru will roll out.


To meet more stringent emissions standards, Subaru will overhaul its powertrain technology to also include cylinder deactivation and lean combustion cycles by 2020.


Yoshinaga said the company wants engines with thermal efficiency rates above 40 percent -- above that of the engine in the Toyota Prius hybrid. The target suggests Subaru will dabble with clean-burning Atkinson cycle engines.


Higher efficiency means more energy from internal combustion is captured to power the wheels and less is lost through heat.
Subaru will also introduce a plug-in hybrid for North America, to meet U.S. zero emissions vehicle regulations taking effect in 2018. That model will be based on Toyota hybrid technology.


In addition, Subaru outlined plans for a new version of its Eyesight anti-collision safety feature. It will help drivers avoid not only frontal collisions but crashes from any direction.


Slashing costs
The mid-term plan aims to shore up profits by slashing unit costs 20 percent by 2020. The savings will largely come through reducing material costs through more efficient vehicle designs, standardized platforms and leaner manufacturing processes.


Yoshinaga detailed the strategy while announcing bumper earnings results inflated by surging U.S. sales and a weak yen.
Operating income nearly doubled to 93.1 billion yen ($905.6 million) in the January-March fiscal fourth quarter, from $457.2 million the year before.
A $266.5 million windfall gain from the depreciating yen helped drive earnings higher.


Fourth-quarter revenue rose 29 percent to $6.81 billion, while unit sales increased 17 percent to 231,000 in the three-month period.


Full-year records
For the full fiscal year ended March 31, net income climbed 73 percent to $2.01 billion. Operating profit nearly tripled to $3.18 billion.
Revenue advanced 26 percent to $23.44 billion, while annual sales rose 14 percent to 825,000 units.


In North America, which accounts for almost 60 percent of Subaru's global sales, volume notched the biggest gain of any major market, a 22 percent increase to 478,000 vehicles.


Looking ahead, Yoshinaga said North American sales should add another 11 percent to end this fiscal year at 531,000 units.


The brand is looking for a new U.S. marketing boss. Last week Dean Evans, who led the marketing efforts since September 2011, announced his departure. Alan Bethke, vice president of marketing, will serve as interim head of the department “until the company announces its longer-term strategy to replace Evans,” the company said last week.
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Old 05-09-2014, 11:20 AM   #2
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So, is FB25 getting direct injection, or will Subaru design an all new engine again?
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Old 05-09-2014, 11:28 AM   #3
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So this confirms a new sti engine in the next few years, SWEET!
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Old 05-09-2014, 11:42 AM   #4
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Good to hear the success of Fuji Heavy. Where was this sourced?

Last edited by North Star; 05-09-2014 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 05-09-2014, 12:44 PM   #5
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Looks like this was the source article:
http://www.autonews.com/article/2014...new-technology
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Old 05-09-2014, 12:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by subySerb View Post
So, is FB25 getting direct injection, or will Subaru design an all new engine again?
I recall reading something when the FB engines were released, they were designed so DI could be added at a later date. Whether Subaru will do this or do something different, I guess we will have to wait.
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Old 05-09-2014, 12:50 PM   #7
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Where's the link to the source?
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Old 05-09-2014, 12:53 PM   #8
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Where's the link to the source?
post #5. I asked as well. lol
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Old 05-09-2014, 12:56 PM   #9
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Overall, this is great. I'm concerned by the far end of the time range, though. 2020 would be an unacceptably long wait for direct injection and a Tribeca replacement.

Also, this article mentions a plug-in hybrid. I thought it was previously described as an EV.
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Old 05-09-2014, 01:20 PM   #10
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News! So, maybe this is why they haven't done any real further development on the BRZ.
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Old 05-09-2014, 01:35 PM   #11
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So I should not buy a Forester next year...
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Old 05-09-2014, 01:45 PM   #12
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Excellent news. That's a great plan IMO and helps understand why the STI did not receive an all-new engine. FHI is in a very strong position.
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Old 05-09-2014, 02:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Subaru will also convert all its gasoline engines to direct injection, starting the same year. The technology will be standard in a next-generation boxer engine Subaru will roll out.
Granted this is a magazine source and could be mis-wording this, but the 3rd generation engine in 50 years just came out. It would be significant if this IS going to be a "4th" gen motor.
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Old 05-09-2014, 02:30 PM   #14
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So I should not buy a Forester next year...

Why not? If they come out with something that you want later, just GTP it.
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Old 05-09-2014, 02:39 PM   #15
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So I should not buy a Forester next year...
The Forester just got a new engine and tranny last year. You could probably go through two Foresters until Subaru actually updates it again.

That's how they roll.
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Old 05-09-2014, 03:29 PM   #16
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The FXT/WRX with the FA20DIT is Subarus latest and greatest along with the 1.6 DIT sold in Japan so I doubt these are on the chopping block. IMO the lame ass 2.0 in the Crosstrek and Impreza need a re-do. I'm not sure about the FB, new since 2011. It needs DI and a little more refinement. I think the 3.6 is also history going to a all new 3.0?
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Old 05-09-2014, 04:26 PM   #17
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Where do you guys see the STI getting a new engine?

I'm thinking it's pretty much certain that it will be the FA20DIT, just with a higher output than WRX...
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Old 05-09-2014, 04:43 PM   #18
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Nix the STI. Nix the BRZ. Make the WRX your flagship performance car. Make a hatch/wagon from it. Give the WRX the STI's transmission and make Brembo brake optional. Room to make everyone happy. There will be less people upset at there being no STI than there has been for there being no hatch. Even fewer would be upset at the BRZ going away.

I don't think Subaru can handle mass production of turbocharged engines, so I doubt we'll see the FB16DIT in a base Impreza, Crosstrek, Legacy or Outback. Maybe a Limited Impreza or Premium/Limited Crosstrek, Premium Legacy and Premium Outback would get that and leave the FA20DIT for the higher trims, WRX and Forester. New H6 for Tribeca-replacement.
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Old 05-09-2014, 04:43 PM   #19
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This is all fantastic news, especially the DI on every engine.

Cylinder deactivation is something they haven't tried yet... DI H8 with cylinder deactivation anyone?
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Old 05-09-2014, 04:47 PM   #20
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H8??!! Double Boxer action?!!
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Old 05-09-2014, 05:00 PM   #21
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H8??!! Double Boxer action?!!
Maybe they can try making pick up trucks now.
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Old 05-09-2014, 05:17 PM   #22
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H8? X8!
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Old 05-09-2014, 05:18 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chanomatik View Post
Nix the STI. Nix the BRZ. Make the WRX your flagship performance car....

NOOOO!!!!!!!! Nix the WRX and make them STIs!!!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by North Star View Post
Maybe they can try making pick up trucks now.
I'd be the first in line......
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Old 05-09-2014, 05:26 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by JustyWRC View Post
I'd be the first in line......
I would too. I just wonder if for a pick up truck, would they go the traditional RWD? With an AWD variant or the typical 4WD option?

I would love to hear what a 8 cylinder boxer motor sounds like. Especially if they can build a turbo diesel boxer 8 too!
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Old 05-09-2014, 06:04 PM   #25
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H8??!! Double Boxer action?!!
H8ers gonna H8.
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