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Each year, Motor Trend hands out its coveted Golden Calipers to its Car, Truck and SUV of the Year, and in the latter category, this year's bragging rights belong to the redesigned Subaru Forester. In the 14-year history of the SUV award category, Subaru is the only automaker to win three times (2009, 2010 and 2014) and the Forester is the only model to make a return appearance having also won the award back in 2009. In the last six years, this award has either gone to a Subaru or to a luxury crossover/SUV (Mercedes GL-Class in 2013, Land Rover Range Rover Evoque in 2012 and Porsche Cayenne in 2011).
Out of the 13 new or updated crossovers and SUVs in contention for the award, the 2014 Forester came out on top thanks its value, fuel efficiency and fun-to-drive attitude. Rather than a head-to-head battle, the utility vehicles are all judged on six criteria (design, engineering, efficiency, safety, value and performance of intended function). Other vehicles on the consideration list included the Acura MDX, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Land Rover Range Rover Sport and Toyota RAV4.
Scroll down for a video report from Motor Trend as well as a press release from Subaru.Permalink | Email this | Comments
For the last four years in a row, Subaru has experienced incredible sales growth including record sales of 336,441 units in 2012. This trend is all but guaranteed to continue this year with 281,652 on the books so far, but Automotive News is reporting the automaker has no plans of slowing down anytime soon.
The report says that Subaru is gunning for around 500,000 sales in the US by 2015, which doesn't seem like too far of a stretch considering 2013 sales totals are expected to top 400,000 units. Through August, Subaru's sales are up 29.3 percent compared to 2012, thanks to popular models like the Forester, Outback and, surprisingly, the WRX.
A new WRX is headed for an LA Auto Show reveal while an all-new Legacy is due out next year, and AN adds that Subaru is planning to significantly increase its media spending next year and start production of the Impreza sedan in the US in 2016.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Published under Subaru, Subaru Forester, Subaru Impreza, Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback | send this post
Tags: Car Buying, Earnings/Financials, Marketing/Advertising, Plants/Manufacturing, subaru sales, Subaru WRX, subaru xv crosstrek
Subaru has produced its four-millionth vehicle at its Lafayette, Indiana factory. The Deep Indigo Blue 2014 Outback is pictured above, alongside the very first Subaru to leave the Lafayette facility, a first-generation Legacy. Formally known as Subaru of Indiana Automotive, SIA opened its doors in 1989 and currently produces the Outback, Legacy and Tribeca for Subaru, in addition to the Toyota Camry.
The plant, which was originally a joint venture between Subaru and Isuzu, has produced nine different models for four different manufacturers over the years, and is getting ready to add a tenth as Impreza production will be coming to SIA. Subaru announced plans to move Impreza production to Indiana when it made a $400-million investment in the facility earlier this year. As production continues, the Lafayette Journal-Courier reports that SIA will produce another million units by the end of 2017.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Published under Subaru, Subaru Forester, Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Toyota, Toyota Camry | send this post
Having aced the crash test from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and earning the highest rating of Top Safety Pick+, the 2014 Subaru Forester headed over to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for a date with destruction. In the barrage of NHTSA tests, the new Forester met similar results as it did with the IIHS, earning a five-star overall crash rating.
Comparing these number to the previous model, which carried a four-star rating in all areas, the new Forester did much better in the side-impact test to earn a full five stars; frontal and rollover ratings were still at four stars like the old model, but the improved side crashworthiness was enough to gain the NHTSA's highest overall rating. The frontal impact video is posted below, but all the various test videos can be seen on NHTSA's website.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Tags: crossover, five star rating, Government/Legal, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nhtsa, Safety, videos
When one thinks of a safari, they naturally draw pictures in their mind's eye of wild animals, like lions, elephants and giraffes. I'm no different, and it was with visions of long telephoto lenses over vast runes and dunes that I embarked on a 19-hour plane ride from Phoenix, Arizona to Plettenberg Bay in South Africa, camera gear in tow.
Subaru may be the ostrich of the Japanese auto industry.
My particular safari through the wilds of South Africa included none of those things, however. Sure, I did spy a random baboon or two (they didn't seem particularly friendly), several other unknown primates and some random wild cattle, but the trip I found myself a part of centered around a rather unexpected South African specialty: the ostrich.
Never heard of an ostrich safari? Well, neither had I, and my trip wasn't exactly a 'safari' in the classic sense - I wasn't riding around through the African plains in an open-top Land Rover with guides pointing out the various wildlife for my picture-taking pleasure - but I did drive to and fro over the hills and dales of Africa's southernmost tip, and I did see plenty of flightless fowl. I ate some, too, and it was as deliciously different from chicken as you can imagine, with lean red meat (the other red meat?).
All of this got me thinking... Since I was ferrying myself around in one of a flock of Subaru Forester crossovers, perhaps the prevalence of the strange birds made sense. Consider: If Toyota, Honda and Nissan are the Japanese equivalents of the lions, elephants and giraffes you'd expect to see on safari, it may not be a stretch to consider Subaru the ostrich; the outsider struggling to prove it belongs in the same conversation as the big boys. If you don't buy the comparison now, follow along as we compare and contrast Subaru - and the Forester in particular - with the ostrich in several unique and unconventional ways, starting with its looks.Permalink | Email this | Comments
Consumers in the US are gobbling up Subaru models, a trend that may result in dealer shortages if the Japanese automaker isn't able to meet the surging demand. A quick look at the numbers reveals a 25.2 percent year-over-year jump in April US sales, and a 17-percent gain for the first quarter of 2013. The sales are so strong that the company's CEO, Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, told the Wall Street Journal that Subaru will exceed its 2016 goals (380,000 US units sold) by the end of the company's current business year. The US market has grown to be one of Subaru's best, with the company now logging about half its global sales on our shores.
While strong sales are good problem to have, the automaker has relatively limited production capacity, which may leave dealers with sparse inventory. Certain models, such as the popular Forester crossover (shown above), could hit 10,000 units this month with the plant at full capacity (far above its target of 8,000 units). On average, the US car industry has a 60-day supply of vehicles on hand, but inventory for the new Forester is at just 16 days. "If this situation persists, we'll face a supply shortage," Mr. Yoshinaga told the WSJ.
Despite being one of the smallest Japanese automakers by volume, this is all positive news for Subaru and parent Fuji Heavy Industries, which projects a second straight year of record operating profit thanks to strong US sales and a weaker yen.Permalink | Email this | Comments