RegGuheert wrote:Subaru has always offered the worst fuel economy of any car company in Japan. They fill a niche for those who only care about utility and put their own needs far above those of the environment.
You must know a different Subaru than the one currently selling vehicles in the U.S... Their fuel mileage numbers are competitive with everyone else out there (and better than many), and their emissions ratings are at the top of the class...
And their sales have improved every year by large amounts. Sure, it's a niche, but a fairly large one:
Subaru has not only been the most successful of all Japanese automakers in growing its volume in the US since 2006, it actually recorded the highest growth of all mainstream brands at 13% growth/year, beating out Audi (10%) and lower only than the luxury Maserati (20%).
Subaru’s success stems from focusing heavily on its 4×4 USP and producing a few cars that consumers really want, such as the Outback, Forester and XV Crosstrek. In so doing it has actually neglected the mainstream slightly, with the Legacy selling much worse in 2015 than in 2006, though the generally-unloved Impreza is going to cross 90k/year in 2015. Time will tell whether Subaru can continue its growth in the future , for example by launching a successful 7-seat SUV after the failure of the Tribeca.
Subaru Is Feeling The Love, And Record U.S. Sales In 2017
As to what Subaru people care about, utility, safety, reliability and good gas mileage (preferably zero emissions) given AWD, at a moderate cost. Many have been waiting patiently for FHI to come out with a PEV, as a large % of Subaru owners are outdoorsy types who like to engage in human-powered activities, and who dislike having to use fossil fuels to access them.
At the moment, given the lack of charging infrastructure, especially as the places Subies tend to be driven to will be the very last places to get destination charging and in many cases never will get it owing to a lack of any electric infrastructure, plus the fact that they're often bought as snow cars, only a PHEV makes sense. Once the enroute QC (or H2 as the case may be) infrastructure's in place, a switch to a full ZEV will be the preferred option, and will be demanded by their customers. That's still some years away: to take me as an example, even Tesla's SC network as it currently stands wouldn't allow me to repeat many of the trips I've taken over the past 40 years or so to a variety of national parks, monuments or other outdoor areas. You have to have full coverage off the interstates, on U.S., state and local highways to meet the active outdoor demographic's vehicle needs.