As so many of its competitors prepare to bring out vehicles with alternative power trains, Subaru has a major disadvantage. Its small size means it is a laggard in green technology.
There has been talk of a diesel based on the Subaru-developed, 2.0-liter four-cylinder diesel sold in Europe. But the bigger questions are what kind of hybrid or pure electric technology will Subaru offer in the next decade, and when will it arrive?
Toyota holds the key. Toyota owns 16.8 percent of Fuji Heavy Industries, which builds Subaru vehicles. Toyota is working with Fuji Heavy on a hybrid system that executives say may be available by 2012. Details have not been disclosed.
"Neither the hybrid or diesel are committed," said a spokesman for Subaru of America. "We have not announced their status."
There are no plans to sell Subaru's subcompact cars in the United States. And there are no longer any plans for a premium sedan--an idea Subaru kicked around at the start of the decade. Instead, the automaker will concentrate on value, offering lots of standard features with each model. … Read more