Subaru is one full line car manufacturer whose products are selling quite well in the states despite the current woeful economic climate. In fact, in 2008, Subaru was the only manufacturer (US retail sales) in this class to sell more vehicles for the year than it did in all of 2007, an amazing feat considering how quickly things deteriorated from late summer on.
The Cars People Want To Drive
You can credit Subaru with offering all of the vehicle lines that people want but especially for updating their popular Forester SUV, the best selling Subaru model, and most recently releasing an all new Legacy sedan. These days customers want high quality, economical vehicles which are also fun to drive, a description that fits Subaru perfectly.
Not every Subaru model on the market is sold in North America, however, as a number of models are built exclusively for the Japanese market or are sold in other markets where Subaru has a presence. One such model is the Subaru Stella, a tiny, boxy four door hatchback which Subaru introduced three years ago. That model, which competes with other light automobiles or “kei cars” as they are called in Japan, hasn’t been a huge seller, but it gives Subaru an additional presence in a growing segment, joining the Subaru Pleo a model introduced in 1998.
An Electric Stella Arriving This Summer
Subaru will be adding to its green image by introducing an electric version of the Stella which will hit the Japanese market in July. This is important news for Subaru who needs to keep pace with larger producers, such as Nissan, who have their own plans for vehicle electrification beginning in 2010. Indeed, by next summer most major manufactures in the world will offer some sort of electric vehicle for sale, a trend that is expected to grow rapidly at this technology comes online and improves.
Bringing the Stella to the US market hasn’t been announced, but it could be the right entry level car for Subaru in the coming years. In the 1980s, Subaru sold its compact Justy in the US, but that car never sold well and was eventually discontinued. With an engine size of under 1.0L, the Stella would be one of the smallest cars on America’s roads, about the same size as the Smart car.
Keep an eye on Subaru because what they have coming down the line in Japan may find its way to the US. Perhaps not the Stella, but an electrified version of its Sambar minivan could be the right fit for the discriminating American car buyer.