[Photo Cred: Gawker]
So I think it’s evidently clear that Subaru is growing beyond the niche market they once were and I have some theoretical expansion plans for them.
Seriously. Do it.
Subaru should move up market with a luxury brand. As we’ve seen with Hyundai and Kia, creating a new luxury badge is more difficult than it may seem. Resurrecting a brand that still has a die hard following should be much easier than creating a new brand.
Currently, Audi is the go to luxury AWD brand and they could use some better competition, especially in the reliability department. I don’t think BMW’s Xdrive cars, the AWD Mercs, AWD Infiniti, or AWD Lexus models really compete as (and correct me if I’m wrong) their AWD systems lag behind Audi’s quattro or Subaru’s symmetrical AWD. I picture Saab becoming that new luxury brand with the performance of some Audi’s and the reliability of Lexus (Acura I disregard as I think they’re ugly and probably worse than Lexus).
The partnership has worked in the past and could be expanded across their whole range. Use the ideas that GM had for Saab, but don’t badge engineer mid-90s GM crap. Rebody and make the interior luxurious (leather seats standard) and of course bring back the classic Saab front fascia (updated).
[Photo Cred: Subaru]
- Impreza & 9-3 - Take the sedan and make it a liftback. Take the hatch/Levorg call it the sport kombi. We all know that the Impreza hatch won’t be gone for long... hopefully.
- WRX & 9-2x - Worked before it will work again.
- STI & 99 Turbo - Bring the name back and make it a coupe. Similar to the old Subaru 2.5 RS.
- XV Crosstrek & 9-4 - Yes, you do need a small crossover in today’s world.
- Legacy & 9-5 - Here’s your executive sedan and exactly what the architect will want.
- Outback & 9-6 - Mid-size crossover... blah blah blah.
- Forester & 9-8 - Full size crossover for some reason.
- BRZ & Sonnett - This one should be a no-brainer and you can develop it with Toyota again for the Lexus brand. Add about 25-50 hp, could be performance hybrid or electric, over the base and possibly include a convertible/targa. Also becuase Sonnett:
[Photo Cred: Saabfans]
With all of these I think Subaru could increase sales by 50% and move seriously up market. I’m being ambitious dammit.
Each model should have prices comparable to a similar Lexus.
As far as Saab’s famed attention to safety, I think Subaru has a similar reputation, at least here in the northeast. A man can most certainly dream of a future like this, but I won’t hold my breath...
Bonus - Where They Could Expand
So now the luxury brand is established (in my head) and both Subaru and Saab are looking for new market segments to
enter dominate. So I’m going to throw out some possible partnerships to expand:
- Toyota Land Cruiser -> Saab Viking - Bring back a name from a forgotten concept car and apply it to an SUV worthy of the title.
- VW Amorak -> Subaru Brat - With the potential end of the chicken tax, why not...
- VW Polo -> Saab 9-1 - Take the Polo add AWD and a luxury interior... Maybe let the folks at Prodrive get their hands on it and you have an Audi A3 competitor.
All of this would be possible by making a few key partnerships with Toyota and VAG...
Oh and last part they should hire me for COO because ideas.