Subaru thinks its traditional cars and sedans will remain an important aspect of its portfolio, despite Ford’s decision to largely kill off its cars and sedans.
During a recent interview with Motor Trend, Subaru’s U.S. national manager of product communications Dominick Infante said that retaining sedan models is important as fuel prices fluctuate."Gas prices are starting to come up now. So a good hedge for better economy is having a sedan."So we still make the Impreza and the Impreza hatchback. They do get better gas mileage than say a comparable CUV like the Crosstrek so we do sell those so if the market does change that’ll help sales of sedans," Infante said.Sales of Subaru’s car models have been falling throughout the U.S. this year. In fact, the WRX and WRX STI are down 8.2 per cent, the BRZ has dropped by 10.1 per cent, the Impreza is down 16.3 per cent and the Legacy has dropped 13.9 per cent. At the same time, sales of the Crosstrek are up a remarkable 66.6 per cent this year, perfectly showcasing the shifting wants of customers.Subaru seems to think Ford has it wrongDespite its ongoing commitments to cars and sedans, Subaru acknowledges that crossovers are necessary. As such, the Japanese marque has created the three-row Ascent and will begin sales of it shortly.According to Infante, the Ascent is important as it will encourage existing Subaru customers to stay with the brand even as their vehicle needs evolve."[Customers] stay with the brand except for this one area when they have children starting to become 8 years old or so."[That’s] when they tend to say, OK, my Outback or Forester is too small and they want to transport other kids [and] families so then they leave the brand and they would go to our competitors. So they could buy a Honda Pilot or a Highlander and then come back when their kids are out of high school and buy an Outback."It’s kind of funny, they would come back or they would have their second car which would stay being a Subaru but we would lose them in that one area," Infante said.Despite Ford’s insistence that cars don’t make much sense moving forward, none of its competitors are following suit and making similar proclamations. Is this a sign that Ford jumped the gun in killing off the car?