JAPAN: Subaru ends minicar production
Subaru maker Fuji Heavy Industries is to stop producing minicars to concentrate on more profitable small and midsize models.
Although there is still strong demand for minicars in Japan, where they account for more than one third of the market, Fuji Heavy, which sells around 600,000 vehicles a year globally, lacks the muscle to run the gamut from minicars to large passenger cars on its own.
Small cars also offer smaller profits and production of the Sambar, which was launched in 1961, will end this week. The company has sold roughly 3.7m of these over the years.
Other Japanese carmakers will continue to focus on minicars. Nissan and Mitsubishi established a joint venture last year for minicar development and Honda is adapting minivehicle technology for larger passenger cars.
Fuji Heavy corporate senior vice president Motohisa Miyawaki said the same number of engineers is necessary to develop minicars as for larger passenger vehicles.
Consequently, the automaker will focus on horizontally opposed engines as well as four wheel drive and crash safety technologies in hopes of developing unique offerings that set it apart from competitors.
The XV sport utility vehicle, due for release this June, is based on the Impreza. Miyawaki added: "By shifting resources to such vehicles, we were able to become more nimble with development."
It developed the recently launched BRZ sports coupe - with trademark 'flat four' horizontally opposed engine in partnership with stakeholder Toyota whose version is called the GT86.
This QUBE report from just-auto provides a comprehensive overview of the global automotive roof systems sector, major suppliers, top 14 markets, technology trends and market size forecasts. Use this r...
The 29 August press preview day of the Moscow motor show saw many concepts and new models making their global debuts....
This QUBE report from just-auto provides a comprehensive overview of the global transmissions sector, major suppliers, top markets, technology trends and market size forecasts. Use this report to gain...
The media preview of the Chengdu motor took place on 31 August. The event has grown in importance but it remains a second-tier exhibition. AutoGuangzhou, China's main motor show for the second half of...
Nissan has announced a SAR1bn (US$120m) investment in its South African plant in Rosslyn, Pretoria to double production to about 100,000 units a year....
- Volvo UK specs up seven seat XC90 redesign
- ANALYSIS: Mercedes smart brand's last chance?
- THE WEEK THAT WAS: Hobnobbing with the A-listers
- Management briefing: 48V mild hybrids (2)
- ANALYSIS: Suzuki's new brand flagship - Vitara
- Geneva show list updated
- UK: Aston Martin to reveal future models strategy
- Ricardo unveils new prototype electric motor
- Audi plots 2020 expansion strategy
- GENEVA DEBUTS: Audi Q7 e-tron to be a diesel PHEV
- Global light vehicle engine technologies market- forecasts to 2029
- Global vehicle lightweighting - technology, trends and the future
- LMC Automotive's European Passenger Car Production Estimates - Latest Monthly Update
- Global electrified light vehicles market- forecasts to 2018
- PLDB - vehicle cycle plan database (annual subscription)