Subaru Dealers At Odds Over Crossover Development Plan [Archive] - SaabCentral Forums

: Subaru Dealers At Odds Over Crossover Development Plan


squishmann
12th July 2004, 11:30 AM
Subaru Dealers At Odds Over Crossover Development Plan


Subaru dealers are at odds over a Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. announcement Thursday indicating its intent to collaborate on the development of a new Saab version of Subaru’s luxury seven-passenger crossover vehicle set to be released during the second quarter of 2005, reports Automotive News. Dealers, who have waited years for the new crossover, are worried that the Saab and Subaru vehicles will be too similar, thus, having a negative impact on sales of the Subaru model which some dealers have already begun preparing for. "It will be the first SUV - a true one - for us and Saab. You look for this vehicle to be your flagship and to take you to next level. Who shares their flagship?, said Dale Walker, Subaru dealer council vice chairman and owner of Walker’s Renton Subaru in Renton, Washington. “...It is very discouraging after U.S. dealers have made the commitments to facility upgrades. A tremendous number of dealers have spent hundreds of thousands or millions building new facilities or upgrading existing ones - all with the thought that we have new product. Now we’re told the vehicle we have been asking for and waiting on for so many years will be shared with a GM affiliate. It is a tremendous blow." Although both vehicles will be built in Lafayette, and share Subaru’s all-wheel-drive platform, officials at Fuji Heavy insist the Saab and Subaru "should be quite different." President at Fuji Heavy, Kyoji Takenaka said, "This collaboration provides many benefits such as economies of scale and higher joint volume for Fuji Heavy’s U.S. manufacturing facility.” In addition, Fuji Heavy officials contend that the two automakers do not share the same customer base. But Walker and other Subaru dealers insist that sharing Subaru’s product is not consistent with Fuji’s expectations of the automaker vying for share of the “premium brand” market. The new crossover is to be built at Fuji’s Subaru of Indiana Automotive plant in Lafayette, Indiana, where annual production is set to rise from 110,000 to 160,000 vehicles by 2006. “In 2006, Fuji Heavy plans to build 108,000 units of the Legacy, Outback and Baja and 36,000 units of the XUV,” leaving “room for about 16,000 units a year of the Saab model,” reports Automotive News. “Fuji Heavy plans to price the XUV above $35,000. It expects it to compete with such models as the BMW X5 and the Volvo XC90.”

20Ted
12th July 2004, 12:00 PM
At least this time around, Saab is involved in their version from the beginning of the design process and we won't get a slightly reskinned clone!!

Saba
12th July 2004, 12:06 PM
At least this time around, Saab is involved in their version from the beginning of the design process and we won't get a slightly reskinned clone!!Yeah! even if it is made in the US! :cheesy: