Subaru debates niche status with 412% surge image

Fuji Heavy Industries Subaru is the prince of Japanese carmakers as its company’s stock has risen almost fivefold since the beginning of 2012, with record profits and sales.

Subaru benefited more than most Japanese carmakers from the weakening of the yen and in US it enjoys a huge popularity, as the BRZ has been so well received now customers have to wait for months to get one.
This success is prompting President Yasuyuki Yoshinaga to worry whether the niche maker of all-wheel-drive vehicles is getting too big.

“We’re standing at a major turning point for Subaru,” Yoshinaga said in an interview this week in Tokyo. “It shouldn’t just be about volumes. We should be making cars only Subaru can make that are a little more expensive and more profitable than the competition.”

Incredibly, according to Yoshinaga, heated debates are spurring inside company offices, as the high ranking officials disagree on whether o expand Subaru’s lineup of cars, make a push for cheaper vehicles for markets such as India or stick to the products the company sells well. To settle the matter, company executives (don’t forget Toyota is the biggest shareholder) will begin discussions this month through next year to determine the long-term direction of Subaru, according to its leader.

Also, Subaru may be speeding ahead of its schedule, as the midterm target of reaching 850,000 units by March 2016 and deliveries of 1 million by the end of the decade could very well be too small – according to the company forecasts, sales could already reach 752,000 units for this fiscal year.