It seems like many automakers are counting on the United States to help boost sales of future models. Fuji Heavy Industries’ Subaru brand is planning a hybrid model for the stateside in 2013.
“We’re going to need something at some point, even (only) to say we have it because that enhances our brand image in the market,” Tom Doll, chief operating officer of Subaru of America, told Reuters at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show.
The brand has already announced plans to launch its first gasoline-engine hybrid vehicle in 2012 but has not officially revealed which regions it would sell in.
Doll said that while having a hybrid could improve Subaru’s image, the current lineup has won over many customers that are new to the brand that are seeking fuel-efficiency and all-wheel-drive.
“If gas prices increase moderately and they stay in this $3 range, we have the products that can compete very, very well in the segments that we compete in,” Doll said. “Because remember, hybrids are only 2 percent of the market. And everybody has them out here (at the auto show) so it’ll be interesting to see how that all shakes out in the market.”
– By: Omar Rana