Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Subaru Really is Turning Into the Volvo of Japan


How’s this for irony: after announcing that the all-new Forester won’t be available with a turbocharged engine (the reason why it was unique in the first place), Subaru has just revealed a new midterm plan that, get this, wants to make the brand much more distinctive. Yes, it doesn’t make sense; and no, we’re not pulling your leg on this one.

The brand synonymous with all-wheel drive and Boxer engines has just announced STEP—their new mid-term management vision that has three basic goals: enhance its distinctiveness, put customer on the center-stage; and contribute to diversified social needs.

STEP itself is an acronym that stands for “Speed,” “Trust,” “Engagement,” and “Peace of Mind and Enjoyment.” Technically, it should have been STEPME, but we guess STEP sounds better.

Moving, Subaru has outlined the following corporate activities which will run in the company until 2025.

First, they want to improve their quality so that customers can keep their Subarus for a longer period of time. With that, they’ll review all their processes from product planning to production to ensure quality including a “step-up of manufacturing levels” and “service operation improvements.” With that, they’ll spend 150 billion yen (P 72.22 million) over 5 years to enhance overall quality.

Second, they want to raise customer value with its “Subaru-zukuri” (literally Make-a-Subaru). With that, they plan to go beyond just increasing product quality, but also raising customer value all the way to doing or initiating service activities.

Third, they’re aiming to eliminate traffic accident deaths by 2030 including pedestrians and cyclists colliding with Subaru vehicles by enhancing their driver-assist technologies. They also aim to add more connect car technologies and intelligent technologies to improve their vehicle’s overall safety.

Finally, they’ll be launching fully-redesigned versions for their key models and enhance the distinctive qualities of their SUVs and sports models (at least you know there’s a future for the WRX and WRX STI in their future).

With that, Subaru is adding 18 percent to their R&D budget (now pegged at 400 billion yen or about P 192.58 billion) while still maintaining industry-leading profitability. They also plan to “drive forward their collaboration with Toyota” especially in the areas of “making ever-better cars” while still maintaining their distinctiveness. With that, Subaru plans to jointly-develop technologies such as EV and other new-generation technology with Toyota.

The announcement of this mid-term plan is interesting, but not really surprising for Subaru given it’s something that they’ve been doing for quite some time. Perhaps people can start drawing parallelisms to another carmaker, Volvo, in their quest to maintain their distinctiveness as well as aiming to eliminate traffic deaths altogether. It looks like Subaru is really turning into the Volvo of Japan.

11 comments:

  1. good. but at the end of the day the driver's skill matters most. the driver's over-reliance over on-board safety aids sometimes makes one lazy even for a moment. and that is dangerous.

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  2. Volvo is also one of the most unreliable in quality just like subaru

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  3. we own both subarus and volvos. people who say volvo and subaru are unreliable are non-volvo and non-subaru owners. or kahit saan saan sila nagpapa-service. smh

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    Replies
    1. +100

      Some people just find it easy to put down something they have no first-hand experience of.

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    2. My brother had an Impreza before, aside from the quite expensive maintenance, the car itself feels rock solid. You won't even hear or feel the engine running, no squeaks and rattles too. The only time it became noisy (deep bassy note) was when he installed a single pipe full exhaust.

      i.e. A set of shock absorber cost 20k at Fusion R during that time.

      Delete
  4. Looks who is at or near the bottom of the pile http://www.jdpower.com/press-releases/jd-power-2018-us-vehicle-dependability-study

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    Replies
    1. I don't really buy that survey. Chevy and BMW have trash reliability, yet are above the industry average for that. Same goes with Nissan.

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    2. This is a good read for you:

      https://www.carguide.ph/2018/06/should-you-believe-hyundais-top-rank-in.html

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    3. Uto-uto lang naniniwala sa JD Power na yan. Magbasa nga kayo para malaman nyo naman papano ginagawa ang survey na yan.

      Delete
    4. Jd power is the authority in car reliability ratings. Hindi yan uto2x Morons

      Delete

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