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Imagine it.

Keep in mind what's going to happen next year - a LOT of big changes for the company, AND for the parent company.

K Outbacks and Legacy, and still make the 60K US market Impreza we need - and still have room to make 40K of the Viziv-7.

We're not TRYING to be an Expedition, Suburban, or CX-9 killer. But we need a 7 passenger of our own that IS of that size - and that's exactly what niche this car fills.
Thanks for your informative post, which is helping me to get my head around the strategy for the new car!

I like it in that it may allow the H-6 to continue being made, and I'd like my next Subaru to have the H-6. But I'm personally not in need of a 7 seater.

I still am scratching my head about why Subaru would want to compete on a large SUV segment that (aside from a few luxury models from various cos.) 1. is dominated to about 75% by couple of GM products and 2. where two big Japanese brands, Toyo and Nissan, have IMO embarrassingly never figured out how to establish themselves. Analogous to the big pickup segment.

I can't quite get on Subaru's wavelength here--unless they want to want to establish their SUV cred beginning at the top, in the big SUV segment, and beat Toyota or Nissan in sales, which come to think of it might just be doable. Having established their SUV beachhead, they could then scale the product down to a 2/2.5 row mid-size, if they see the market for it is there.

PS I'd like my next one to be a 6-cyl, but I also really like the Forester XT especially after the improvements made for 2017. I'm hoping they stay true to the concept in the next gen Forester, somehow I think they will. :wink2:

Enjoy the wknd!
 

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Actually, all of our new product lines are 'designed by committee'. That's what's made them more popular.

Our old design philosophy used to be, here's the team of people, they're in charge of the whole car. That's why we had refrigerators on wheels. And they'd just slap in any old audio system, because that wasn't what they were there for, they were body designers.

Now we have teams for each thing. You've the body guys, you've the audio guys, you've the seat guys, you've the engine guys, and then you've the team to make the whole thing work together.
I'll acknowledge that it's impossible nowadays to do it the old way.

But what I really was trying to say was that the committee's emphasis sometimes takes precedence over that of a small, dedicated "product champion" team that knows what the product should be in the end. The model T Ford was a "product champion" car (Henry Ford I - and of course it helps to be a dictator to do it this way). Looking at the Subaru line only, I would say that the original Outback, the XT, LGT, and WRX probably had more emphasis from a product champion. The Tribecca B9 and this test mule probably had more emphasis from a committee. That's the way I should have said it.
 

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I'll acknowledge that it's impossible nowadays to do it the old way.

But what I really was trying to say was that the committee's emphasis sometimes takes precedence over that of a small, dedicated "product champion" team that knows what the product should be in the end. The model T Ford was a "product champion" car (Henry Ford I - and of course it helps to be a dictator to do it this way). Looking at the Subaru line only, I would say that the original Outback, the XT, LGT, and WRX probably had more emphasis from a product champion. The Tribecca B9 and this test mule probably had more emphasis from a committee. That's the way I should have said it.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0679740422/ref=rdr_ext_tmb

Maybe you're already familiar with this book. It's about advertising, but the middle section is a history of Subaru and their entry into the US market back in the days of Bricklin, and goes thru the SVX IIRC. Definitely worth a read and gives much historical context.
 

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I still am scratching my head about why Subaru would want to compete on a large SUV segment that (aside from a few luxury models from various cos.) 1. is dominated to about 75% by couple of GM products and 2. where two big Japanese brands, Toyo and Nissan, have IMO embarrassingly never figured out how to establish themselves. Analogous to the big pickup segment.

I can't quite get on Subaru's wavelength here--unless they want to want to establish their SUV cred beginning at the top, in the big SUV segment, and beat Toyota or Nissan in sales, which come to think of it might just be doable. Having established their SUV beachhead, they could then scale the product down to a 2/2.5 row mid-size, if they see the market for it is there.
Here's some medicine for that scratch.

What has the auto industry as a whole done the last few years? Not sold as many as the year before, jockey for position, and try to win more market share. What's been the one exception to that? Subaru. After November is over, we will have 60 months - five full years - of year over year sales increases.

We're not a niche carmaker anymore. We've now the 8th largest market share in the country, we're now ahead of Kia and BMW, and VW has completely slipped off the top 10 chart, and we're not that far behind Hyundai. Two years ago we sold 500,000 cars for the whole year. We've already done that this year, with all of November and December to go.

I think we've ALREADY established our SUV cred. There's a Toyota and Honda dealership on the other side of the road from us. If the CRV or Rav4 customer comes in just out of curiosity, we're VERY likely to flip them to the Subaru brand. But what we don't have, and desperately need, is something large enough for the 7 passenger market.
 

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I think we've ALREADY established our SUV cred. There's a Toyota and Honda dealership on the other side of the road from us. If the CRV or Rav4 customer comes in just out of curiosity, we're VERY likely to flip them to the Subaru brand. But what we don't have, and desperately need, is something large enough for the 7 passenger market.
you should have the roller / incline test videos of a Subaru beating a CRV and Rav4 ready on a big screen right in the showroom,

maybe you tag a button to start it as soon as you see them starting to cross the street.

____________

a $5.00 bill and a fishing pole works too,... (forgive the aspect ratio)

https://youtu.be/ZQiTRQTiMGY?list=PLPoiF01JzcXLTmuOSjmTVANlGBTrmL85m
 

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you should have the roller / incline test videos of a Subaru beating a CRV and Rav4 ready on a big screen right in the showroom,

maybe you tag a button to start it as soon as you see them starting to cross the street.
Who said we don't do that already?

:surprise: :laugh: >:)

Have you seen the electronic display many dealerships have? Showing that USAC test is a great sales tool.
 

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Wait and see

I love my 2012 Outback - it's a champ with over 100K, but was planning to get a new one this year or next to get HIDs and EyeSight, but I'm going to hold off to see what this Viziv-7 (Ascent) actually has/does/is capable of doing. What engines/transmissions will be in it and what's the MPG? What's the ground clearance? Will the 2nd and 3rd row seats fold flat? (I don't need seating for 7, but I'd love the extra space for cargo.) Kinda hoping for a squared-back Outback maybe a few inches longer, but this looks more like an Outback on steroids and HGH. Hey, maybe it will hold 4x8 sheets of plywood. <HA> Now it's just wait and see.
 

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I still am scratching my head about why Subaru would want to compete on a large SUV segment that (aside from a few luxury models from various cos.) 1. is dominated to about 75% by couple of GM products and 2. where two big Japanese brands, Toyo and Nissan, have IMO embarrassingly never figured out how to establish themselves.


Some of us (a large number from the outcry elsewhere) would prefer a Subie 7 than a GM or Ford. The only thing I'd turn to either of them for would be something massive with tons (literally) of towing capacity. I don't have such a need, but (1) I need the space and (2) prefer Subaru's AWD to anything else I've driven and (3) will only buy a vehicle capable of at least some light off road (sand pits, beach) and snow up to at least a foot - all while getting respectable gas mileage.

If I really needed something that size that had big towing capacity, I'd likely get a Suburban - but at over $65K for a decently configured AWD one (without many options - otherwise it goes to closer to $80K) and horrendous gas mileage, I'd need a REALLY good reason. :wink2:

I'm getting the 2018 or 2019 Subaru7 - all depends on how much longer I can get out of my 2010 Outback 6MT (187,008 miles currently).
 

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Some of us (a large number from the outcry elsewhere) would prefer a Subie 7 than a GM or Ford. The only thing I'd turn to either of them for would be something massive with tons (literally) of towing capacity. I don't have such a need, but (1) I need the space and (2) prefer Subaru's AWD to anything else I've driven and (3) will only buy a vehicle capable of at least some light off road (sand pits, beach) and snow up to at least a foot - all while getting respectable gas mileage.

If I really needed something that size that had big towing capacity, I'd likely get a Suburban - but at over $65K for a decently configured AWD one (without many options - otherwise it goes to closer to $80K) and horrendous gas mileage, I'd need a REALLY good reason. :wink2:

I'm getting the 2018 or 2019 Subaru7 - all depends on how much longer I can get out of my 2010 Outback 6MT (187,008 miles currently).
I'm a Sube fan too and the big SUV would be on my list, assuming it had Subaru DNA and that I needed the space.

But I keep coming back to Subaru's IMO bold and risky move into a new segment currently dominated by GM: Large SUV Sales In America - November 2016 YTD - GOOD CAR BAD CAR

This is a growing sales area and Hyundai and VW are supposed to be coming in also. Toyo and Nissan have been trying for 10-15 yrs to crack this market but haven't done it. GM has decades of development and brand recognition, so do Ford and maybe Fiat if they chose to get back in.

Assuming the Subaru SUV was Tahoe-size, how could it compete? Can't compete in towing with a body on frame SUV. Could compete with much better gas mileage, hybrid, cylinder deactivation etc? But that scares off many typical buyers in this segment, who are not into mechanical tech and don't want to fix it. Maybe on value? A Tahoe size at a Highlander price? But that makes it harder for S. to sell at the upper price points, where the big bucks are. (And highlanders, the way most of them seem to be sold, are nowhere near their base price.) Lots of things don't add up IMO but maybe I have a mental block about something here..

Maybe it will come down to S. figuring out how few it could sell of a large SUV, without losing too much profit on the low volume of manufacture. Assuming they want to make in the USA, how many could they build anyway, alongside OB and Impreza? Is the genius of the shared platforms and engines supposed to make it affordable for them to produce? But the ongoing development costs could be a killer.

On the luxury big SUV side the Escalade and Mercedes GLS dominate and then there are the boutique brands. Large Luxury SUV Sales In America - October 2016 YTD - GOOD CAR BAD CAR Subaru does not have the prestige to compete in this segment.

Whatever, it'll all be worth it if the new car gives the H-6 a chance to survive. :laugh:
 

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Imagine it.

Keep in mind what's going to happen next year - a LOT of big changes for the company, AND for the parent company.
Subaru is dropping their light engine production (the ones you see in generators and on 4 wheelers like the Polaris). That's already been announced - those are going to be made in, well, China now.
Fuji Heavy Industries will change their name to Subaru Corporation, since the car division is now where things are, as opposed to how it was a long time ago when the aircraft division was their bread and butter, and the car division was the 'loss leader'.

We as a company already HAVE a 7 passenger vehicle - the Levorg. But it's based upon, literally, smaller passengers. That's why it won't work here in the U.S.

Now - look at the production capacity of SIA. Keep in mind the limiting factor in production is the EPA certificate. So ... before the big remodel and the new EPA certificate, we were limited to 300K cars per year, with 60K of those being Toyota. Now - we can make 300K Outbacks and Legacy, and still make the 60K US market Impreza we need - and still have room to make 40K of the Viziv-7.

We're not TRYING to be an Expedition, Suburban, or CX-9 killer. But we need a 7 passenger of our own that IS of that size - and that's exactly what niche this car fills. We've been told for several years that this will be a totally new car, not based upon anything we already have in our inventory, and be large enough for the US market. Is it going to be expensive? Sure - I wouldn't be shocked to see it start in the mid $40's and maybe even hit the mid $50's. There is a market for these cars, and we want our share of it.
interesting
I just got a 2016 Outback but already need more room (really just need more seats for kids). I'm trying to decide on a used Tribeca or wait out for the Ascent. If it's a $40+k car I should just buy the Tribeca :grin2:
 

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I'm a Sube fan too and the big SUV would be on my list, assuming it had Subaru DNA and that I needed the space.

But I keep coming back to Subaru's IMO bold and risky move into a new segment currently dominated by GM: Large SUV Sales In America - November 2016 YTD - GOOD CAR BAD CAR

This is a growing sales area and Hyundai and VW are supposed to be coming in also. Toyo and Nissan have been trying for 10-15 yrs to crack this market but haven't done it. GM has decades of development and brand recognition, so do Ford and maybe Fiat if they chose to get back in.

Assuming the Subaru SUV was Tahoe-size, how could it compete? Can't compete in towing with a body on frame SUV. Could compete with much better gas mileage, hybrid, cylinder deactivation etc? But that scares off many typical buyers in this segment, who are not into mechanical tech and don't want to fix it. Maybe on value? A Tahoe size at a Highlander price? But that makes it harder for S. to sell at the upper price points, where the big bucks are. (And highlanders, the way most of them seem to be sold, are nowhere near their base price.) Lots of things don't add up IMO but maybe I have a mental block about something here..

Maybe it will come down to S. figuring out how few it could sell of a large SUV, without losing too much profit on the low volume of manufacture. Assuming they want to make in the USA, how many could they build anyway, alongside OB and Impreza? Is the genius of the shared platforms and engines supposed to make it affordable for them to produce? But the ongoing development costs could be a killer.

On the luxury big SUV side the Escalade and Mercedes GLS dominate and then there are the boutique brands. Large Luxury SUV Sales In America - October 2016 YTD - GOOD CAR BAD CAR Subaru does not have the prestige to compete in this segment.

Whatever, it'll all be worth it if the new car gives the H-6 a chance to survive. :laugh:
I predict this will be a butcher up'd Highlander in looks with the typical Subaru underpinnings. This will sell if done right. The Pilot reminds me of the Honda Odyssey. I just hope the Toyota influence is not so apparent on the inside and out. I happened to look inside a new Impreza and while it was nicer than the outgoing model the mid level trims seems to have a little too much Corolla in the interior.
 

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Car and driver seems to think this car is competing with CX9 and Explorer. I would think therefore the starting price of the new Subaru would be in the low 30s MSRP?
 

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Car and driver seems to think this car is competing with CX9 and Explorer. I would think therefore the starting price of the new Subaru would be in the low 30s MSRP?
CX9 and Highlander have base prices in the low 30's; but those are hard to find and they don't have the features that most people actually want, safety stuff, electric tailgates, leather, etc etc. How often do you see a real base model of anything?

I can't imagine the "Viziv" starting in the low 30's, that's Outback territory, and it would have to be really stripped out to make that price. IMO the current OB Touring model, which IIRC stickers for 39-40K, is their experiment to feel out the upper ranges of their market. Viziv can't start much lower than that and they will try to justify the price by making it stand out with safety, hi tech, convenience features, whatever. But that's a tall order and IMO their real competition is GM, not even Toyota or Mazda, and GM has a lot of ammunition. IMO it would have to reliably sell for them $40-45K or it's a bust.
 

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CX9 and Highlander have base prices in the low 30's; but those are hard to find and they don't have the features that most people actually want, safety stuff, electric tailgates, leather, etc etc. How often do you see a real base model of anything?

I can't imagine the "Viziv" starting in the low 30's, that's Outback territory, and it would have to be really stripped out to make that price. IMO the current OB Touring model, which IIRC stickers for 39-40K, is their experiment to feel out the upper ranges of their market. Viziv can't start much lower than that and they will try to justify the price by making it stand out with safety, hi tech, convenience features, whatever. But that's a tall order and IMO their real competition is GM, not even Toyota or Mazda, and GM has a lot of ammunition. IMO it would have to reliably sell for them $40-45K or it's a bust.
The Outback starts $5k lower than that number, actually ($25K starting price), and, even the base model is well equipped when it comes to safety, just on the basis of having one of the best AWD systems available, and good crash ratings. :wink2:
 

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Assuming they want to make in the USA, how many could they build anyway, alongside OB and Impreza?

IMO it would have to reliably sell for them $40-45K or it's a bust.
About 40,000+ units per year. We've had that discussion on here before. The plant EFFECTIVELY increased production by 160,000 by dumping Camry (60K units) and getting larger. So figure 70 - 80K Impreza per year (with growth), the increase in Outback and Legacy production, that leaves us with a good 70K or so available for the Ascent.

And while I expect to see a base stripped model in the mid 30's, I could see this basically being in the $40 - $50K price range. It's not going to be for everyone - but when we have people buying overbuilt Nissans (Infiniti QX80's) for $60 - $75K, we'll sell them.
 
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