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Subaru embarking on plan to speed product...

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Link: http://www.autoweek.com/news.cms?newsId=103029

Subaru embarking on plan to speed product development while reducing costs
YUZO YAMAGUCHI | Automotive News
Posted Date: 8/23/05

TOKYO -- Subaru is embarking on a plan to cut development costs per vehicle by 100,000 yen, or about $905 at current exchange rates.

Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., which makes Subarus, will reduce the number of test models partly by doing fewer crash tests.

Instead, the automaker will use computer-simulated crashes. The company aims to reduce its vehicle development time, now about 20 months, by 10 to 20 percent.

Fuji also plans to share more parts among nameplates to save money.

The automaker will apply the cost-cutting methods to all upcoming models.

It plans to redesign the Legacy in 2009 for the United States after remodeling the Impreza and Forester.

Fuji's U.S. operation also is cutting costs. By using General Motors' global purchasing network, Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. in Lafayette, Ind., aims to cut its purchasing costs by 13.5 percent by year end.

Subaru of Indiana forecasts that it will lose $207 million in 2005, compared with a $74 million loss last year.

The bigger loss reflects spending to launch the B9 Tribeca sport wagon and to remove production equipment that Fuji Heavy's ex-joint venture partner, Isuzu Motors Ltd., used there.

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