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Subaru will add minivan for U.S. in '07 or '08

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By Yuzo Yamaguchi
Automotive News / August 29, 2005

http://www.autonews.com/article.cms?articleId=54306

TOKYO -- Subaru plans to add a minivan to its U.S. lineup in late 2007 or in 2008.

Based on the Subaru Legacy platform, the seven-seat vehicle with a 2.5-liter engine would be smaller and more affordable than the B9 Tribeca, says a source at Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., which makes Subarus.

Another Fuji source confirmed the company's plans for the minivan.

The B9 Tribeca sport wagon, which went on sale in May, has a base price of $31,320, including destination. Powered by a 3.0-liter V-6, it is available with five or seven seats.

The minivan will offer two key Subaru elements: all-wheel drive and a boxer engine.

When the Subaru Traviq minivan flopped in Japan last year, Fuji Heavy learned the importance of those attributes. The Traviq, a rebadged Opel Zafira that General Motors assembled in Thailand, lacked a boxer engine and awd. A boxer engine has horizontally opposed cylinders.

In the United States, Subaru expects the minivan to help it achieve its sales target of 250,000 in 2010. In 2004, Subaru sold 187,402 units in the United States.

The minivan will be sold globally to achieve economies of scale.

In Japan, the new minivan will replace the Traviq. GM stopped building the Thai-made minivan for Subaru last December, about three years after Fuji Heavy launched it in Japan. Last year, Traviq sales here plunged 36.1 percent from a year earlier to 1,847.
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Speaking of the Tribeca, I saw a dark blue one today, and it looked stunning!

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I've seen several black B9's around. It truly is a striking design, and aside from the front end (which is already growing on me), it's extremely attractive overall.
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