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William Maley

Subaru News: Subaru WRX Hatchback? Yeah, It Isn't Happening

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Earlier this month, we reported in the rumorpile that Subaru was possibly reconsidering bringing back the WRX hatchback.

“We have received strong interest from the US, where the hatchback was 50 per cent (of previous-generation WRX sales), so we're now considering,” said Masuo Takatsu, Subaru's general manager for the WRX. “The main target for WRX is the US, Japan is number two, Australia number three. Basically, we target these three markets."

However, the dream of the WRX hatchback has been brought to an end. Motor Trend learned from a source at Subaru that the American office was surprised by the comments made by Takatsu and decided to contact the home office to find out what's going on. Long story short, Subaru isn't doing a WRX hatchback because it would be expensive to develop both.

Sigh... Back to the wishing well then.

Source: Motor Trend

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Bet it will be even more expensive to Not develop it. This is how niche car companies lose their footing and fall. You don't cancel a body style of a halo vehicle that has a 50% take rate.

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I agree with Drew, This is the start of a downward decline for Subaru. Here in Seattle where Subaru is not only the official car of the US Ski Team, but is heavily used by the masses to get up to the ski resorts. You see almost exclusively Hatchbacks. On the mountain talking with some coworkers who all had bought new cars in the last 6 months. Everyone of them had the hatchback and said this will make them look at other companies if Subaru is not going to make an AWD Hatchback. The most interesting comment was Steve and Brian both told me they have owned WRX or STI's since they first came to America all due to their game playing habit. Yet if Subaru is not going to have a hatchback, then they will look as AWD CUV's from other companies that have more room in the same size package since they are both married now and starting families.

They wish they could stay but they said if Subaru is truly going to ignore 50% of their customers, then they will look elsewhere in 2yrs.

Wrong Move, Bad Move, Idiot move.

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A GM like move. Seems like GM put some of its people in Subaru who are still there after stakes were divested.

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Believe me there are people in the automotive industry who subscribes to this logic...

(1) Hatchbacks don't sell in the USA.

(2) OTHER manufacturers have a 10%/90% take rate split between hatches and "trunked" sedans/coupes

(3) We sell 50% Hatches and 50% Sedans.

(4) If we cancel the hatch and focus on the sedan, that 50% will (magically) become 450%.

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....and yet America buys a blue million oversized hatchbacks called small crossovers.

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Let's not get started on how the dealerships are now price gouging the few they get on trade in's. I talked to a dealer the other day and he was mentioning that they are now becoming "collectible". It was dumb of subaru to get rid of a widely poplar body style, but the new ones are growing on me. As mentioned earlier they are still producing hatchbacks, but at 148 hp its just not feasible for that target market audience. 

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