Subaru announces shock change
SUBARU has committed to reshaping its future.
The Japanese car maker has revealed its entire line-up will be either electric or hybrid powered by the middle of the next decade. And in the meantime the brand plans for at least 40 per cent of its sales to be electric or hybrid cars by the end of this decade.
Subaru's president Tomomi Nakamura says the brand will strive to keep the core attributes that make a Subaru a Subaru - including all-wheel drive and top-shelf safety technology - while also fulfilling its social responsibility and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"As we work to fulfil our social responsibilities, including the protection of the global environment, we will leverage Subaru's unique character and technological innovation to contribute to the creation of a carbon-free society," said Nakamura.
The news comes as Subaru plans to launch its first petrol-electric vehicles in Australia in March this year.
The Subaru XV and Forester hybrids will start from $35,580 (before on-road costs) and $39,990 respectively.
The announcement suggest the next generation of Subaru's cult performance car, the WRX, could have some form of hybrid tech before eventually going all-electric. Car makers are increasingly switching to hybrid power for their performance cars to fit under Europe's ever lowering emissions threshold.
Buyers in Australia are also warming to hybrid cars. Hybrid sales had a banner year thanks to an increase in models offered by brands.
Toyota was the main driver behind this sales surge, with the Japanese maker bringing in the ultra-popular RAV4 Hybrid SUV - which was named News Corp's Car of the Year - alongside petrol-electric versions of the Corolla, Camry. Toyota has recently launched the hybrid C-HR SUV and is planning a hybrid version of the pint-sized Yaris hatch later this year.
Toyota sold about 28,000 hybrids in 2019, which is about 13.5 per cent of the brand's overall sales. It has predicted that number will climb to 40,000 this year.