Subaru working on next-gen BRZ, will cap sales to preserve "niche appeal"
Sales may be limited to 1 million a year.
Subaru is indeed working on a next-generation BRZ with partner Toyota. This information was confirmed by Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, president of Fuji Heavy Industries, Subaru's parent company.
Despite stories stating that BRZ (and Toyota 86 and Scion FR-S) sales volumes are too small to warrant investment in variations, it appears that the model will continue for another generation, Yoshinaga revealed in an interview with Automototive News. In fact, just this week the idea of an electric turbocharger was floated by STI head Yoshio Hirakawa.
Yoshinaga also stated that a plug-in hybrid is planned for release in 2018, built to satisfy markets with strict emissions regulations. The car is not expected to sell in Japan.
In fact, limiting sales is something Yoshinaga says Subaru might need to do across the board. The automaker's meteoric rise in sales has been the fairy tale story of the auto industry, but Yoshinaga wants to cap sales at 1 million per year. US sales are expected to hit 600,000 this year, up from 513,693 in 2014, which will mark the seventh consecutive year of record growth.
Placing a cap on on sales will preserve Subaru's "niche appeal," says Yoshinaga, and at this point no new factories are planned. "Many companies try to be bigger or sell more vehicles. If Subaru does the same thing, we will lose our characteristics," Yoshinaga told Automotive News.