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CHERRY HILL, N.J. -- All-wheel-drive specialist Subaru may bring out a large luxury sedan to help redefine itself as a premium brand.

"We need it in the future, especially here in the United States," says Takao Saito, who last week ended five years as CEO of Subaru of America.

Saito says the new sedan would be a key element of Subaru's upmarket strategy.

The car would debut within five years and would be bigger and more expensive than the Legacy.

The Legacy starts at $21,570, including destination.

Saito wouldn't rule out building the car in the United States.

The job of taking the brand upscale will fall to the new CEO at Subaru of America.

Saito, 62, will take another post at parent company Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. in Japan.

His successor is Kunio Ishigami, 57, previously general manager of parts and accessories at Fuji Heavy. Ishigami was general manager in charge of the U.S. market for Fuji Heavy from 1996 to1999.

Ishigami will arrive at Subaru of America on July 13. He takes over as Subaru is launching a new generation of the Outback and Legacy models. Those vehicles, which went on sale in May, represent 43 percent of Subaru's annual sales in the United States.

Fred Ad****, executive vice president, says the Outback and Legacy are sold out until August.

Subaru wants the two new models to boost its U.S. brand image.

The automaker has launched print and TV campaigns highlighting the company as well as its cars, Ad**** says.

Meanwhile, Subaru has modernized its six-star logo and will make it more prominent in advertising and at dealerships.

"We think that is certainly a very premium-looking brand mark with the blue and the silver," Ad**** says.


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Subaru is pretty smart. Unlike VW---Subaru wants to slowly move upscale, such as the new Legacy and Outback are showing. The cars are beginning to move upscale. You can see---the luxurious interiors, and the navigation system, etc. in the brand new Legacy and Outback. Plus, they feature 250 hp V-6 engines. Now, with a crossover on the way, as well as a possibly redesigned Imprezza, an upscale luxury sedan IS going to be Subaru's future...
 

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well.. honestly i dont know what to think. only opinion of current suburu products are that they are ugly azz hell. they must be putting alot of $ in tv adds, i've seen the same commercial for a suburu all week, least 5 times a day, so sick of that commercial.. as for it being ugly to me, to some that might not matter, but to vein people like myself its vital that a car look sexy as well as perform well.
 

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As long as it's not a rebadge, I'm fine. Subaru needs to retain their signature boxer form and AWD nature.
 

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Stupid Idea. A subaru without a flat four and AWD, shouldn't be a Subaru. GM doesn't need another brand "in the fold". Keep Subaru separate, have them work on a new smaller platform.
 

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I don't have a problem with them using an engine that isn't a flat 4. They should keep AWD though.

(they already sell a good chunk of 6 cylinders (Legacy, Outback, SV6), etc....

I just don't think they need a "Luxury" car at a premium price.
 

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Originally posted by Rex Raider@Jun 29 2004, 12:39 PM
I don't have a problem with them using an engine that isn't a flat 4. They should keep AWD though.

(they already sell a good chunk of 6 cylinders (Legacy, Outback, SV6), etc....

Still, it's a flat six, which is certainly within their character, dating back to the late 80's with the XT6.
 

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I think that Subaru's are beautiful cars to tell you the truth. One thing they just can't lose is their brand identity. But they will definately have to move upscale in the future.
 
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