SUBARU: Launching Solterra EV developed with Toyota by mid-2022

New generation EyeSight with 360-degree sensing, enhancing U.S. business with new models

2021/09/14

Summary

BRZ
Solterra EV interior (Source: Subaru)

  Subaru’s electrification strategy aims to achieve at least 40% of its global sales from electrified vehicles (electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid vehicles (HVs)) by 2030. In 2022, the automaker plans to launch the Solterra, a C-segment class SUV EV jointly developed with Toyota, in Japan, North America, Europe and China. Subaru will also release a strong (full) hybrid vehicle that uses the Toyota Hybrid System (THS) during the first half of the 2020s.

  Subaru has enhanced the safety of its "EyeSight" driver assistance system by enabling 360-degree sensing through using a wider-angle stereo camera and installing millimeter-wave radars on both sides of the front bumper in addition to both sides of the rear bumper as was the case for the previous system. The “new generation EyeSight” is installed in the new Levorg which was launched in October 2020. The new model also adopts the “EyeSight X”, an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), for the first time for the brand. The “EyeSight X” detects the vehicle’s location by combining the 3D high-definition map data and information from the GPS and the Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS), “Michibiki” and enables Level-2 autonomous driving. Subaru plans to integrate AI decision-making capabilities into future “EyeSight” systems and has established an R&D center specializing in AI.

  Subaru also introduced its own connected service “Subaru STARLINK” into the new Levorg. By connecting to the call center for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, the connected service will enable faster rescue activities in the event an accident or car trouble occurs, thereby promoting Subaru’s goal of zero fatal traffic accidents involving Subaru vehicles.

  Subaru is restructuring its development organization to meet the needs of the next generation “CASE” technologies including electrification, autonomous driving, and connected services. In 2024, the company plans to establish a new R&D center in its Gunma Plant and will integrate its dispersed R&D departments.

  In the U.S., Subaru’s key market, the automaker will launch the BRZ sport coupe, which was jointly developed with Toyota, in the fall of 2021, as well as the new WRX sedan in 2021. In 2022, the company plans to fully remodel the Crosstrek SUV and Impreza sedan, and introduce the Solterra EV, which will be jointly developed with Toyota. Subaru’s sales volume in the U.S. for the first half of 2021 increased by 20.3% year-over-year (y/y) to 321,000 units. While U.S. sales are on the recovery track, Subaru faces the challenge of having only seven days of inventory as of the beginning of August 2021.

  Subaru’s FY 2020 sales revenue declined by 15.4% y/y to JPY 2,830 billion and operating profit fell by 51.3% y/y to JPY 102.5 billion due to a decline in its sales volume caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the shortage of semiconductors. Subaru’s operating margin had been high at 10% or more until FY 2017, but its operating profit margin declined to around 6% after FY 2018 and fell further to 3.6% in FY 2020 as a result of increased expenditures incurred due to issues such as inspection fraud, recall costs and increased capital expenditures. In August 2021, Subaru announced its earnings forecast for FY 2021 with its global sales volume expected to be 960,000 units, up by 11.6% y/y; revenue will be JPY 3.3 trllion, up by 16.6% y/y; operating profit will be JPY 200 billion, up by 95.2% y/y; and operating profit margin is forecasted to be 6.1%.

 

Related reports:
Japanese OEMs announce and update policies for electrification and carbon neutrality (Jun. 2021)
Toyota's EV strategy: “Toyota bZ4X" and "Lexus LF-Z Electrified" announced (Apr. 2021)
Subaru's new-generation EyeSight: 3D HD maps and hands-off in traffic jams (Mar. 2021)
OEM Operations in the U.S. in 2020 (Dec. 2020)
SUBARU: Enhanced ADAS with New Generation EyeSight at core, and electrification with Toyota (Jul. 2020)