Subaru aims to push upmarket in the United States by introducing a premium-priced, seven-passenger sport wagon in mid-2005, according to the Orlando Sentinel
. It will be built at Subaru's factory in Lafayette, Ind. The all-wheel-drive vehicle will sport a more European look that is key to Subaru's effort to compete as a premium brand, said executive vice president Fred Adcock.
With the sport wagon, Subaru expects sales to rise to 250,000 vehicles in 2006, up from an expected 194,000 this year, the Sentinel
reported. Subaru sold 180,020 cars in the United States last year.
The vehicle will be priced in the mid-$30,000 range, according to the Sentinel
. "It would start at the upper end of the Outback and move up from there," Adcock said.
Dealers viewed a prototype several months ago, according to Michael Carr, sales manager for Subaru of New England, an independent distributor for 59 Subaru dealerships. "This is a necessary addition to the brand and will allow us to go to the next level of sales," Carr said. "It is something that our customers are very interested in and have been asking for a long time."