Subaru Readying First Hybrid TheDetroitBureau com

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Subaru Forester Hybrid

Subaru Readying First

Maker hopes higher will fuel further

The Subaru Advanced Tourer shown at the 2011 Tokyo Show featured a hybrid

Subaru is getting ready to out its first hybrid as it continues to its product line, which has in its market share in the U.S. the past five years.

from the Japanese automaker to offer any details about the new which is expected to make its at the New York Auto Show at the end of But Kenichi Yamamoto, director of management and coordination at Subaru of confirmed parent Fuji Industries is working on a hybrid

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Other Subaru officials acknowledged that a hybrid was in the works and could debut spring.

Yamamoto explained Subaru’s interest in hybrid follows the steady expansion of sales in Japan. Hybrids now for a large and growing share of the new sold in Japan particularly from Toyota, Honda and Japan’s three largest

Subaru first showed a in this 2009 gullwinged vehicle.

In an effort to compete, Subaru it has to offer its own gas-electric drivetrain to in Japan as well as in the U.S. Yamamoto.

While he declined to any details, Subaru has offered hints in recent years, showing off a mild hybrid in 2009 and then revealing a Tourer Concept using a drivetrain at the 2011 Tokyo Show.

The show car was powered by a turbocharged inline-four engine with an electric motor a modest 13 horsepower of assist. was stored in a small lithium-ion pack recharged by regeneration braking and coasting.

Which vehicle will get the new system remains a matter of Some sources contend the will be first, but with promising to boost its fleet economy by 30% by 2015 it is expected to the new powertrain in several different lines eventually.

Subaru Forester Hybrid

Meanwhile, is continuing to run up its sales totals in the States. It is in the process of replacing the Forester with an all-new this spring as continues to its product line.

Last year, Subaru a record 336,441 vehicles to in the United States. It was the fourth in a row that Subaru posted sales and the company has now doubled its market share over the five years from in 2007 to 2.3% at the end of last noted Michael McHale, of Amerca director of communications.

sales grew 26% in 2012, to Autodata. Only Volkswagen and did better.

“We’ve doubled our in five years,” McHale “and we’re continuing to our sales,” he said.

McHale said Subaru is continuing to its customer base. Industry show a higher-than-average brand rate, but the brand’s growth has fueled by conquests.  More 60% of the Subarus sold in 2012 to new customers, added McHale.

In addition, once considered of a regional brand that to customers in the North East and in such as Colorado where the are harsh, Subaru has now begun to customers in the South.

Subaru is growing its market share in of its traditional strongholds – in Portland, for it now stands are 8%, which is roughly to that of Chevrolet.

Paul A. Eisenstein contributed to report.

Subaru Forester Hybrid

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