Better late than never might be the adage Subaru is applying to what may be the Japanese automaker’s first foray into the mass-market with a hybrid vehicle.
The Detroit Bureau is reporting that Kenichi Yamamoto, director of product management at Subaru of America, has said that Subaru’s parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) is working on a hybrid vehicle.
Yamamoto didn’t offer further details, but according to the Bureau other company representatives also confirmed that a hybrid was on the way, and may make its debut in March at the New York Auto Show.
As far back as May 2009 Subaru’s parent was promising a hybrid for release in 2012, saying that Toyota would assist in the car’s development. In 2005 Subaru unveiled a concept hybrid called the B5 TPH Hybrid.
During the 2009 Tokyo Motor Show Fuji Heavy Industries reconfirmed plans for a hybrid model, saying such a car would help the company meet stricter U.S. fuel economy requirements. Two years later, during the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, FHI officials pushed the unveiling of a hybrid to 2013.
Sales in the U.S. have grown considerably for the last four years, with record figures posted in 2012. The Detroit Bureau writes that Yamamoto said that in addition of a hybrid for the U.S. Subaru must also offer a hybrid model to its Japanese customers.