Currently reading: Subaru rethinks design strategy
New Subaru design boss wants to focus on style

Subaru is set to rethink its design strategy to appeal to a wider audience, design boss Osamu Namba has revealed.

The Japanese company is set to dump its frumpy image and get serious about making cars that appeal to an audience that is wider than a few hardcore fans.

Previously, Subaru has been regarded as an engineering-led company, with design taking a back seat.

Now, Subaru design boss Namba – who joined Subaru in 2008 – wants to bring the the brand to the masses with a unified design language."We want to broaden the appeal to make it accessible to more than a small, loyal crowd," he said. "We need to add a more contemporary element."

See the video of the Hybrid Tourer concept at the Tokyo motor show

Namba reckons that Subaru needs to react more rapidly to market trends and inject some flair into the styling.

"I don't want it to be just something serious and boring," he said. "A lot of people don't know that Subaru brand. If we can make styling more accessible, it will bring them in."

The recent Hybrid Tourer concept, designed by Namba, hinted at the possible future look of Subarus.

"We have to show the function through design with simple, clean lines," said Namba. "I want a very simple design that exhibits strength."

Join the debate

Add a comment…
73henny 9 August 2010

Re: Subaru rethinks design strategy

Hate how all threads that have anything to do with design always end up with;

"its ugly"

"no it isn't"

"I like it"

"I don't"

"its the best ever"

"its the worst ever"

Why can't people understand and accept people have different tastes. If we didn't we'd all be driving exactly the same car.

As a long term Subaru driver I don't care what anybody else thinks of the design of my car. Nor do I care what car anybody else drives. I buy Subarus because they offer brilliant reliability, dealer service second to none, and don't conform to the default euro choice.

Fifteen 9 August 2010

Re: Subaru rethinks design strategy

In my opinion, VAG and KIA have the most successful 'design strategy' in the industry. Their approach to building a design language has resulted in a strong and consistent brand image.

Los Angeles 15 July 2010

Re: Subaru rethinks design strategy

Uncle Mellow wrote:
I have no problem with any perceived 'flame surfacing' on Bangles' 5-Series. It is the shut lines and the detailing of lights and grill that makes it ugly.
Agreed - I include all detail as his concoction. At least, he approved the final design.

Subaru - the photographs accompanying the topic give Subaru a much stronger image than hitherto - a touch of the Alfa Brera about the car, that single gullwing door too. Is Namba a devotee of Giugiaro?