Subaru, Toyota to deliver electric SUV range together to mitigate ‘huge risk’

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Key Takeaways

  • The Japanese auto brands have an existing working relationship.
  • Three new EVs will be delivered together over the next three years.
  • Subaru wants 50% of its sales to be EVs by 2030.

Subaru and Toyota are joining forces to build three new electric SUVs by 2026.

The partnership will build on the existing working relationship between the brands and specifically, this joint effort will reduce the “huge risk” of bringing new EVs to the market in what is a difficult market.

Reports have indicated that, out of 852,000 vehicles Subaru delivered globally last year, just 1.6% were fully electric models. It only sold 14,000 of its all-electric Solterra (its lone EV) vehicles in 2023, including 8,872 in the United States. 

The Japanese company has launched a fresh strategy to inject growth into its EV sales, with ambitions to achieve a 50/50 split by 2030, or around 600,000 units. 

Subaru will now develop three new electric SUVs and a further four by the end of 2028, but the first set will be delivered in conjunction with Toyota. The two manufacturers were closely aligned for the rollout of the Subaru Solterra and its twin release, the Toyota bZ4x.

The Solterra has been manufactured at Toyota’s factory in Japan, but the new venture will be a split operation, in development and building.

Toyota holds a 20% stake in the smaller Japanese automaker, and Subaru CEO Atsushi Osaki confirmed they would lean on their partner to protect the company for the upcoming project.

Subaru is open to flying solo with the development of the second stage of EV production, but it will depend on market demand.

The company has returned positive financial results for the year up to March 2024, with a 75% increase in operating profit. 468.2 billion yen was the highest return since 2016, with a 25% increase in revenue, up to 4.70 trillion.

976,000 vehicles were delivered by Subaru in the 12-month period, up 15% on the previous year. The US market was up 17% with 695,000 sales, complemented by 27,000 purchases in Europe.