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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

May 2: Subaru "Ascenting"

2018 Ascent 7 passenger
Subaru joins the club. You know that club, the one which includes all those larger suvs or to use the more popular term "crossovers". Vehicles like the Honda Pilot, the Toyota Highlander and the Ford Explorer, plus what seems like dozens of others. Subaru, the company known for having all-wheel drive on all of its cars (excepting, of course the BRZ). Cars with legendary rally reputations like the WRX or with reputations built in suburbia (or New England), like the Outback. Well, now Subaru finds it's time again to go big. Forget the old Tribeca (everyone else has), that was initially unusual and always forgettable. Now, trading on their reputation for solid reliable cars, Subaru will introduce a real suv, the Ascent, this fall. The name? Ascent not Accent like the small Hyundai. Maybe, they might have chosen a better name, but at least they didn't go with Tribeca, the Sequel.

I always find it interesting to look at back at these foreign companies, that were laughable at the beginning, but have learned and have morphed into really competitive brands. Brands, which often have become the benchmark for their class. At the beginning, Subaru had plenty to laugh about........

The little, no, tiny and tinny, 360. Cute in an unsaleable way, this car made its trip to the US, imported by Malcolm Bricklin in 1968. You remember him don't you? He of the Bricklin SV-1 fame. The guy and the company, that milked the New Brunswick government for millions of dollars, in an effort to build his namesake car and sell it before it was fully baked........

Good old Malcolm, he was the consumate promoter, bringing 10,000 of the Subaru 360's to North America and trying to establish a vast dealer network........

"Fabulous profits"? Well, maybe that statement was a bit premature. And....."not just another foreign car". Surely this was the most realistic statement in the ad. This was a car that Consumer Reports called unacceptable. A car that was destined to sit on dealers' lots, unsold, in some cases for two or three years. There was even a story that Bricklin tried to sell the remaining cars to people with the idea that they should race them.......

Hardly a worthwhile endeavour, as these tiny rockets took thirty seven seconds to reach sixty miles per hours, their top speed! Municipalities hoping to save on fuel costs, found that this little slug could hardly keep up with golf carts and when was the last time you saw one of them speeding?

Subaru has climbed the mountain. Going from "unacceptable" cars to quirky cars and vans..........

.....to the mainstream, strong contenders, which we see today. Cars that will have laid the ground work for an suv like the Ascent to come to market and to be successful, although I still wonder about that name. Maybe they should have caller it the Way Outback? Whatever, I'd bet that this new Sub will soon be in many driveways across North America and those owners will have no idea of Subaru's laughable beginnings with the unloved 360.

Until next time......

1 comment:

  1. I wish Subaru still sold those goofy cars in the West such as the R1 and the R2.
    In Europe we got the tiny Vivio in the 90's and a quirky microvan called Domingo, also there was some years ago a unusual looking minivan-hatchback thingy called Subaru Trezia, but sales were terrible so they left the market after a short time.