A Bittersweet Goodbye? Subaru Might Axe the Tribeca
Subaru may be looking to pull the plug on its Tribeca model, most likely due to slow sales demands. While nothing is confirmed yet on the demise of the midsize crossover, it is no surprise that Subaru wants to slash costs and boost efficiency of its North American production operations.
The writing has long been on the wall for Subaru's quirky and dated Tribeca. The large crossover has been a sales flop for most of its life, but recent numbers have completely fallen by the wayside. Last year, sales totaled only 2472 vehicles, and 2011 looks no better -- only 910 Tribecas have been sold in the first four months of this year, which is equal to the number of Tribecas sold in the first four months of 2010.
The Tribeca, which is still technically in its first generation, debuted in 2005 to widespread criticism for its awkward styling and marginal fuel economy. A 2009 facelift helped address the exterior form, but still failed to win buyers over.
There may be a silver lining to killing the crossover 'ute: the automaker could then utilize their U.S. production sites to build models that resonate and sell well in North America. Subaru would likely use the extra capacity at its plant Lafayette, Indiana, to build additional examples of its Legacy sedan and Outback wagon -- both of which continue to be quite popular with the buying public.
Source: Automotive News (Subscription required)