Subaru has had enormous success with their recent small car, the Subaru Stella in Japan. Subaru had originally set a target for 5,000 units per month in orders for the Stella, but it managed to surpass that goal within it’s first week on the market, clocking up 5,438 orders by June 20th 2006. This shows a shift in the automotive industry particularly in Japan towards small K-cars or superminis. The Subaru Stella comes with 660cc inline-4 engines options either in normally aspirated or supercharged form. This engine is mated to an i-CVT (intelligent continuously variable transmission) gearbox.

The soaring gas prices are likely to set the world purchasing trends rolling towards smaller cars as well. Toyota and Subaru are now jointly developing a new B-segment small car, which will debut likely in the year 2008. The car will be built by Toyota but will be marketed under the Subaru badge, likely in the European market only.

The Star reported recently that vendors have urged the Malaysian Government to limit incentives for CBU vehicles of over 3,000cc. A local motoring analyst said the entry of more CBU vehicles might have a negative impact on parts vendors in the long term as the industry matures to produce more high-powered vehicles. I disagree with this local motoring analyst and think this is highly unlikely, since purchasing trends have actually been moving towards smaller cars with better fuel economy.