The Japanese automaker is now playing catch-up with everyone else.
Subaru has announced new internal organizational changes within the company, creating two new important divisions, including one dedicated to its electrification strategy.
The two new divisions are the Electrification Strategy Promotion Department and the Supply Chain Financial Management Department. The latter division has been created for obvious reasons. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing war in Ukraine, a semiconductor and general parts shortage has haunted the automotive industry for nearly three years. Several high-profile manufacturers have established or made significant changes to their supply chain departments to weather the storm, which is only expected to calm near the end of 2023.
Subaru has yet to announce who will be in charge of these newly created divisions, but they'll likely be heavy hitters.
Creating a dedicated EV department is the second indication that the Japanese brand is serious about EVs. Toyota is often criticized for being behind the times, but Subaru is even further behind. The two brands teamed up to create the bZ4X and Solterra, and that's about it. Toyota at least has an entire range of hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric models incoming, while Scooby only has the mediocre Crosstrek Hybrid and aforementioned Solterra.
It's worth noting that Subaru unveiled the STi E-RA Concept at the 2022 Tokyo Auto Salon. The EV racer was more than just a showpiece, however. Subaru also revealed that lessons learned from taking the STi E-RA racing in the FIA Electric GT Championship would filter down into future STI products.
This new racing formula was expected to start this year, but the FIA restructured its electric racing department late last year. A new date for the introduction of the formula has yet to be announced.
Earlier, we mentioned the new announcement being the second clear indication. The first was Subaru's statement that it would build an all-new EV plant next to its existing Oizumi factory in Japan. With the Solterra being assembled alongside the bZ4X at Toyota's Motomachi factory in Japan, Subaru needs something else to build at its new facility, which is expected to be up and running in 2027.
The 2023 Tokyo Auto Salon takes place next week, which has historically been a show where Scooby likes to make big announcements like the existence of the STi E-RA Concept and its intent to go EV GT racing. Maybe our first glimpse of the electrified STI is not as far off as we thought.