Subaru promised dealers a bigger U.S. allocation of the turbocharged Impreza WRX because it expects strong demand.
In an interview after the meeting, Don Hicks, chairman of the national dealer council, said GM was the No. 1 topic on dealers' minds. Hicks owns Shortline Automotive (Subaru-Hyundai-Suzuki) Inc. in Aurora, Colo.
GM bought 20 percent of Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. last year. Fred Adcock, Subaru executive vice president, told dealers in the make meeting that he will keep them informed, but he said there was no news to report.
"GM is the largest single shareholder in Fuji Heavy. Whatever they do will be with Subaru's best interests at heart," Adcock said.
The speculation is that GM is interested in Subaru's all-wheel-drive technology. Subaru dealers would like GM to bankroll a bigger product line for Subaru.
Subaru expects to launch the Impreza WRX in the United States in mid-March. Adcock said customers already have ordered 1,000 units.
The company originally expected to sell 10,000 WRX models in the first year. Adcock said that has been raised to 12,000.
"There is only a finite number of WRXs," Hicks said. "We got them to take some production away from the Forester and put it into the WRX."