TOKYO — Subaru's American customers may be oblivious to the scandal roiling the company's management in Japan. But the automaker continued to address its fuel data tampering crisis in the home market last month, with its new president providing another public apology and introducing a new model he said will help put the embarrassment behind Subaru: an electrified Forester crossover.
Subaru President Tomomi Nakamura is banking on the redesigned Forester to stoke U.S. sales and help rebuild the brand's tarnished image at home.
The popular crossover's fifth generation hits Japan showrooms this month. For the hybrid-crazy domestic market, Subaru in September will also offer the Forester in an electrified variant called e-Boxer. The variant pairs a 2.0-liter, horizontally opposed four-cylinder direct-injection engine with a small electric motor to power the vehicle at low speeds and assist the engine in acceleration at higher speeds.
For now, the Forester hybrid will be available only in Japan, though the company also plans to sell it in China.
The launch will be the first major test for Nakamura, who took over as president on June 22 after a string of data tampering incidents that rocked the Japanese automaker.