Subaru Pulls Into The Image Shop

"Inexpensive. And built to stay that way." For years, that slogan summed up the appeal of a Subaru. As the U. S. marketing arm of Japanese auto maker Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., Subaru of America Inc. prospered by selling four-wheel-drive compacts such as the GL for a modest $6,500. But when the yen started to soar against the dollar during the mid-1980s, a Subaru was no longer such a bargain. Market share slipped. And Subaru responded by offering rebates of up to $2,000 per vehicle--a move that resulted in a loss of $130 million from 1987 to 1989. Suddenly, it seemed, Subaru wasn't built to stay.

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