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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Top Subaru statesState% Subaru
1Vermont11.3%
2Maine6.5%
3New Hampshire5.8%
4Connecticut4.4%
5Colorado4.3%
6Oregon4.1%
7Montana4.0%
7Alaska4.0%
9Washington3.8%
10Massachusetts3.6%

As of August 2022, fourteen states have adopted both California's ZEV program as well as the LEV standards: Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

So even though California is not a big Subaru state, if the other states that follow CARB pass a similar law, Subaru would be deeply affected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
The California Air Resources Board was established in 1967 and it had emissions regulations early in it's history. In 1977 the federal government passed the Clean Air Act, but had a clause under Section 177 of that bill, that allowed other states to adopt the more stringent California emissions regulations as an alternative to Federal standards. They are not allowed to create their own Air Resources Board and establish their own regulations.

GM sued CARB two decades ago to stop the requirements established to sell a certain percentage of their cars as EVs. Some of the prototypes developed by GM and Toyota equalled the specifications of the first generation Nissan LEAF. Batteries were lead–acid, and a GM used a 26.4 kWh nickel–metal hydride (NiMH) in later versions of their EV. The first commercial lithium-ion battery was sold in 1981, but they were not capable of powering an EV by 2001.

NY Times: 24 Feb 2001 said:
General Motors Sues California Over Quota for Electric Car Sales:
The General Motors Corporation filed suit today seeking to invalidate a new California rule that would require automobile manufacturers to sell thousands of electric cars in the state each year starting in 2003.
The company contends that the rule violates the state laws requiring regulations to be reasonable and prudent. General Motors, and the automobile industry in general, say that battery-powered cars are impractical and that the rule will bring about a minuscule reduction in air pollution at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars.
The lawsuit, filed in state court in Contra Costa County, just east of San Francisco, said that to meet the requirements auto companies would have to produce thousands of small electric vehicles resembling golf carts that could travel on public roads and cause safety problems.
See the article in its original context from February 24, 2001, Section A, Page 6 Buy Reprints
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) first adopted the ZEV requirement in 1990 and GM did not sue unil Feb 2001. there is no point in suing early as the automakers must demonstrate that they made a good faith effort to comply wih the regulations and still did not find adopting the regulation as reasonable and prudent.

In California, 74-percent of drivers report having at least some interest in the electric vehicle market, and 40-percent considering going electric for their “next vehicle.” This interest is turning into growing sales, with new vehicle market share of electric drive vehicles in 2021 jumping to 12.4-percent from 7.8-percent just the year prior in California. - April 12, 2022

The first goal to meet is 35% of new car sales must be BEVs or PHEVs with a 50 mile minimum EPA range all electric by 2026. Toyota and Honda are the two best selling brands in California, CARB will respond with significant fines for failing to meet interim goals.
New Car and Light Truck Registrations in CA
281,391 in 2020 and 335,587 in 2021 - Toyota
188,277 in 2020 and 201,196 in 2021 - Honda
68,333 in 2020 and 66,700 in 2021 - Subaru


Total Sales in California for all brands. By 2026 35% will have to be BEVs or long range PHEVs.
335,587​
Toyota​
201,196​
Honda​
146,486​
Ford​
123,006​
Chevrolet​
121,080​
Tesla​
95,650​
Nissan​
78,715​
Kia​
71,271​
Hyundai​
70,453​
Mercedes​
66,700​
Subaru​
65,310​
BMW​
57,005​
Lexus​
56,216​
Jeep​
49,343​
Ram​
45,286​
Mazda​
44,471​
Volkswagen​
37,524​
Audi​
32,879​
GMC​
23,108​
Dodge​
18,455​
Acura​
17,130​
Porsche​
16,167​
Land Rover​
14,547​
Volvo​
10,760​
Chrysler​
10,295​
Cadillac​
7,813​
Infiniti​
6,816​
Buick​
6,301​
Mitsubishi​
5,952​
Genesis​
5,294​
MINI​
4,853​
Lincoln​
3,381​
Other​
3,159​
Alfa Romeo​
2,755​
Jaguar​
1,291​
Maserati​
136​
FIAT​
 

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Top Subaru statesState% Subaru
1Vermont11.3%
2Maine6.5%
3New Hampshire5.8%
4Connecticut4.4%
5Colorado4.3%
6Oregon4.1%
7Montana4.0%
7Alaska4.0%
9Washington3.8%
10Massachusetts3.6%

As of August 2022, fourteen states have adopted both California's ZEV program as well as the LEV standards: Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.

So even though California is not a big Subaru state, if the other states that follow CARB pass a similar law, Subaru would be deeply affected.
Those market share figures are interesting, but what % of Subaru's US sales are in each of those states, vs. CA for example? Vermont's 11.3% market share is likely a very small % of Subaru's US sales volume.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Those market share figures are interesting, but what % of Subaru's US sales are in each of those states, vs. CA for example? Vermont's 11.3% market share is likely a very small % of Subaru's US sales volume.
Well you are correct, of course. Subaru probably sold fewer than 3,000 vehicles in Verment, but they sold 66,700 vehicles in California in 2021, but that is only 2.4% market share. Unfortunately, I have never seen a dataset for all Subaru sales broken out by state, My guess is the most Subaru's are sold in Colorado.

Toyota is particularly popular in California. Toyota and Lexus sold 392,592 vehicles in CA in all of 2021, whereas Subaru sold 583,810 vehicles in the entire nation.
 

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Well you are correct, of course. Subaru probably sold fewer than 3,000 vehicles in Verment, but they sold 66,700 vehicles in California in 2021, but that is only 2.4% market share. Unfortunately, I have never seen a dataset for all Subaru sales broken out by state, My guess is the most Subaru's are sold in Colorado.

Toyota is particularly popular in California. Toyota and Lexus sold 392,592 vehicles in CA in all of 2021, whereas Subaru sold 583,810 vehicles in the entire nation.
66,700 vehicles sold in CA represents 11.4% of Subaru's 2021 sales. That's a sizable exposure - more than 1 in 9 of the cars the company sold in the US. Add in Washington, Colorado, Massachusetts and other CARB states that could go along with the no fossil fuel cars by 2030, and that's a big chunk of the cars Subaru sells in a typical year.

What matters most in assessing the impact of California's decision on any given company is not how popular that car brand is in California, but what fraction of the company's total sales were in CA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What matters most in assessing the impact of California's decision on any given company is not how popular that car brand is in California, but what fraction of the company's total sales were in CA.
If the other 11 states that follow CARB's ZEV program, follow CA in this ban, that will be roughly a third of vehicles registered in the nation. Furthermore the quota would increase each year from 35% in 2026 and is expected to reach 51% of all new car sales in 2028. Although one would think eliminating the 6 and 8 cylinder vehicles first would do the most for the environment, I suspect that the 4 cylinder vehicles will be the first to go because of the acquisition costs of the vehicles. As more powerful EVs come down in price, possibly because of solid state batteries, the more powerful ICE cars will be replaced.

I still think that Subaru will phase out it's four cars over the next five years in light of the more stringent fuel economy regulations that apply to cars vs SUVs. The first to go will be the Impreza, then the Legacy, then the WRX, and finally the BRZ.

Percent of Subaru sales first seven monhs of 2022
Impreza​
5.4%​
WRX​
2.9%​
Legacy​
4.6%​
BRZ​
0.6%​
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Phase out or build electric-only versions....
If you argue that the Crosstrek had very little design needed as it used the same body as the Impreza and the same drive train, then it has been two decades since
Subaru designed an inexpensive gasoline vehicle. There are formidable problems with designing inexpensive electric vehicles to replace the Impreza and the Legacy. EV versions of the sport cars don't have to be as cheap.


Model Y​
Model​
2019​
Ascent​
2013​
Crosstrek​
2006​
Tribeca​
2005​
Outback (as an independent SUV)​
2003​
Baja​
1998​
Forester​
1993​
Impreza​
1990​
Legacy​
 

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Since the Impreza is a variant of the Crosstrek, and the Legacy is essentially just a sedan version of the Outback... if Subaru is going to do EV versions of the Crosstrek and Outback, doing them also for the Impreza and Legacy isn't that much of a stretch.
 

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I'm not talking about engineeering difficulty. I am talking about the regulatory requirements of SUVs are much lower than for cars.
Are you referring to the proposed CARB regs, specifically, or regulatory requirements in general?

Subaru clearly doesn't have any trouble meeting all existing regulatory requirements for cars vs. SUVs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
federal EPA regulatory requirements

Subaru clearly doesn't have any trouble meeting all existing regulatory requirements for cars vs. SUVs.
SUV sales dominate car sales for every automaker AFAIK. However, the percentages still differ radically.

While it is true that Subaru doesn't have any trouble meeting all existing regulatory requirements for cars, if you look at the upcoming requirements in future years they are getting far more stringent at a faster rate for cars. Toyota has a much bigger percentage of its business in cars than Subaru, so they are compelled to develop new engines. The Corolla has an all new engine which is both more powerful and more efficient than the old engine.

Subaru will have to adopt the Compact Boxer engines that it is using in Japan to keep up a new generation of cars in the US. That's a big investment to maintain a very small, less profitable portion of their overall business.
  • 32.2% of Toyota Division US sales in 2021 are cars
  • 25.3% of Lexus Division US sales in 2021 are cars
  • 2017 was the last year Subaru was at the Lexus level

Cal Year​
Family​
Sports​
SUV​
2021​
9.9%​
5.0%​
85.1%​
2020​
11.6%​
3.8%​
84.6%​
2019​
14.5%​
3.5%​
82.1%​
2018​
17.1%​
4.8%​
78.1%​
2017​
21.0%​
5.5%​
73.6%​
2016​
19.6%​
6.1%​
74.3%​
2015​
21.8%​
6.7%​
71.5%​
2014​
21.5%​
6.4%​
72.1%​
2013​
23.8%​
6.3%​
69.9%​
2012​
34.3%​
5.3%​
60.4%​
 
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