New Subaru chief aims to shore up profits, sales — and trust — with new plan

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TOKYO — Newly appointed Subaru President Tomomi Nakamura has unveiled a fresh five-year business plan that aims to boost U.S. market share, stoke an 18 percent increase in global sales, shore up flagging profitability and invest more in next-generation technologies.

And crucially, the new roadmap calls for restoring trust in the brand at home.

Nakamura, 59, took the helm from departing chief Yasuyuki Yoshinaga in June, following a vehicle inspection scandal in Japan that hurt the brand’s image at home. The backlash was contained in the Japanese carmaker’s backyard because the lapses didn’t affect cars for export.

But in unveiling the new plan July 10, Nakamura pledged to prioritize cultivating a company that “does the right thing in the right way.”

Indeed, he dubbed the blueprint STEP, with the T standing for trust. The other letters come from speed, engagement and peace of mind.

“We are committed to changing the corporate culture,” Nakamura said. “We will take firm measures so that we will become a company that will never repeat such a mistake.”

The plan runs through the fiscal year ending March 31, 2026, and Nakamura said it will keep small but expanding Subaru competitive in the rapidly changing international landscape.