How Subaru plans to stay competitive

TOKYO — Subaru is embarking on engineering, design and technology overhauls to keep the small-scale, niche brand competitive in a global industry in which high volumes matter like never before.

The first two changes will debut in the next-generation Impreza small car arriving in the second half of the year: a new modular platform Subaru says will improve safety and driving performance, and a new design language dubbed Dynamic X Solid to enliven the brand’s image.

After those moves, Subaru will roll out new automated-driving technologies beginning with a traffic-jam autopilot.

Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, president of Subaru-maker Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., said the new technologies and design language are pillars of his plan to boost global sales to 1.1 million vehicles in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021.

“We want to further extend Subaru’s strengths,” Yoshinaga said while unveiling the initiatives at Fuji Heavy’s headquarters here.Versatile, efficient
The new platform aims to cut costs while improving safety and dynamics. Executives repeatedly said they benchmarked top European brands and compared the new platform’s high-speed emergency evasive handling to that of German sports cars.

Dubbed the Subaru Global Platform, it will underpin all the brand’s nameplates. It can accommodate gasoline, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and all-electric drivetrains.

Subaru expects to save money because it will be possible to produce components for multiple models at any one factory. This will enable Subaru to shift production among factories in the U.S. and Japan quickly to adjust to changing demand.

Subaru can also focus its limited personnel and engineering resources on variations of one platform.

The new platform should be able to underpin Subaru vehicles through 2025 with regular improvements, executives said.

Subaru aims to channel savings into better performance, said Tetsuo Onuki, vice president of global engineering. The goal is a better product without raising sticker prices, he said.

Among the improvements:• Body rigidity improves 70 to 100 percent.

• Center of gravity is lowered for better handling.

• Collision impact absorption improves 40 percent.

• Noise and vibration is reduced 15 percent.

“Starting with the car coming out this year, we will advance to the next level, using the new Subaru Global Platform to provide Subaru with more safety and fun every year,” said Naoto Muto, executive vice president for global engineering.

More dynamic styling is part of the improvement.

The new looks were first explored in the Viziv 2 Concept in 2014 and fleshed out in the Viziv Future Concept crossover and Impreza Concept shown in October at the Tokyo Motor Show.

The design language beefs up the stance and body volume to imbue the cars with a more rugged, sporty aura. The front fascia is more chiseled; the fender flares are more muscular.Safety strategy
Subaru’s safety strategy also entails new autonomous driving targets based on the brand’s camera-based EyeSight system.

Next year, Subaru will introduce a new traffic-jam assist function that will allow the vehicle to start and stop automatically in slow traffic and steer automatically around curves.

Subaru’s current system requires the driver to re-engage acceleration manually once the vehicle has stopped. Existing technology does not feature automatic steering.

By 2020, Subaru said it will introduce a semiautonomous highway driving function. That system will enable automated lane changing and automated steering around curves, by combining radar sensors and GPS mapping with EyeSight.

Subaru is relying on the changes to stoke its surging sales for continued gains.

Subaru targets its eighth straight year of record sales and ninth year of growth in the U.S. in 2016. U.S. sales are expected to increase 5.5 percent to 615,000 vehicles

10 common Eating Habits that Lead to weight Gain

“Hoping to drink beer without gaining weight is the same as winning the lottery and expecting that no sketchy relatives will ask for a boat.”

There are few people who do not get into indulging in their diet and they eat what they like.

This leads to getting to eat calorie heavy food. This becomes a habit over a period of time and leads to weight gain. Some of the common eating habits which without us knowing leads to weight gain are:

1. Television eating: Very often we eat while watching television. The problem with eating in front of TV is that we do not pay attention to our plate. A very common vision comes to me is of my brother eating his food while watching his favorite TV series. He does not realize and eats more than his normal. Chips are the common food that one eats, without realizing it directly adds to your weight.

2. Sleep Loss: Loss of sleep affects the appetite. Medically it affects the secretion of a hormone cortisol which regulates appetite. So if you don’t sleep enough you eat more and result is weight gain. It’s a very common mistake that sleeping leads to weight gain. Of course if sleep is more it affects your level of physical activity, but adequate sleep is critical to keep healthy.

3. After Dinner Treat: It’s common to have something sweet after dinner. Anything sweet has lots of calories. It directly adds up. After dinner the physical activity is at minimum level hence the sugar intake directly converts to Fat.

4. Skipping Breakfast: Most of us do not have a healthy breakfast. We just have little breakfast at the start of the day. Eating well after a break of 10 hours is secret to keeping munching junk food at bay. Generally it leads to cravings that force us to eat fat rich junk food without realizing.

5. Filling up the Plate: The most common eating habit is to fill our plate with food. It’s not a good approach as we are compelled to eat all of it even if it is more than our intake. Instead we should try smaller portions and stop eating when we are a little less than full.

6. Forbidding certain food items: It is a common practice to forbid certain food items we like because they are calorie rich. However it is very common to eat more when you get the chance and that is not good. Such kind of eating habits directly lead to weight gain. The more balanced approach is to indulge in eating what you like modestly. This will help in keeping weight under check.

7. Dining Out after a diet week: This may lead to over eating as we feel attracted to good looking food after a diet week. Invariably the food we eat after a diet wee leads to weight gain. The approach should to drink a glass of water or have fruit salad before the main course.

8. Eating on the go: Eating on the way to office is another case where we do not watch what we eat. It is almost similar to eating while in front of TV. We eat more while not realizing the fact. This habit surely leads to weight gain in the long run.

9. Eating when under stress: We may pick up this habit as we all have targets to meet and emotional stress invariably. We are not conscious and more times than not we indulge in over eating.

10. Drinking sugary and alcoholic drinks with our food: Drinking juices helps us is a common mistake. Almost all packaged fruit juice contains sugars which add up the calories. Harmless looking coffee and tea breaks also lead to adding calories.