By on January 13, 2020

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Late Friday, just before news of a resurrected Hummer broke, we regaled you with the story of the Subaru Forester Ultimate Customized Kit Special editiona flashy Forester with no backstory that appeared at the brand’s Singapore Motor Show booth.

A Subaru bearing a expletive acronym was bound to make waves, and those ripples apparently reached the offices of Subaru of America. Company execs of the wholesome, family-friendly automaker were not amused.

Thanks to an anonymous tipster who contacted The Drive, we can see the automaker’s reaction. Seeing the headlines spawned by the Subaru FUCKS, the company’s American arm fired off a letter to its dealers.

Whether the company’s effort to distance itself from this unholy creation went too far is up to the reader. It seems the vehicle displayed in Singapore was the work of the local distributor, which decided to commission an attention-seeking one-off for the show.

From the letter to retailers:

Yesterday afternoon we learned about an unfortunate situation related to the name given to a special edition Forester by the independent distributor in Singapore. We want to make sure that you and all of your customers know that Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) and Subaru Corporation (SBR) had nothing to do with this.

We apologize for any negative feedback this may have caused. SBR has had the name removed from the car at the Singapore Auto Show. We work very hard to build a strong brand image for this company and the naming of this vehicle in no way reflects the values and standards we hold true. Furthermore, we will always do our best to protect our brand’s integrity.

Amusingly, Subaru ended the letter by stating “it goes without saying that this car will not be available in the United States market.”

Odds that Subaru will diverge from its happy-dogs-in-canoes marketing direction into the realm of the risqué seem to be nil, and the same goes for vehicle branding. That said, postmodern changes to a certain medical acronym have rendered the STI version of the WRX somewhat problematic.

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28 Comments on “Potty-mouthed Overseas Subaru Earns Domestic Rebuke...”


  • avatar
    Dan

    I don’t see how you pretend to be family friendly and embarrassed by this at the same time you sponsor pride parades, but keep on pretending I guess.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Corporate interests typically whore themselves to any customer segment, this is nothing new.

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      Subaru’s marketing crew has been VERY successful–Subaru customers are VERY loyal to the brand.

      What I find especially amusing is how Subarus have become the de riguer vehicle for coastal and mountain eco-Leftists…who have somehow been made to think that their choice in Subaru automobiles and SUVs is somehow more Green than other options…when there is nothing eco-friendly at all about Subarus.

      This is marketing magic, and Subaru has done it. Credit where credit is due!

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Agreed, R Henry.

      • 0 avatar
        bkojote

        Check your projection there.

        Let’s be real – Subaru’s image comes from 3 consistent decades of building vehicles that are reliableish, not too terribly wasteful, not too trendy, and for the most part sticking to that message. They avoided the initial SUV backlash, they survived the “Fast & Furious” era with some dignity and engineering credibility in tact, and watched companies like VW faceplant while trying to poach their customers with “Clean Diesel Fun!”

        Yeah, head gaskets and at their engines were never at the forefront for fuel efficiency, but it’s pretty hard to argue with the formula considering how many Foresters / Outbacks are on the road while their contemporary Escapes/Explorers/Rogues/Trailblazers/Hummers/Equinoxes/Liberties/Patriots/Sportwagens long crapped out.

      • 0 avatar

        “Subaru automobiles and SUVs is somehow more Green than other options”

        I actually saw more Green colored Subarus than any other cars. For Ford e.g. Green color is not even an option.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      @Dan,
      “I don’t see how you pretend to be family friendly and embarrassed by this at the same time you sponsor pride parades, but keep on pretending I guess.”

      My younger sister is a lesbian happily married to another woman. Despite being younger, she met her wife years before I met mine — they’ve been together for 15 years.

      I’m a straight married man with three kids. My wife and I enjoy a very conventional family life. We are also happily married.

      BUT, you can’t be friendly to my family while being mean to LGBTQ folks, BECAUSE I HAVE LGBTQ FOLKS IN MY FAMILY. It’s really that simple.

      Sorry for SHOUTING at you, but you really hit a nerve.

      • 0 avatar
        Dan

        That’s a total strawman. Acceptance of same sex family (which is to say lesbians) was 1% of LGBAlphabet activism, it was a sympathetic 1%, and because of that it long since won.

        The other 99% is a celebration of male promiscuity without consequence or responsibility, it doesn’t have the slightest thing to do with family, and it’s frankly evil.

        • 0 avatar
          Charliej

          Dan, you know nothing. You are totally wrong about male homosexuality. I have a close friend couple who are gay and have been together for twenty one years and married for five years. I like them and am happy to be their friend. I do wish the know nothing would crawl back under their rock and leave decent people alone. By the way, one member of the couple is white and the other black.

        • 0 avatar
          N8iveVA

          “The other 99% is a celebration of male promiscuity without consequence or responsibility, it doesn’t have the slightest thing to do with family, and it’s frankly evil.”

          Wow. So on that note I should stereotype all straight people by their behavior at mardi-gras? It would be nice if you could keep your homophobic bigotry off of an automotive website.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        I come here to escape the culture war and politics. Shame on @Dan for bringing it up and shame on @Luke42 for engaging!

        Please fight the culture war elsewhere…this is where we debate motor oil brands/ratings, electric car viability, and how krappy GM products are!

        • 0 avatar
          Blackcloud_9

          Sorry, R Henry.
          I would love to site to be only about “motor oil brands/ratings, electric car viability, and how (un)-krappy (I think) GM products are” but sometimes you shouldn’t let things go. I applaud @Luke42, @charliej and @ravenuer for calling it out.
          I once tried to call out blatant white nationalist rhetoric from this very “B&B” and got verbally bludgeoned for the attempt. But I couldn’t let it go by.

    • 0 avatar
      ravenuer

      There’s all kinds of families, Dan. Not only your kind.

  • avatar
    MrIcky

    @Subaru: Lighten up. Also, tons of eyeball hits on the story over the weekend, so ya sure, deeply ashamed by “accident”, uh-huh.

  • avatar
    PeriSoft

    “We want to make sure that you and all of your customers know that Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA) and Subaru Corporation (SBR) had nothing to do with this.”

    People needed to be told that? I mean, I guess they did, because none of the last few days’ worth of car-blogging I’ve read about it have mentioned that it’s obvious that corp had nothing to do with this, but seriously, people (and by this I mean journalists) – you *know* how picky industry marketers are about image; the *font* they used there never would have flown with a major manufacturer, let alone the actual content. This was obviously – so, SO obviously – a local hack-job from moment one, and I guess nobody mentioned it just to try to keep the clicks flowing, pretending that it was sanctioned? I don’t know, but it’s kind of depressing.

  • avatar
    theonlydt

    No Forester Ultimate Customized Kit Specials given.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Hmm,

    “Subaru of America, Inc. (SOA)”

    (SOA) Son Of A…

    I think we have another problem ;-)

  • avatar
    bullnuke

    During my travels through Asian countries over the years I have seen many products and advertisements in the English language that do not translate well, are not socially acceptable, or make no sense. “Wash with mild soup and water”, was one for a stereo I purchased. There was an uproar over the name of a certain brown upholstery from China a few years ago. One of the most popular brands of toothpaste in Singapore (as well as other Asian countries) was for years, Darkie. So, color me not surprised with this.

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    Subaru is just being a BRAT who wants attention. They’ve succeeded.

  • avatar
    thehyundaigarage

    I’m going to get some interesting comments for this one I’m sure, however….

    I sit here, as a gay man, having just read dans comment and couldn’t agree with him more.

    The gay pride parade is (for whatever reason) a socially accepted march of hyper male sexuality, and although I wouldn’t call it evil, I do find it just plain gross.

    The “gay community” wonders why they still have people who are in absolute disgust of their lifestyle and behaviour, and I’m shocked on the daily as to how on earth they don’t see why.

    My husband and I live in a small Redneck town (800 people) in northern Canada, where You’d think people would be very against our “lifestyle”, yet it couldn’t be more the opposite. Why?

    We’re normal, we’re respectful, we work hard and don’t make “being gay” our defining characteristic. Hell, to meet either of us, you’d never know.

    Pardon my French, but I have always firmly believed that the only difference between straight and gay people is what you do in the privacy of your own bedroom, and when you don’t rub that in peoples faces……Nobody gives a flying F who you’re with!

    As far as Subaru. Dan, I agree with you again. Although sponsoring a pride event is a great way to get more leftist customers into your showrooms, please, stop. You’re giving them validation on their shitty behaviour..

    To those who commented about having friends and family that are in loving, healthy same sex relationships, could you maybe put a bug in their ear? Let’s band together and have a parade of our own. Something wholesome and respectful!

    End rant!

  • avatar
    multicam

    Of all the auto manufacturers, Subaru currently uses scare tactics the most effectively; by that I mean their advertisements, more than any other manufacturer, make me say “**** you for trying to scare me into buying your car.” They basically communicate that if you don’t buy their safe machines you don’t love your family enough to protect them and to that I say **** you.

    The F.U.C.K.S. slip-up, or whatever it was, was their first piece of marketing that didn’t anger me in a long time.

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