Last week, the world was made a better place when the Subaru Forester Ultimate Customized Kit Special edition (also known as the Subaru FUCKS) was unveiled at the 2020 Singapore Auto Show. Jokes were made. Laughs were had. It was a good time. And then I woke up today to see Subaru of America had done some heavy apologizing over the weekend.
Subaru of America apparently took it upon itself to send out an apology note to its dealerships on Friday, reports The Drive. The outlet obtained the note from an anonymous tipster, but we’ve copied it below:
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.
This vehicle was created by the distributor for the Singapore Motor Show and it goes without saying that this car will not be available in the United States market.
We have reached out to Subaru to confirm the authenticity of the letter and will update when we hear back. In the meantime we declare this: laaaaaaaame.
Andrew Collins, who wrote our original post, left off by saying he was happy to see someone important at a big company such as Subaru have enough of a sense of humor to name a car the Subaru FUCKS. But now we find out the FUCKS wasn’t even officially sanctioned by Subaru corporate, the name was removed and it’s definitely not coming to our market. Like anyone actually expected it to.
The name change, though, is for a truly bullshit reason. If anyone tells you to stop doing something because it affects their “brand integrity,” you can tell them to walk into the ocean. Brand integrity is just corporate smoke and mirrors, friends. Brands don’t need protection because they are fake, made up and designed to sell you shit you don’t need.
I do kind of wish I was privy to that conversation between Subaru corporate and the “independent distributor” in Singapore, however. I’d like to think the first email read something along the lines of, “What the fuck,” and the response email went, “Yes, exactly!”
Look, the Subaru FUCKS generated buzz. It was covered by a multitude of outlets. Subaru should have just leaned into it. Instead, it decided to be lame.
You can head over to The Drive to view the letter itself, letterhead and all.
Update 3:03 p.m. EST: A Subaru spokesperson verified the legitimacy of the note, adding that the company, “just wanted to make sure that [the retailers] knew this was not a vehicle created by us or destined for this market. Clear up any confusion.”