Subaru Motor Corp. expects a slight upswing in its 2002 U.S. sales, partly due to the new, redesigned Forester small SUV shown in February at the Chicago Auto Show that will launch later this year.

A Subaru official says targets are for about 191,000 units this year, an increase from last year's sales of 185,944. Subaru expects Forester sales to rise about 57,000 this year vs. 55,041 in 2001, and jump to about 60,000 in 2003.

The new Forester has more interior room but maintains the same exterior dimensions and includes a dozen more standard features, which will result in a slight price increase over the current model.

Subaru's new Baja compact 4-door pickup truck, based on the popular Legacy and Outback vehicles, is launching this fall. Both new models will have Subaru's standard all-wheel drive.

In more Subaru news, General Motors Corp.'s Vice Chairman Bob Lutz says GM is collaborating with Subaru, in which it owns a 20% stake, on a new vehicle to be built at Subaru's Lafayette, IN, plant that is likely to be designed by GM, but have a Subaru engine. Lutz emphasizes talks are just beginning, but it would be the two auto maker's first major vehicle collaboration.