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Subaru Primed for Record Sales Year

Posted: 02/09/2012 - 9:21 PM ET

As inventory levels begin to approach a more normal level nearly a year after the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami, there is great news from Subaru of America. According to Kirk Schneider, chairman of the Subaru National Dealer Advisory Board, the automaker might be looking at a record-setting sales year.

Subaru did see a small sales increase last year, with a 1% increase to 266,989 vehicles sold, but the target is higher this year, and the eventual goal is 350,000 units sold in 2016.

To aid this effort, the carmaker is adding two new vehicles to its 2012 lineup: the XV Crosstrek crossover vehicle and the BRZ coupe. As well, dealers are currently receiving a redesigned Impreza (in both four- and five-door versions) that was delayed because of the afore-mentioned natural disasters.

According to Schneider, there is a significant demand for that Impreza. He explained that if it had launched as originally planned, in September 2011, it would have given Subaru a greater sales increase, especially since there was a great pre-ordering program that would have gifted buyers with skis, a Trek bike and other accessories for the car.

The XV Crosstrek, which is based on the Impreza platform is due to hit the market this fall, but it's thought that it sell at terribly high volumes, merely existing to extend the depth of the American Subaru offerings.

The other addition, the BRZ coupe, was actually designed by Toyota, but is built on a Subaru chassis, and powered by a Subaru drivetrain. That car will go on sale this spring, and while it's essentially a twin of the Scion FR-S, there's little concern over that. Instead, the BRZ is expected to sell in great volumes.

As Schneider pointed out, while the Scion is from a rival automaker, the new car is powered by Subaru, which may not sell as many units overall, but is a smaller company in any case.

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