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Subaru expects 7th year of record U.S. sales
Primed to hit N.A. target 5 years ahead of sked
Hans Greimel
Automotive News
January 16, 2015

Subaru expects U.S. sales to climb 5 percent in 2015, for a seventh straight record year, pushing North America volume to within a hair of its 2020 target -- five years ahead of schedule.

The red-hot all-wheel-drive brand said U.S. sales should grow to 540,000 vehicles this calendar year, from 514,000 in 2014.

The pace of expansion will moderate from the breakneck 21 percent jump it booked last year. But the results would hand Subaru its seventh straight year of record U.S. sales.

It would also propel Subaru to within striking range of its North American sales goal for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021. Subaru aims to sell 600,000 vehicles in the U.S. and Canada that year. But it targets 585,000 for the region in next calendar year alone.

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I'm not surprised. When people discuss brand focus, Subaru should be at the head of the class. People know they have AWD across the board, and they run forever. I used to compete in one, and though it had its drawbacks in daily use, it did what it was supposed to.

Brand focus is something that the folks that just moved to NYC should pay more attention to...
 

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I'm not surprised. When people discuss brand focus, Subaru should be at the head of the class. People know they have AWD across the board, and they run forever. I used to compete in one, and though it had its drawbacks in daily use, it did what it was supposed to.

Brand focus is something that the folks that just moved to NYC should pay more attention to...
It's funny. I have friends who have had significant problems with Subarus and they still love them. One blew a head gasket around 65,000 miles and the other one is burning oil with about 40,000 miles on it. The exact cause remains undiagnosed by the dealer. The blown head gasket guy wants to buy another Subaru and the oil burner just keeps adding more in and not worrying about it. Subaru just has some crazy mojo.
 

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It's funny. I have friends who have had significant problems with Subarus and they still love them. One blew a head gasket around 65,000 miles and the other one is burning oil with about 40,000 miles on it. The exact cause remains undiagnosed by the dealer. The blown head gasket guy wants to buy another Subaru and the oil burner just keeps adding more in and not worrying about it. Subaru just has some crazy mojo.
To your point, I think that there's something to be said about "buying into" a brand. Of the vehicles that GM has/had only the Corvette --- and to a different extend Saturn and Saab --- has/had this kind of loyalty.

"Saturn people" where an incredibly loyal group. They had meet-ups and "homecoming" gatherings at the plant in Spring Hill. They had a different kind of advertising that helped people "feel good" about the brand. And lots of people bought into that; plastic panels, rough motors, and all. With few exceptions, Saturns weren't fantastic/gotta-have-it cars, in my opinion. But people bought into the "mystique" and "perception" surrounding the brand. The warm, fuzzy feeling that went along with their dealership network really worked to draw people in.

Saab drivers weren't as fanatical as "Saturn people", but they were equally loyal (or even more) to the marque. If you don't believe me take a look at this article on a still operating Saab franchise right here in New Jersey: SAAB dealership near Manhattan still very much alive and kicking (also posted for discussion on GMI). To this day, there are definite Saab-philes who will drive nothing but their Saabs. And even after they've been dead for a few years, there's still lots of Saab enthusiasts excited about the prospect of NEVS selling the rights to Saab to Mahindra & Mahindra and rebooting the brand.

In both instances, there's something "intangible" about the brands that keep their buyers hooked to the marques --- despite plastic panels, quirkiness, rough engines, reliability, etc. I think that's very much what Subaru has (despite boring or even ugly designs, questionable fuel economy, etc).

Today at GM, there's nothing outside of the Corvette that evokes the same kind of response and zealousness among consumers. If GM hopes to one day replicate that kind of loyalty among their remaining brands, they should revisit their Saab and Saturn playbooks to glean a few pointers.

Just my opinion, of course.
 
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It's funny. I have friends who have had significant problems with Subarus and they still love them. One blew a head gasket around 65,000 miles and the other one is burning oil with about 40,000 miles on it. The exact cause remains undiagnosed by the dealer. The blown head gasket guy wants to buy another Subaru and the oil burner just keeps adding more in and not worrying about it. Subaru just has some crazy mojo.
I have heard of cases like that and it seems that some Subaru's have been hit and miss. I know their early 2.5L DOHC engines had head gasket issues but it seems that their owners are fine with having them replaced. Fortunately mine's exceeded my expectations
 
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Subies 'over rated' but I guess that's exactly what you want to vacuum up market like this.
No. They are one of the few manufacturers that chose their market segment and stuck with it through thick and thin. I think that is why they have such owner loyalty. My mail delivery lady when she needed to replace her 400,000+ mile Subaru and found out they no longer made a right hand drive model. She had to special order a Jeep to get right hand drive.
 

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Today at GM, there's nothing outside of the Corvette that evokes the same kind of response and zealousness among consumers. If GM hopes to one day replicate that kind of loyalty among their remaining brands, they should revisit their Saab and Saturn playbooks to glean a few pointers.
GM killed a ton of loyalty when they killed the S10 and Blazer.

Subies 'over rated' but I guess that's exactly what you want to vacuum up market like this.
Anything tangible to support this opinion?

I have heard of cases like that and it seems that some Subaru's have been hit and miss. I know their early 2.5L DOHC engines had head gasket issues but it seems that their owners are fine with having them replaced. Fortunately mine's exceeded my expectations
Definite issues with headgaskets on early 00's 2.5 and the turbo 2.0. We had head gaskets recalled and replaced on a Legacy and WRX. My 03 WRX finally spun a bearing at 110K miles last year. My current Subies have no issues at all.

I just love the functionality of Subarus and their unique AWD system pushes my gearhead buttons.
 

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I'm not an import or Japan Inc. fan but Subaru has been well run and picked their spots wisely. It's been slow and steady growth and acknowledging mistakes ie. the Subaru Tribecca and fixing it.
 

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What Subaru has is "positive perception". A perception that embodies ruggedness, efficiency, reliability, and affordability. Key ingredients that will make Subaru market grow. With the all-wheel drive lineup such as Forester, Outback, WRX, XV are examples of that positive perception.
 

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In 5 decades of car ownership, my Subaru was the ONLY car that nothing ever went wrong - until "operator error" intervened - my needs changing were the only reason it wasn't replaced with another.

If Subaru announced a replacement for the Tribeca with a 3.0 diesel I'd buy one like a shot - as long as they promise not to hit it with the ugly stick like they did the original.
 

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In our high-elevation, mountain community, Subaru is THE ubiquitous car. There are more of those up here than anything else, and the range from the old man with the beat-up Justy to literally dozens of Crosstreks.

And every last owner I talk to absolutely loves his or her car and recommends it. This isn't surprising, given our snowy an wet winter climate, along with the windy mountain roads that we have up here.

Interestingly, the next most common brand up here is Saturn. And not just AWD VUEs, but SL's, SCs, a couple of Skys, and even the old lady with the beat-to-hell green Ion with silver roof rails.

But none of this should be surprising, given the interesting mix of people, ranging from former hippies (current ones, too) to the Billy Joe Gun Rack set in their jacked-up Ford Excursions.
 

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In our high-elevation, mountain community, Subaru is THE ubiquitous car. There are more of those up here than anything else, and the range from the old man with the beat-up Justy to literally dozens of Crosstreks.

And every last owner I talk to absolutely loves his or her car and recommends it. This isn't surprising, given our snowy an wet winter climate, along with the windy mountain roads that we have up here.

Interestingly, the next most common brand up here is Saturn. And not just AWD VUEs, but SL's, SCs, a couple of Skys, and even the old lady with the beat-to-hell green Ion with silver roof rails.

But none of this should be surprising, given the interesting mix of people, ranging from former hippies (current ones, too) to the Billy Joe Gun Rack set in their jacked-up Ford Excursions.
Here in the Pittsburgh-Pennsyltucky region, we have quite a few rusted out Foresters with NRA and/or Rebel Flag stickers on the back. Its a brand with broader appeal than most would think. ��
 

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Here in the Pittsburgh-Pennsyltucky region, we have quite a few rusted out Foresters with NRA and/or Rebel Flag stickers on the back. Its a brand with broader appeal than most would think. ��
Yup...Subaru definitely transcends both ends of the people spectrum.
 

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Soobie capitalized on all-AWD-all-the-time, they grabbed SAAB's "We Are Safety!" shield, and of course soobies mean LOVE.

And puppies.

You have to hand it to them, they've had a strong, consistent, bang-bang-bang ad campaign over the years. More than can be said for GM. Or a lot of others, too.

What Subaru has is "positive perception". A perception that embodies ruggedness, efficiency, reliability, and affordability. Key ingredients that will make Subaru market grow. With the all-wheel drive lineup such as Forester, Outback, WRX, XV are examples of that positive perception.
 
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