Swelling Subaru stocks could point to record sales
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been changed to correct the spelling on the Subaru XV Crosstrek.
Subaru of America could set a sales record this year as inventory levels return to normal, said Kirk Schneider, chairman of the Subaru National Dealer Advisory Board and owner of Nate Wade Subaru in Salt Lake City.
Another positive factor will be the addition of a crossover, coupe and a larger and more fuel-efficient Impreza compact.
Last year Subaru sales rose 1 percent to 266,989 vehicles. Executives aim to hit 350,000 by 2016.
Two new vehicles will be added in 2012: the BRZ coupe and XV Crosstrek crossover. Dealers are also receiving the redesigned Impreza four- and five-door models that were delayed for several months because of the earthquake in Japan last year.
Schneider said there is pent-up demand for the 2012 Impreza.
"Had we been able to launch that car in September we would have seen a larger increase in sales than we had," he said. "We had a nice program so consumers could pre-order the car, and there were incentives available to them -- get a Trek bike, skis, accessories and products for the car."
Schneider said the Impreza-based XV Crosstrek due this fall won't be a high-volume vehicle but "will increase the depth of our lineup."
The BRZ coupe was designed by Toyota but has a Subaru drivetrain and chassis. It goes on sale this spring. Schneider said he's not bothered that its sibling, the Scion FR-S, looks the same and will be sold in higher volume.
"They are our competitor, but the car is powered by Subaru," he said. "It is important to understand the real engineering -- the engine -- is Subaru-driven. We will not sell in as big a volume, but we are a much smaller company."
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