Subaru sees 20% increase in sales, cites new product
Doll: More opportunity for sales growth
NEW YORK -- With the redesigned Impreza compact sedan off to a better than expected start, inventory levels back at pre-tsunami numbers and two new vehicles arriving this year, Subaru of America expects 2012 sales to rise nearly 20 percent over last year to 320,000 units.
Subaru sold a record 80,568 vehicles in the first quarter, up 19 percent from the same period last year. And sales of the third-generation Impreza, which went on sale in December, are likely to shatter internal targets, COO Tom Doll said.
"We still have a lot of opportunity left in the market," said Doll, who wears a yellow-and-blue rubber wristband with the phrase "Great Expectations, 320,000 sales in 2012."
Doll now admits Subaru's sales target could be too conservative. Sales are tracking at an annual rate of 360,000 to 370,000 vehicles, he said. The problem keeping that pace will be availability. Doll needs more production out of its U.S. factory in Indiana and could use more vehicles from Japan.
Impreza sales have surprised Subaru officials. The company expected to sell 5,000 to 5,500 Imprezas per month this year. But in March Subaru sold 8,064, on top of strong January and February sales.
Subaru could sell 100,000 Imprezas in the United States this year, Doll said.
More product is coming. The BRZ sports coupe goes on sale this month with a base price of $26,245, including freight. It will be a low-volume car for Subaru with expected full-year sales of about 6,000.
In late July, an Impreza-based crossover, the XV Crosstek, goes on sale. Doll expects to sell between 30,000 and 35,000 of the crossovers in a full year.
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