TOKYO -- Subaru is pushing back its U.S. sales targets - again.
Three years into a five-year strategic plan, Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., maker of Subaru cars, is far short of its targets for sales, income and other indicators of performance.
Its U.S. vehicle sales have fallen below target each year. In the fiscal year that ended March 31, sales were about 10 percent shy of the plan. The first year of the plan ended March 31, 2003.
The company scaled back its goals while saying that global earnings fell sharply in the latest fiscal year. The drop was the result of a less profitable mix of sales, delays on an airplane project and compensation to suppliers after Subaru revised plans for developing a car.
Fuji now sees its global net income in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2007, the last year of the five-year plan, at ¥27.0 billion, or $251.4 million at current exchange rates. That is 43.8 percent below the original plan's goal of $447.0 million.
The company now predicts global revenues will be $14.71 billion in the year ending March 31, 2007, 8.1 percent off the original goal.
Subaru also has missed sales goals in North America. In June 2001, the company had set a North American goal of 285,000 sales in the fiscal year that ends March 31, 2006. That was later reset to 250,000. Now the carmaker predicts its North American sales that year will be 201,900.
Subaru's unit sales were flat in the United States and fell in Japan in the January-March quarter, compared with first quarter of 2004.
But after Subaru launches the B9 Tribeca SUV in the summer, it expects total U.S. sales to rise 9.8 percent to 117,600 in the six months from October through March.
Net losses at Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc., a plant in Lafayette, Ind., are seen widening in 2005 to $207 million from a loss of $74 million in 2004.
In the latest fiscal year, Fuji's net income fell 52.8 percent to $169.9 million. Operating profits dropped 16.5 percent to $391.3 million.
Subaru accounts for about 90 percent of Fuji's global revenues.
You may e-mail James B. Treece at