TOKYO -- Subaru wants to shore up its dealership network in the United States.
Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (Subaru) plans to expand the number of exclusive dealerships, open larger stores and boost sales volume per outlet. The company will focus its marketing energy in the Sunbelt.
"With our car specialty of all-wheel drive, we have been strong in the North," says Ikuo Mori, chief general manager of Fuji Heavy's overseas sales and marketing division. "But in the South, we're still very weak."
Subaru has set more realistic sales goals for the United States. It now expects to sell 250,000 vehicles in the United States in 2010, four years later than planned. It sold 187,402 in 2004, up 0.3 percent from 2003. Sales rose 4.6 percent in the first five months of this year.
Fuji Heavy hopes to raise the percentage of Subaru-only dealerships to 80 percent in 2010 from 65 percent last year. Subaru started this year with 581 stores in the United States.
You may e-mail Yuzo Yamaguchi at