CHERRY HILL, N.J. -- With a new sport wagon and ambitions to boost U.S. sales, Subaru of America Inc. wants to increase its dealership network by 5 percent by the end of 2006.
Subaru will grow to 608 franchises from the 581 it had at the end of 2004, says Hiro Kamagami, vice president of market development. Average annual sales per store are expected to rise to 371 units in 2006 from 321 last year, he says.
The 27 new franchises will be scattered throughout 40 locations. They will include four or five new stores in the Los Angeles area, Kamagami says.
Subaru does not expect all new dealerships to be exclusive. Says Kamagami: "It will be different from market to market."
Subaru will build three exclusive stores using its Signature facility design -- featuring new architecture and signs -- on prime real estate in the Los Angeles, Dallas and Philadelphia areas. Subaru will rent the stores to dealers, who are expected to buy their stores from Subaru eventually, says Bill Cyphers, vice president of sales.