Subaru of America Inc., which in August posted its best U.S. sales month ever, plans to increase its U.S. zone offices from three now to 12 by year end.
The automaker will open offices in Philadelphia; Atlanta; Orlando, Fla.; Chicago; Minneapolis; Columbus, Ohio; Denver; Portland; Ore.; and San Francisco/Sacramento. The zones will report to Subaru’s regional headquarters in Westampton, N.J.; Itasca, Ill.; and Aurora, Colo.
Subaru has had regional offices since its early days in the United States, spokesman Michael McHale said. But the company began experimenting with zones when it opened branches in 2007 in metropolitan Los Angeles and Dallas. Its third zone office opened earlier this year in Columbia, Md., between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore.
The zones allow better understanding of markets that differ from their regional headquarters, as Orlando differs from its New Jersey hub location, McHale said.
“It’s a big country,” he said.
Subaru decided to open the locations this fall and winter because of its success this year, McHale said. The company’s August U.S. sales spiked 51.5 percent from 2008, making its eight-month sales total 11.2 percent higher than last year’s. Kia, up 3 percent through August, is the only other brand ahead of its 2008 U.S. pace.
“We’re going gangbusters, so there’s a feeling of confidence around the company,” McHale said. “Sometimes it’s a good idea to make decisions when you’re in a good place.”