What a difference a year makes.
In 2012 the Volkswagen brand outsold Subaru by more than 100,000 units in the United States. But Subaru has been steadily cutting into that gap in 2013, and in October it passed its German rival.
Subaru now leads VW by nearly 5,000 vehicles, 347,890 to 342,962, after being outsold 438,133 to 336,441 in 2012.
Subaru's sales increased 32 percent in October and 28 percent for the first 10 months.
Meanwhile, VW posted an 18 percent decline for October. For the first 10 months the brand's sales were down 4 percent.
For the fifth consecutive year, Subaru has set an annual U.S. sales record -- this time with more than two months to spare.
Sales of the Subaru Forester increased 137 percent to 12,581, accounting for more than one of every three vehicles the company sold.
VW's lack of progress in the United States is a source of frustration for top executives in Germany.
"We understand Europe, we understand China, and we understand Brazil," VW Chairman Ferdinand Piech told Bloomberg this month. "But we only understand the United States to a certain degree so far."