TOKYO — Newly appointed Subaru President Tomomi Nakamura has every reason to be optimistic — and one big reason to be worried.
Subaru is one of the hottest brands in the U.S. market. Over the past decade, it has risen from the 19th best-selling brand in America to No. 8. And last week, in laying out his first global business plan, Nakamura showed that he is laser- focused on keeping that momentum going.
Nakamura believes Subaru can lift its North American sales 20 percent by March 31, 2026, from 770,000 sales forecast this year.
By that time, according to Nakamura's road map, U.S. sales alone should swell to 850,000 vehicles, pushing Subaru to a 5 percent U.S. market share — up from 3.7 percent in the first six months of this year.
But there's a caveat to his bullishness.
Nakamura concedes that if U.S. President Donald Trump decides to level duties on car imports as threatened, Subaru could get hammered.
Subaru's booming U.S. sales are reliant on models imported from Japanese factories. Any tax on those imports could mean big problems for Subaru, a manufacturer with a single U.S. assembly plant.