Through August, the Sunbelt share stands at 26.8 percent. Of Subaru's 634 retailers in the U.S., 165 are in the Sunbelt, Walters said.
Subaru's dealership count has largely remained about the same in the Sunbelt, as well as nationwide — around 625 to 630 — compared with a decade ago. The handful of times Subaru has filled an open point, it was likely in the Sunbelt, Walters said.
What has changed is the number of Sunbelt retailers in Subaru's top 25 for new-vehicle sales volume.
A decade ago, just one Sunbelt Subaru retailer made the cut.
Today, there are nine Sunbelt retailers in the top 25, including the No. 1 store, Subaru of Glendale, north of Los Angeles, Walters said.
"With terms of really driving the volume, you're really looking at Southern California, Texas, Florida," Walters said.
Austin Subaru in Texas, No. 4 on the automaker's top 25 list, is a vivid example of the brand's Sunbelt success since opening in 1996.
Owner Genny Hardeman Hill said up until around 15 years ago, the store sold 20 to 30 new Subarus per month. Sales began to grow about a decade ago and today, Austin Subaru sells around 250 new Subarus per month.
"I don't think that we ever saw it growing this much and this quickly," she said. "We built a new facility in 2017 and thought it was going to be plenty big with lots of space. We're already out of space, figuring out how to put new sales offices in and building new levels of parking garages for inventory."
Don Nelms, owner of Adventure Subaru in Fayetteville, Ark., and a longtime dealer, having started with Honda in 1973, acquired his Subaru franchise in 1999.
"We were selling about 110 to 120 cars initially and last year we sold 2,200 new Subarus," Nelms said. "Being a Honda dealer down through the years, you were somewhat used to growth, expansion and newer and bigger facilities. But I think this one eclipsed anything imaginable during that period of time. In about a five-year period, we went from selling about 500 cars to 2,000 cars. It was extremely rapid."