DETROIT — A decade ago, toward the beginning of Subaru of America's remarkable streak of sales records, the automaker identified one region that would be critical to the brand's success.
Unlike the Northeast and Northwest's sometimes harsh climates and challenging terrains, which were natural selling points for Subaru's all-wheel-drive models, the Sunbelt was not an area where large numbers of consumers were drawn to the brand.
Subaru set out to change its Sunbelt fortunes by playing the long game. Today, it's bigger and stronger with a broader product range and targeted marketing, and it is winning a big chunk of business in the region.
The Sunbelt, defined by the automaker as 13 states as well as Southern California, accounted for just roughly 15.4 percent of the brand's retail sales in 2010, according to Subaru.