Subaru, after a dazzling run up in sales during the past decade, is getting ready to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the brand’s debut in the U.S. next year.
During the past six years, Subaru’s sales have doubled and then doubled again and the Subaru is on track to set another sales record in 2017 as it continues to post year-over-year sales increases each month even as the pace of industry sales begins to ebb from its post-recession high.
“The brand is really strong,” said Michael McHale, Subaru’s director of communications, who noted that Subaru sales continue to grow even as other automakers increased their incentives to keep hold of market share.
As it grown in the past decade, Subaru has passed new fewer than 10 different automotive brands including Kia, Lexus, Volkswagen, Mazda, BMW, Ram, Mercedes-Benz, Chrysler, GMC and Dodge. After passing Kia recently it is closing in on Hyundai, McHale said.
Subaru’s incentives average only about $1,000 per vehicles, which is significantly less than the incentives present offered by rivals, McCabe said. Subaru doesn’t expect to see the figures change much.
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McHale also noted that in the past year it has introduced three new models, including the 2018 Crosstrek this summer. Later this year, Subaru will introduce its new three-row sport utility vehicle.
The typical Subaru buyer is younger than the industry average and the overall awareness of the brand, which once seemed relegated to selling cars in the Northeast, is at all-time highs nationally. Some 79% of American consumers know about the brand, which has also built a reputation for authenticity that resonates with younger buyers.
Subaru’s ad campaigns, which have emphasized safety, also have helped build the brand’s reputation, McHale said.
Subaru traces its roots in the U.S. when Malcolm Bricklin and Harvey Lamm founded the Subaru company Feb. 15, 1968. Bricklin sold franchises for motor scooters as well as the Fuji Rabbit. Lamm came from working in his family’s Philadelphia furniture store, and Bricklin chose to form Subaru of America Inc. to sell Subaru franchises.
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In Japanese, Subaru means unite. But it also the name used in Japanese for a cluster of six stars in the Taurus constellation, named “Pleiades” by the ancient Greeks. The stars were once Atlas’ daughters and are now incorporated into Subaru’s logo.
In 1967, Lamm set up the very first Subaru office in Balboa Park, California. The following year, it was in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, where Subaru of America was officially established. Shortly after that, the company moved to Pennsauken, New Jersey. Nowadays, Subaru is headquartered in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
Subaru’s success in recent years has prompted, the company’s part Fuji Heavy Industries to change its name to match the auto brand’s moniker.
On April 1, Fuji Heavy Industries became the Subaru Corp. “We have long strived to make excellent products. In recent years, our effort has been expanded from making good products to delivering distinctive value which only Subaru can bring to our customers,” said Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, chief executive officer.
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“This change in the company name declares Subaru’s determination to thrive as a brand that delivers value. When customers are satisfied, we see happy faces. We want to encourage even more smiles and create even more Subaru fans. Together with the new company name, let’s all make the Subaru team shine brighter!”