Subaru is definitely one manufacturer with a decidedly niche market appeal. However, when one considers their record breaking sales amidst falling figures everywhere in the industry, they are one of the top performers, as far as sales is concerned. This is due largely to the recent upgrades the Japanese automaker has made to three of its five model lines.
Subaru’s parent, Fuji Heavy Industries, has targeted the United States as the subject of a tightly focused needs analysis, as Japanese execs have instructed the brass at Subaru of America to increase the customer feedback that it sends back to designers and engineers in Japan so that they may better hone in on the wants of Americans.
The company must be careful however, not to lose its identity while attempting to gain mainstream appeal. The recipient of numerous quality and safety awards, the company has also received a corporate responsibility award from GLAAD.
Also, their fall sales promo was free of your normal warranties and rebates; it was based around a charitable donation with each car purchased. These are all important aspects of Subaru’s left-of-center identity that must not be compromised in any attempt to mainstream themselves.
The company’s cars are also growing, as the Forrester, Legacy, and Outback have all gained moderate amounts of space, and next is the Tribeca. They are also working on a new hybrid vehicle using Toyota technology, as ToMoCo now owns a 16.5% stake in the company, and more joint projects are in the pipeline.
– By: Stephen Calogera