By on August 1, 2013

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Fuji Heavy Industries, the Subaru’s corporate parent, had a 400% increase in operating profit due to strong U.S. sales for that brand. North American sales for Subaru in its largest market were up 30% to 116,000 unites in the quarter just ended. Fuji’s operating profits were 69.64 billion yen ($739.6 million), up from 17.33 billion yen ($184.05 million) last year, a record for quarterly profits for that company.

Global revenue was up 28% to 546.9 billion yen ($5.81 billion), also a quarterly record. Sales outside of Japan were  also a record, with 150,000 units sold, up 11%. Global sales were up 15% to 191,000 units.

Yasuyuki Yoshinaga, Subaru’s president,  had hoped to make China a third manufacturing base after Japan and the United States. After the Chinese government turned down Subaru’s application to build cars locally there, Subaru has concentrated on North America, where it expect full-year sales to grow 8% to 420,000 units. Global sales are projected to grow at a smaller rate, 4%, to just over three quarters of a million vehicles.

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38 Comments on “Fuji Has Record Profit On Surging Subaru Sales in North America...”


  • avatar

    Subaru sell some nice automobiles, such as Forester and FR-S “Toyobaru”, so this is well deserved, IMHO. Financial resulds do not always correspond with merits of product in this industry, you know (or we’d be driving Kizashis instead of Camrys).

    • 0 avatar

      I suspect the redesigned Forester and Impreza, and the fervent rush of early BRZ buyers all contributed to this. The Forester certainly offers attractive packaging and aced the IIHS’ small-offset test, but we found the interior subpar and that CVT isn’t much fun either. The Impreza though has a unique niche in that it’s a compact with AWD – and this made it pretty much the only option for one of my clients.

      I love the BRZ and I’m pulling for its ongoing success, although I fear that after the initial wave of enthusiasts, its sales will drop off.

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        It really seems like Impreza sales surged with the introduction of the hatchback…I see a ton of new hatchback Imprezas.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          I’ve been toying with the idea of buying a new Imprezza when my 16-year old grand daughter graduates from HS and attends college in Grand Junction, CO, in two years.

          Mostly, I like the AWD that comes standard in such a sub-compact package, ideal for a teenage girl attending college far away from home. And it does snow in Colorado!

          The 2011 FWD Elantra I helped buy for my older granddaughter is great since she never ventures out of the desert.

          But climbing over the Rockies in the dead of winter to go home for school breaks may require AWD to stay on the road, especially around Ouray and Silverton.

          Of course there’s always the long way around, through the flatlands of Utah, bypassing Telluride and Durango completely. It only adds three more hours to the trip.

          Subaru rates high in my book, as it does for many other buyers. So I can understand why Subaru sales are way up. Good for them!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Hey feel like adopting a new grandson? I need a new winter car.

          • 0 avatar

            I say the next without a whiff of cynicism or irony and maybe a touch of envy:

            God bless America!!!

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            LOL 28-cars!

            This is not the place for such banter since I don’t want to p!ss off tuffjuff again, but we in my extended family gave a different philosophy when it comes to parenting and providing our kids and grand kids everything they need to seek success with the least amount of obstacles in their path.

            It’s been said many a time that today’s college grads enter the workforce burdened with student loan debt. We do our best to keep that from happening to our brood, even if we ourselves have to go hungry or give up our daily lattes.

            After all, real life in the real world is tough enough as it is. But at least the mistakes they make will be all their own.

            Marcelo, being Portuguese like I am, you should understand our family-bond.

            I have raised two nephews, sons of my cousins in Portugal, who lived with me in America for 7 years to attend three years of HS and four years of college in America only to return home to Portugal with a much broader experience base than they could have gotten in Portugal alone.

            It is what Portuguese families do, if they can. I can!

          • 0 avatar

            HDC!

            It’s true and that’s why so many Portuguese have emigrated. I read somewhere that the 3rd largest Portuguese city was Paris, the 4th Rio de Janeiro, the 5th New York and the 6th Toronto.

            Congrats on the strong family ties. Family is everything.

          • 0 avatar
            tuffjuff

            @highdesertcat

            To be 100% honest with you, I read your initial comment thinking that you’re a kick a** grandparent, and I don’t remember you pissing me off? :)

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            Marcelo, and true to custom and tradition, there’s always room at our table.

            I am only one-half Portuguese from my dad’s side, but he taught me well.

            Since my other half is pure German on my mom’s side, you can only imagine how conflicted I am on occasion.

            But when it comes to cars, I know good ones when I see them. And it is great that Subaru is doing so well in America.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            tuffjuff, it was the time when sunridge was telling me that my grandkids could not possibly qualify for corporate credit cards (even though they had them already), and you reminded me that you didn’t want to read about my grand kids, and rightfully so, since this is not the venue for such discussion.

            I was merely trying to explain to someone with all the answers that I wasn’t making this sh!t up, at which point I became somewhat lengthy in my explanation, and I owned up to it.

            No harm done.

            This is the place to discuss the truth about cars, although at times personal anecdotes actually reveal what a commenter is thinking, and why; much to the chagrin of the purists.

            We are all products of our own respective life-experiences. And our reasoning is often influenced by what we experienced in our past. Me too!

          • 0 avatar
            sitting@home

            I would suggest buying your granddaughter something so she NEVER attempts to drive in inclement weather. I have been stuck in snow at Lake Tahoe in my WRX, a VDC equipped Outback, a Jaguar X-type and several SUVs. Just about the only thing that always got through was a Jeep Wrangler.

            Buy her a Corolla, and the money she saves on gas will allow her to fly home.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            sitting@home, the thought crossed our collective minds and we have been through all that in 2011 before buying the 2011 Elantra for her cousin, my now-21 year old grand daughter.

            For now we have the transportation needs of our younger (16-year old) grand daughter pretty well managed. She is driving my wife’s old 2008 Highlander for the time being. It’s got almost 100K miles on it but still seems to run without fail. However, I do expect it to crap out at some point.

            I appreciate the input because more minds are better than one. Because of the particulars involved, which we won’t go into here, the Imprezza remains high on the list because of the AWD, reasonable cost and dealer service network in CO.

            Ultimately, my 16-year old grand daughter will have to decide, just like her older cousin had to decide in 2011, what it is that she really, really wants as her daily driver and adapt her lifestyle to it as she starts her new career as a college freshman in Grand Junction, CO. She’ll be there for at least four years living with my wife’s relatives in Palisades, CO.

            So why Grand Junction? you may wonder. Another story NSF this thread except to say that’s where she’ll be going to college for a myriad of reasons, shelter and job opportunity to name just two.

            I’m very familiar with the 2012 Wrangler. I bought one last year (June 2012) for my grandson in the USMC.

            He got out 25 June 2013 after 4 years active duty and instead of coming back to our area as initially planned, married his live-in love over there and moved from Camp Pendleton to Fallbrook, CA.

            I was there helping him for a week moving their stuff and setting up the place since his wife is a Deputy Sheriff for North San Diego County and had to work.

            The Wrangler was highly adept at pulling an 8X12 open U-Haul trailer with all their stuff in it, but it is not for my grand daughter (unless she really, really wants one).

  • avatar
    PriusV16

    I agree with Pete.

    Subaru’s success could somewhat be used as a blueprint for How To Create an Automotive Brand With Unique Core Assets (yay for management speak ;)).

    They follow a clear product paradigm — build no-frills, rugged, reliable automobiles for those who consider a car a transportation tool, not an avatar of their individual greatness.

    Suzuki has a pretty clear product paradigm, too — build reliable compact cars that look stylish and do what they’re supposed to do.

    But Suzuki’s paradigm overlaps with the image of too many other competitors out there, and contrary to Subaru, they don’t have a uniqueness to them that instantly sets them apart from the rest of the bunch.

    Subaru has just that — their ubiquitous all-wheel drive.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      It’s hard to find Subaru dealers. Nearest one to me is 120 miles South of where I live.

      That’s a real bitch if it ever needs warranty repair. And even Subaru needs warranty repairs done.

      CV boot replacement is a maintenance requirement. If not replaced on a timely basis they will destroy the CV joints when the boots crack open from old age or road damage.

      And then you’re in for a wallet-drainer! Ski-lodge operators in my area swear by Subaru and are very careful to inspect them each and every time they have the oil changed.

      • 0 avatar
        Ubermensch

        Front axles and CV boots are hardly a “wallet-drainer.” You can get a front axle for most Subaru’s for less than $50.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          It depends on where you live. Subaru anything is much more expensive where I live.

          • 0 avatar
            Ubermensch

            That’s the great thing about buying parts on the internet, they are pretty much the same price everywhere.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I agree, and there was a time when I did all my own repair and maintenance on all my vehicles. Did so for decades.

            But at age 67 I’m too old to be rattling my carcass on the cement floor sliding underneath cars and trucks. Besides, I don’t bend well around the middle anymore either.

            The creaking and groaning when I roll out of bed each morning is only an indication of further deterioration in the future.

            I can still do oil and filter changes on my vehicles, but that’s only because they charge upwards of $50 in my area for a simple oil and filter change, depending on what type of oil you use, like the house oil, synthetic or blend.

            Between Wal-Mart’s oil and ordering filters from Amazon, I can do it for a lot less.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            You can always buy your parts online and have them installed.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            I don’t know any one or any shop in my area that will do that.

      • 0 avatar
        Power6

        Subaru is very regional, they sell so many cars on the coastal regions and other centers of popularity.

        Here in boston area there are a large number of dealers never more than 5 maybe 10 miles away from one. I could see how subaru has a bit of a paradox in the areas where they sell less cars and have fewer dealers.

        • 0 avatar
          salhany

          Here in Maine, you can’t throw a rock without hitting at least 2 Subaru dealers. Which is good since my wife is on her second one, an Outback wagon. A good, solid, no BS car. Built in Indiana.

          • 0 avatar
            TCragg

            No kidding! I spend part of my summer in Maine (Portland/OOB), and I am always surprised at the market share that Subaru enjoys in New England. The Subaru dealer in Saco is the size of a GM dealer back home. I was in the Trader Joe’s parking lot and counted 17 Subarus of various vintages in one row of cars.

          • 0 avatar
            Power6

            Im vacationing in bar harbor this week, in our Outback of course.

            So many subarus here, even the rare ones I’ve seen 3 or 4 of the 05-06 only turbo Legacy wagons this week. Not as many wrx or sti as boston though.

          • 0 avatar
            Synchromesh

            Here in Boston it’s similar. There is 3 dealers within 25 min drive and more out there. Tons of Subarus around here but from last 10-12 years mostly. Everything that was older than mid 90s have rusted away years ago.

  • avatar
    gessvt

    Fuji can thank the metro Denver area for part of that increase. I kid you not, it looks like a Subaru owners’ convention is happening nearby. New ones, ancient ones. We saw every model I’m familiar with except a BRAT during our weeklong stay.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      Makes sense! Head west through the Eisenhower tunnel and enter……. snow country!

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      See the comment about New England. It’s all about winter driving. Maine is a bit snowier than Boston, but despite what Bostonians and Denverites believe (each believes the other city gets way more snow), the climate of those two cities is nearly identical.

      Having lived in New England and driven there in the 1960s (95% RWD) I laugh at people who think they can go anywhere in snow with AWD, and that FWD is better than RWD, even with a limited slip differential. You’ll get stuck with RWD, FWD and AWD if you don’t know what you’re doing, and that’s why AWD is so popular, people think it makes up for their inability to drive in snow/ice.

      • 0 avatar
        Power6

        Oh great yet another 2wd lover post.

        bring your best 2wd-er up to Boston my Outback with Blizzaks will easily outpace you in a snowstorm and plow through stuff that will stop a 2wd.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    here in So Fl Subaru dealers are far and few in between, so are Subaru models hard to find, as a matter of fact, I have yet to see one single BRZ while I see a few FR-S’s most every day.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Yea, it’s weird to hear people from Vermont and Colorado talk about all the Subarus they see everyday when I see about one/two a month.

      I can’t remember the last time I saw a basic Impreza.

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        It’s because of regional marketing. In my area, lots of Subarus in the High Country/snow country. The high desert areas not so much.

        Nearest dealer with stock, El Paso, TX, 120 miles further south.

  • avatar
    EspritdeFacelVega

    Volt 230 is right. Few Subaru dealers and most of the Subies you see with FL plates are tax exiles wearing northern dealer tags/frames.

  • avatar
    EspritdeFacelVega

    The regional thing matters. I lived in Dallas in the early/mid 90s and wanted to test drive the then-new Saab 900. The only dealer in Big D was the late, great W O Bankston Lincoln-Mercury, who had one forlorn grey Saab sitting in a corner of the showroom braced by two “gold package” Contis and (as history shows, the Conti and Saab actually ended up having remarkably similar reliability patterns, so maybe not that culturally dissonant after all).

    Didn’t see a lot of Saabs in Texas.

    • 0 avatar
      Dave M.

      Exactly. When I bought my 9-3 five years ago there were three Saab dealers in Houston; now we’re down to .5 in League City. Getting parts was a bitch right after the bankruptcy but seems to be loosening up lately. I believe that had to do with the financial/material/possesion aspect of Spyker’s BK.

      I just bought an Outback; surprisingly for a “snow country” brand they have 5 dealers within 5-70 miles of my house. It’s a great car for when the roads slick up during our tropical rainstorms.

      Although I transplanted here 31 years ago, I’m still a CT boy at heart.

  • avatar
    AoLetsGo

    What is that funny red thing attached to their building. Is it supposed to be a S for Subaru?


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