By on January 5, 2015

2015 subaru wrx (9)

It’s official: Subaru of America has moved 500,000 units in a single year for the first time.

The 500,000th vehicle sold left the showroom December 29, with the final tally for 2014 likely to come sometime soon; the sales period closed January 2.

The milestone came a year early for the subsidiary, who had forecasted hitting the mark in 2015. It also comes on the heels of its seventh consecutive year of growth, starting in 2008; then, 187,699 models were sold.

The fuel for this particular milestone comes from strong sales of models such as the Impreza, Outback, Forester and XV Crosstrek, all of which were developed “to better suit the needs of the American buyer.” In fact, the only models not to do well in 2014 were the BRZ and Tribeca. Other factors include improved marketing and greatly improved dealerships.

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75 Comments on “Subaru Of America Delivers 500K In Single-Year Sales For The First Time...”


  • avatar
    hreardon

    Subaru has good product and excellent marketing. In fact, they’ve stolen Volkswagen’s ’99 – ’05 marketing playbook and combined it with product that doesn’t self-destruct.

    Imagine that, a recipe for success. Listening, VW?

  • avatar
    Cabriolet

    Wait a few years when the head gaskets start leaking and the drive shaft boots start to rip. Been there done that.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      My mechanic brother just had a 2006 Outback come in with 134k miles, here’s the list of repairs it received:

      Headgaskets, front CV boots, both rear wheel bearings.

      This is typical for all Subies, going back to the first gen Outback from 95-99, the second gen 00-04 cars, and now the 05-09 gen. They claim every new generation that the issues have finally been solved, but at about the 7 year mark they start to have their typical issues.

      No one else has quite the combination of utility and legit rough road capability quite like Subaru, but for me they make a poor long term ownership proposition. My other big qualm with them is uncomfortable seats: every single newer Subaru I’ve sat in has horribly short seat cushions.

      • 0 avatar
        OldandSlow

        “Head gaskets, front CV boots, both rear wheel bearings.”

        You’ve pretty much nailed how the fortune cookie crumbles on Subie with 100K on the odometer. At least the customer on the 06 got a new timing belt with the head gasket replacement.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        So when those things get fixed, what kind of bill would that be to a consumer? Let’s assume at an independent rather than a dealer, as not many people are gonna bring their old 06 Outback to a dealer.

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          My brother charged a very reasonable $2300 as I recall for that fix, using FelPro’s new gaskets that were supposedly engineered to cure the issue forever. Not sure of the brand of CV axle or wheel bearing, I know he’s rather particular with the quality of parts he uses (even SKF and Timken bearings are of questionable provenance these days).

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I think that would be a tall order for many people looking at these used. That’s a lot to spend on a very average and mid-level used car.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I definitely agree, but for some folks who are ‘keepers,’ a $2300 bill to keep a car that fits them perfectly after 134k miles of service isn’t too terrible. The assumption that after that repair, the car will be rock solid for another 100k miles or so. Beats a car payment I suppose. Again, assuming more stuff doesn’t keep breaking as the miles pile up.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I suppose that’s true for a long-term owner who won’t give in (makes me think of Volvo owners btw).

            However, most people are -not- that into their cars, and the problem is that it’s not like only 5 of 10 Subarus have this issue, it’s every_single_one!

            Though I agree that other than those things, you aren’t likely to have many other problems beyond rust. Very easy to find a 10y/o rusty Subaru. Not as bad as Mazda, but still. I dunno about what time they fixed their rust problems.

        • 0 avatar
          heavy handle

          Subaru’s timing belt tensioners aren’t cheap, and you really need to go with OEM if you plan on keeping the car.

          The boxer layout means twice the heat expansion of other designs, which puts significant strain on belts and tension adjusters.

          In other words, an independent will not save you much in this case. They need to use original parts in order to do a proper job. Obviously, there are other reasons to go to an independent.

          • 0 avatar
            kerilrus

            In my own experience the 3.0L H6 engine is bulletproof reliable and has a timing chain. My ’04 LLBeaner only needed a new prop shaft assembly because of vibrations due to worn center carrier bearing at 135k miles. Now a CO2 sensor needs to be replaced, but things like that are expected at this age and mileage.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Yes Subarus flat sixes are definitely the way to go if you are in the used market for these cars. Not as efficient but they seem to have been spared the HG woes of their 4 cylinder brethren and all have timing chains. Plus you can tell people you have an engine that is ‘basically like a Porsche’ ;)

      • 0 avatar
        nickoo

        Its not just a subie seat problem. A lot of recent cars I have sat in have gone to “woman” sized seats that are horribly uncomfortable. I wouldn’t buy or own a car with a crappy seat no matter how much the rest of the car is desirable. In 2015 auto manufacturers should be able to design a comfortable ergonomic seat!

      • 0 avatar
        Power6

        The turbo models, though they have their other potential problems, do solve some issues…

        They don’t have head gasket issues, and they have sport seats, our Outback XT has the same sport seats as the Legacy GT models, more bolster and longer bottom cushion. I’m tall and all legs I can never find a long enough bottom cushion, only my SRT-4 really delivered with the Viper seat. My sisters NA Outback seats are a big step down.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      Aren’t CV boots a wear item that tends to last about 100k miles?

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Not really, I’d say more like 12+ years and 150k miles is what I’d expect ideally. What makes torn boots particularly endemic to Subarus is that the boot is awfully close to the exhaust manifold (due to the boxer engine layout). Over a not-so-long period of time, the boot becomes brittle and cracks.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          And with it being so close to the heat and engine – when it DOES crack, the grease gets thrown into the engine very nicely creating quite an impressive smoke display.

          Smells awful too.

        • 0 avatar
          pkov

          Now that’s some really useful info for the semi-car literate like me. I’m really attracted to the Forester but have long had reservations about noisy boxer engines from my old VW days. Plus, their gas mileage isn’t great.

          Maybe Subaru needs an updated default powerplant?

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        jmo, it depends on the make and the quality of the original CV joints and boots.

        I have a friend who still has original joints/boots on a 500,000+ km Saab. He doesn’t drive any different from someone who gets 150,000 km out of Toyota CV joints.

        • 0 avatar
          rustyra24

          My 2005 Subaru Outback XT has been in the shop for about a month and a half. It was having horrible misfire issues. It had burnt valves on 2 & 4. Head job will be $1970. This is normal for turbo cars.

          I replaced the rear wheel bearings and both CV boots are torn. I will do the CV boots because they are about $300 dollars a piece for Subaru to do them.

          This is two months after I replaced the turbo because it grenaded. They put tiny filters in the banjo fittings which limited oil flow. This starved the turbo of oil. I had to take the oil pan off to see if the engine had metal shavings. It ran pretty good until the valve issue. I am sure I will need a new shortblock in the future.

          When they took the heads off and I needed a clutch (a dual mass clutch $793.00) I also did the timing belt and components at the same time. Timing belt cost is only for parts and its about $873.00.

          The car has 100K on it. The total cost of parts is about $4000 dollars not counting any of my turbo work. It still does not run right and they think the uppipe cat is plugged. Its a nightmare car.

          • 0 avatar
            rustyra24

            I forgot that I also replaced two coil packs, Injectors and one oil control valve. These are a common repair issue as well.

          • 0 avatar
            Power6

            Our Outback XT has not been as bad. At 117k we’ve had the cv boot issue and the turbo as well…if only I had removed the banjo bolt when we bought it, I should have known. It’s out now and the used turbo is working fine.

            Have not had the other issues, only needed to do the timing belt and a valve cover gasket and had the plugs done at that time.

            I think overall if you look at true delta the 2005 specifically is a low point for Subaru, likely due to those turbo issues…

            Now given it is a fast and good handling jacked up wagon we have taken this thing everywhere, beat plow trucks drag racing in the snow, drive on the beach on chappaquiddick, smoke a Volvo V70 trying to jump the pass line on the windy back roads of Maine…while loaded with toddler gear and hitch mounted bike rack. There isn’t much else that really does what this thing does. I

            I’ll trade a little maintenance trouble for some character and capability any day. I guess now I have found my inner KRhodes ha…

  • avatar

    Anecdotally I see this as a good year for Subaru. I work in a datacenter and 3 guys ages 25 to 28 bought new Imprezas or WRX’s this year. They all make over 40k, and all live with their parents. They all get new smartphones every year, and all spend thousands a year keeping their computers at bleeding edge. They don’t notice or mind that their cars make 2001 Toyota Corollas look sleek and sporty.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Those dudes sound like jokers. 40K+ is plenty to live on your own and get out of your parents house.

      • 0 avatar

        It certainly is – but not enough to do that AND have a new WRX.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          I guess you can go have a date with your girlfriend in your sporty WRX, and bring her back to your… bedroom at your parents house?

          Yep that’s hot.

          • 0 avatar

            I don’t think that’s a concern for somebody who works at a call center, lives at home and drives a WRX.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            From my experience, 40K is very impressive pay for call center work!

            Maybe in Canada that’s the norm, though. Here, at a call center requiring a BA and experience, you start at more like 28-30.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Corey I think it depends on the type of call center work and the industry. Semi-technical call center jobs at my former employer started mid-30s and their were experienced people in the specialist role who touched at least 50 prior to overtime.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            That’s a good point – I was just speaking from my experience doing relatively heavy CS at an insurance company call center.

            I still work here, but not in that area! They require a year of service in the department before you can move along.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Corey that sounds a bit like McKesson Automation (which no longer exists as it was sold). What I noticed there though was it took many years to be able to move off of the Help Desk and into Development (even into the maintenance group where I was). The subtle irony was there were folks stuck in the grind who did know more about the products than I did but were deliberately held back. The lesson I learned was to always be cognoscente of the role I took to get into a company because I may be stuck in it for the duration of my time there. Promotions or transfers tend to be very political and can easily be delayed due to economic malaise.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The way they have the transfers set up here, you have to tell your immediate supervisor that you want to apply internally – and they have to fill out a form saying YES recommend or NO don’t recommend (of course you don’t see this form). Saying “we need them in the department,” isn’t a valid reason to not recommend, though. I think any decline to recommend form would be examined thoroughly by HR. We do a lot of internal hiring here.

            I was in the initial department that hired me for 1y4mo before something came up that I wanted. I was really under-utilized in that initial department.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Nice to see a company following its own policies. Just as easy to say check “no” and write a comment to the effect of “employee X shows promise but needs more time to mature for role Y”.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          I concur, at my previous job prior to 2012 *many* of the sub 28yo crowd were cruising leased or used E90s while I still had my beater Saturn and occasionally the Audi 100 in the parking lot. I found out though all but one still greeted their parents when coming home, and the one who did not lived with grandma at the time.

          • 0 avatar
            typ901

            Here at my office the <30 year olds have newer cars, and go out to lunch everyday. Then they complain about being broke. No spouse, nor dependents…and broke? You have to be kidding!

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            A $500 car payment + rent + indentured servitude payments can do that to you real quick, even such a car payment alone with mommy and daddy can sting when you’re on entry level pay. The bitter irony is at least two of the five of them bought used with lower miles and intended to “pay it off and keep it”. My my they chose their models poorly.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Hearing these stories of other people (who are older than I am even) makes me feel so good about my life choices.

          • 0 avatar
            SC5door

            They live at home also because Mom and Dad put them under their car insurance. Granted I did that till I was 22 which cost me a whopping $20 a month on a brand new Dakota…..because Mom was the “primary driver”. They probably pay next to nothing on those WRX’s for insurance.

    • 0 avatar
      raresleeper

      Well hell, who else is gonna wash their undies the way mommy does?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I am much better at doing laundry than my mom was/is. She didn’t do anything besides color sort and over-bleach.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        The laundry mat is a terrible place.

        I had to go to one last year, after my washer and dryer were killed by flood water. It was terrible. SO MUCH WASTED TIME!

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Well just because you’re not living there doesn’t mean you can’t do your laundry at your apartment, or go to parents on weekends for laundry use!

          That was always a prerequisite for apartment shopping for me – laundry in the building (or in the apartment).

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The last place we rented had laundry in the unit. The building I lived in in Detroit had laundry in the scary basement. It was eiter go to the laundry mat or call ghostbusters.

        • 0 avatar
          raresleeper

          I never liked the idea of washing my clothes in someone else’s washer.

          And sunuvabich, guess who left their brand new washer and dryer with their ex-wife.

          Smh.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Why don’t you asked for supervised visitation?

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            Ha!!

          • 0 avatar
            SC5door

            First thing in my condo was to scrub the hell out of the bathroom and washer and dryer. I don’t care how clean it looked, still felt nasty to me. Never mind using a public facility….did that once and my clothes felt dirtier than when I took them there, took them over to Mom’s for a year when I lived in a building without washers/dryers in the units.

            I do let my friend bring his stuff over to wash, once a week. But he buys his own Tide, and spots me a $20 and dinner for using it.

          • 0 avatar
            nrd515

            I hated the damn laundromat, but not because of anything like using someone else’s washer, it was because of the standing around, waiting for the washer to get done, then waiting and waiting for the lukewarm (at best) dryers to dry my stuff. The usual procedure was to put a couple of things in each dryer and that seemed to make the wait tolerable, but expensive having to feed each dryer several times to get the stuff dry. As soon as I could, I bought a dryer and started saving up for a washer, so I could eventually never go back again.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Man, how to parents let their kids play the long con on them like that?

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        I was so ready to leave (as soon as humanly possible) and be out on my own that I do not understand this. Living at home and buying new cars and phones and computers? Ugh, these people.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I understand living with parents while going to school and figuring stuff out, but 28 and having significant disposible income seems a bit much for me.

          My parents rule was always, “If you are going to school you can live here free.” I appreciated living there for a year after being in the military.

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            I’ve got two beautiful daughters.

            They live with their mother. And given they ever want to live with me, this is fine…

            …until they’re 18. Okay… 19.

            Then get goin’. I’ll even help you get settled in a new place.

            But get goin’. You can always come eat at home. Then you “hast” to go.

            Responsibility shapes character which in turn shapes how you handle your priorities. Get your priorities together, before your 40, please.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Some parents never stop seeing their offspring as children that require their constant care. When that carries on long enough, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

        Also, a dispropportionate amount of Impreza buyers work in IT.

        • 0 avatar
          raresleeper

          Hoodies and crocs in the workplace FTW

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I wear collared shirts in the summer and rotate though fleeces in the winter, I can’t stand the sort of folks you describe in my industry.

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            Could be worse.

            Have you seen the people that loaf about in their pajama bottoms all day?

            Running to the grocery store? Running errands. In damned pajamas.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            This is a trend now, groups of girls all in their PJs, even shopping at a rather high-end mall. I was disgusted.

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            Being high maintenance is one thing, but this is going too far to the other end of the spectrum.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I always tell my wife that yoga pants are one step away from pajamas. Except they cost $75 a pair or some $hit.

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            No, no, bball.

            Yoga pants (given they “fit” nicely :) ) are wonderful.

            Just quit buyin’ her LuluLemon, your wallet will thank you later.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I’m not complaining about the yoga pants. They are just in the same family as sweatpants and pajama pants. They are certainly the standout memeber of that family though.

            And no LuLulemon in this house. She actually likes Gap’s high end athletic brand better. Plus the fact that lululemon pants have the tendency to become transparent.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I think the high end Gap brand is called Athleta.

            And the problem is that 90% of the women I see wearing yoga pants don’t actually DO yoga, and are too fat to wear them.

            You need to be REALLY fit if you’re gonna wear that crap. And if you’re really fit, fix yourself up and look nice.

            Our society has become far too casual.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @bball

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1srzsTJOW2c

            “Our society has become far too casual”

            I agree.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I am the only district/market manager in my company that wears a tie with corporate attire. I cannot force any of my subordinate male managers to wear a tie because it is not in the corporate dress code. Therefore, they all look sloppy as hell.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The sloppy/lazy is an American thing. Other countries do not do that, at all. I wonder if we’ll ever return to some sense of propriety and formality. Probably not. :(

            We are “business casual” here, but it’s all up to the individual departments to enforce. I always dress up and look nice, but there are people here who think a sweatshirt and some weird comfort slacks are appropriate, with their New Balance shoes. Women are by far the worst offenders in dress code violation.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I hate having to bring up dress code violations with women. Oh God, I hate it so. Even when we’ve have corporate branded apparel, they still figure out a way to ruin it. “Tiffany, you cannot wear open toe shoes, no nylons/panty hoses, a miniskirt, and unbutton your top three buttons of your shirt while at work.”

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Reminds me of Catholic school.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Tiffany don’t look good in a miniskirt.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I’m sure she probably a big girl too. They like to wear the little skirts. And tight too, so it look like a bag full of doorknobs behind her.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            “And tight too, so it look like a bag full of doorknobs behind her”

            Where is PeteZeiss when you need him?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            HAHAH

            He don’t work here no more.

    • 0 avatar
      Power6

      Subaru says the average WRX buyer is in their 30s and makes around 100k. I didn’t buy my new WRX til I was about there myself.

      There will always be those kids buying a new car way too early in their career. My first job as an IT guy was about 50k and I was driving a 10 year old sunbird for the first few years of that. Didn’t buy a new car until 2005.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Hmmmm.

    Seems that yuppies have traded in their bottles of booze for kayaks and mountain bikes.

    And hey, they’ll need a Subaru to get there.

    Guess we’ll need to start wearing hemp necklaces and cut out other non-important activities, like showering.

  • avatar

    Two 2.5 Subies, two head gasket repairs.

    What soured me for good was when our ’05 Outback’s SECOND set began leaking around 175,000…meaning the replacement set, installed at around 110,000 miles with the prerequisite timing belt (and while you’re in there, the water pump) replacement, was already failing.

    At least my 4.3 Chevy’s edible intake gaskets could be replaced with a better quality part which cured the problem.

    But love is what makes a Subaru a Subaru, so what’s $2500 worth of maintenance every 100K miles? If it had been a GM with edible head gaskets, there’d probably have been a “60 Minutes” investigation.

    My wife traded the Outback on a 2011 Equinox LTZ.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Was the work done at a dealer? From what I’ve read, the issue with the OEM gaskets is that they have a rubber outer layer that degrades and this is where the leaks originate from. the FelPro gaskets are all metal and supposedly cure the issue for good. The quality of work is also very important IE how well the head surface was cleaned off before slapping the new gaskets on. The heads on the newer EJ engines on the 05-09 cars are also more prone to warping, so that must be checked when the HG is replaced.

      We’ll see if Subaru has finally slain the HG beast on their new FB series of engines, which also have timing chains now, for better for for worse. I’ve heard that oil consumption is now a problem on the new engines, at least in part due to the EPA-chasing low viscosity 0w-20 oil everyone is using these days.


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