Old Hat? April 2015 Reveals Another Subaru U.S. Sales Record

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
old hat april 2015 reveals another subaru u s sales record

Subaru reported the brand’s 41st consecutive month of year-over-year U.S. sales improvement last month and in so doing produced the brand’s highest-volume April in the history of Subaru of America.

47,241 Subarus were sold in the United States last month, an 18% increase compared with April 2014. The 7,158-unit increase was powered by gains from the Forester, Outback, Legacy, XV Crosstrek, and the WRX/STi.

High-riders – the Forester, Outback, and XV – accounted for 71% of Subaru’s volume last month.

The XV has proven so far this year to be significantly more popular than the Impreza sedan and hatch combined (excluding the WRX/STi that Subaru sees as a unique model). XV sales are up 20% to 27,017 through the first four months of 2015; Impreza sales are up 2% to 20,597. The XV led the Impreza by only 2,390 units at this stage a year ago.

The Outback fell 2238 units shy of matching last December’s best Outback month ever but exceeded the nameplate’s previous best April by 1,871 units, an 18% improvement.

Forester sales, say Subaru, have risen beyond 10,000 units in each of the last 21 months. In comparison with the category’s top-selling CR-V, Equinox, Escape, and RAV4, Forester sales aren’t terribly high. Those four nameplates averaged nearly 27,000 April sales. But the Forester’s steady march forward is unmistakable. Between 2007 and 2012, Subaru averaged fewer than 6000 Forester sales per month.

By the standards of top-tier midsize contenders, Legacy sales are a pittance. Yet by Legacy standards, Subaru’s midsize sedan is booming. April sales shot up 69% to 5,276; year-to-date volume is up 68% to 19,647.

The numbers are small, but the Legacy is proving tremendously helpful for Subaru in the United States, where the majority of midsize cars – and the midsize segment as a whole – are failing to match last year’s sales pace. The Legacy has added nearly 8,000 sales to the Subaru tally over the span of just four months, nearly on par with the volume added by the Outback.

With growth across much of the lineup, where does this position Subaru? We’ve stated previously that the brand is clearly now among the mainstream players, as declared by what is now a 14-month-long streak of 40K+ sales months. Subaru’s U.S. market share increased to 3.2% in April 2015, up from 2.9% at this time a year ago, 2.6% in April 2013, and 2.2% in April 2012.

The likelihood that a successor to the discontinued Tribeca will be far more successful than the Tribeca will provide further expansion.

SubaruApril 2015April 2014% Change2015 YTD2014 YTD% ChangeForester13,97711,54721.0%51,61346,9379.9%Outback12,53410,66317.6%48,02139,58921.3%XV Crosstrek6,9365,67822.2%27,01722,55319.8%Legacy5,2763,12668.8%19,64711,67068.4%Impreza5,3115,444-2.4%20,59720,1632.2%WRX/STi2,7132,6980.6%9,9748,21321.4%BRZ494820-39.8%1,6532,886-42.7%———————Total 47,24140,083 17.9%178,522 152,471 17.1%

Subaru was the ninth-best-selling auto brand in America over the first four months of 2015, 10,000 sales ahead of Dodge; 16,000 sales back of Kia.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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  • Spartan Spartan on May 10, 2015

    Subaru. The Volvo of the 21st Century.

  • Djsyndrome Djsyndrome on May 11, 2015

    I set out to buy a BRZ Premium a few weekends ago. No-one in the immediate Seattle area had the trim and color combination I wanted (which wasn't especially rare), but I was willing to budge on color and was looking forward to paying below MSRP. Was told by one dealer that I would have to wait 3-4 months for what I wanted, and that they weren't willing to deal on price. Another dealer had two '14s that they couldn't give away, likely because they were both silver and looked like they hadn't been washed since last Christmas. Getting *any* dealer to discuss the BRZ at length in light of the new WRX and all of the other customers throwing money at them for Outbacks and Foresters is like pulling teeth. Subaru dealers are obviously annoyed that they still have to carry the thing. I gave up and went to a Toyota dealer. Walked out with the FR-S in the color I wanted in under an hour at a great rate. Even like the suspension a bit better. The BRZ will never reach peak sales again, but the environment they are being sold in isn't helping matters.

    • See 1 previous
    • Dal20402 Dal20402 on May 11, 2015

      @iNeon Flatly untrue. Subaru will discount to move the metal. I paid over $4000 under sticker for a '13 Forester XT bought in January '13, about two months before the new '14s hit dealers. This is just Seattle-area dealers not wanting to think about a BRZ because they sell 50 Foresters for every BRZ they sell.

  • Tassos What was the last time we had any good news from Ford? (or GM for that matter?)The last one was probably when Alan Mulally was CEO. Were you even born back then?Fields was a total disaster, then they go hire this clown from Toyota's PR department, the current Ford CEO, Fart-ley or something.He claims to be an auto enthusiast too (unlike Mary Barra who is even worse, but of course always forgiven, as she is the proud owner of a set of female genitals.
  • Tassos I know some would want to own a collectible Mustang. (sure as hell not me. This crappy 'secretary's car' (that was exactly its intended buying demo) was as sophisticated (transl. : CRUDE) as the FLintstone's mobile. Solid Real Axle? Are you effing kidding me?There is a huge number of these around, so they are neither expensive nor valuable.WHen it came out, it was $2,000 or so new. A colleague bought a recent one with the stupid Ecoboost which also promised good fuel economy. He drives a hard bargain and spends time shopping and I remember he paid $37k ( the fool only bought domestic crap, but luckily he is good with his hands and can fix lots of stuff on them).He told me that the alleged fuel economy is obtained only if you drive it like a VERY old lady. WHich defeats the purpose, of course, you might as well buy a used Toyota Yaris (not even a Corolla).
  • MRF 95 T-Bird Back when the Corolla consisted of a wide range of body styles. This wagon, both four door and two door sedans, a shooting brake like three door hatch as well as a sports coupe hatchback. All of which were on the popular cars on the road where I resided.
  • Wjtinfwb Jeez... I've got 3 Ford's and have been a defender due to my overall good experiences but this is getting hard to defend. Thinking the product durability testing that used to take months to rack up 100k miles or more is being replaced with computer simulations that just aren't causing these real-world issues to pop up. More time at the proving ground please...
  • Wjtinfwb Looks like Mazda put more effort into sprucing up a moribund product than Chevy did with the soon to be euthanized '24 Camaro.