By on May 11, 2015

2015 subaru wrx (9)

Fuji Heavy Industries announced it would increase production at its Lafayette, Ind. plant as Subaru hits its North American sales target five years early.

Fuji Heavy president Yasuyuki Yoshinaga said last week Subaru would reach 600,000 units sold in the United States and Canada per year by the end of March 2016, a milestone originally set for 2021 Automotive News reports.

The U.S. market alone accounts for 62 percent of the automaker’s global sales, with Q1 2015 sales rising 12 percent to 128,900 units. Meanwhile, 570,000 units left for North American showrooms during FY 2014, surpassing a target of 540,000 models projected for the U.S. alone by the end of 2015. The current forecast points to 554,000 sold in the U.S. by next March.

Thus, Yoshinaga proclaimed production in Indiana would climb to 394,000 units annually by the end of 2016. Fuji Heavy originally planned to boost said production to 328,000 by the end of said period, then to 400,000 by the end of FY 2020.

The Indiana plant is set to assemble the next-gen Impreza, which will hit showrooms in 2016 upon the new modular Subaru Global Platform, and with direct injection for its boxer engine onboard.

[Photo credit: Kamil Kaluski/The Truth About Cars]

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49 Comments on “Subaru Sees US Production Boost Five Years Early Due To Rising Sales...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    The fear of dying if your car doesn’t have AWD is a powerful marketing tool, as is the “they lived” campaign.

    How did Volvo miss out on this gravy train?

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      If Volvo was still owned by Ford then I could see Ford copying Subbie on this however since its Chinese owned well how knows what their overseers are thinking.

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      Ford ownership, someone else laid the blame in the previous SC plant thread.

      Introduced around the time Ford bought Volvo Cars, the V70XC/XC70 has been through 3 generations already?

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I thought Chrysler started the “They Lived” thing back in like 1990, when the first real-life crash in Anytown USA happened between two LeBarons, both of which happened to have airbags in them.

    • 0 avatar
      djsyndrome

      It’s as much EyeSight as it is AWD. I wouldn’t be surprised if it started becoming standard on the upper trim levels soon.

      • 0 avatar
        Steve Biro

        “It’s as much EyeSight as it is AWD. I wouldn’t be surprised if it started becoming standard on the upper trim levels soon.”

        Oh, God I hope not. I’m fine with it being available for those who want it (i.e. those who should be taking mass transit). But for those of us who like to, you know, watch where we’re going, we can feel the life force leaving our bodies. I know you can turn it off. But wait for the first lawsuit: “You had EyeSight turned off? Why?”

        • 0 avatar
          rdclark

          Do you feel that way about ABS? Traction control? Airbags? Seatbelts? Rear view mirrors? I’m old enough to remember people grousing about all of these (well, except the last one) as being the trump of doom for people who actually prefer to do their own driving.

          You know the car that needs Eyesight? The one that’s coming up on my tailpipe at a stop sign while the teenage driver is texting.

          • 0 avatar
            Steve Biro

            Yes, I’m old enough to remember all of that. I never complained about seat belts :) Nor did I complain about improvements to auto body structures, suspensions, brakes and tires. But I did and do complain about all of the others.

            EyeSight won’t help you with that teen who’s texting. He or she is a lost cause. But all of this technology does go a long way toward making people believe they can text and multitask while driving. And that’s my problem with it.

            Air bags? We wouldn’t need them (or at least we wouldn’t need bags nearly as powerful as the ones we have) if people would simply wear their belts.

            But I have no illusions: I’m sure all of this will be rammed down our throats before long.

          • 0 avatar
            Zekele Ibo

            There will be resistance from “enthusiast” quarters to Eyesight or similar systems, because they are fundamentally incompatible with manual transmissions. It would be too dangerous if the car stalls when the system slams on the brakes.

            If such systems become mandated, it would be the death knell for the stick-shift.

          • 0 avatar
            rpn453

            A car could easily be designed to declutch at that moment if necessary.

    • 0 avatar

      I can’t find it now, but, decades ago, when every Subaru came standard with ABS, they parodied the then famous Volvo ad that ran a 240 into a wall and talked about safety.

      In the Subaru ad, the wall was avoided – due to the standard ABS – which Volvo didn’t have. The punch line was that the best way to survive the accident was to avoid it altogether.

      So, aside from being an “aspirational” brand, not a practical one, Volvo haven’t the attachments to advertise against Subaru.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    Good to see our boys screwin’ ’em together once again. Who needs China or Mexico? ‘Murica!

  • avatar
    thelaine

    Subie seems to inspire a lot of brand loyalty.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      For those that love interior squeaks and rattles, there is no better brand.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        They’ve always exuded a sort of country charm. You don’t mind getting them dirty, even in “limited” guise.
        The flip side to that is you can’t take them uptown. They don’t clean-up too good…

        Interesting that they are now essentially an American brand.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Currently one of my larger issues with them is the covered up exhaust panel (passenger side) on the back of the Legacy, on models which do not have dual exhaust. It’s like a button blank, but it’s huge and visible to everyone behind you.

          I find this unacceptable because it’s not 1985. Make two separate bumpers and quit being cheap.

          http://images.thecarconnection.com/lrg/2015-subaru-legacy_100456553_l.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            VW16v

            Accord does the same thing when only using one exhaust pipe. Common on many Japanese branded cars.

      • 0 avatar
        tresmonos

        say what you want about their NVH, when people buy Subaru, they keep buying Subaru.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          This. The loyalty thing is phenomenal. And it’s not just the vegan class; I know several crusty, conservative 60-somethings on at least their second Subies who will never stray.

          Subie does conquest.

          • 0 avatar
            VW16v

            Yes, I think the Subaru has gone over to the dark side. Church parking lots are filled with Subies. Not to many granola people can afford a $30k Outback. Seems like Consumer Reports is followed by many types of people. The trend is to sit up a little higher.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “Not to many granola people can afford a $30k Outback.”

            Tell me the difference between “to” and “too” and then I’ll tell you why you’re not understanding or agreeing with my comment.

  • avatar
    Chan

    The new WRXs look great. Enjoy seeing them on the roads.

    The older ones always made me think, “That is a very awkward-looking car, but since it’s a WRX/STI I respect it for what it is.”

    No more excuses with the new one. The front end is properly mean and the rest of the car looks as it should–a plain car with fender flares.

    Only thing I don’t like is the quad tailpipes. The number of exhaust exits should never come close to, let alone match, the number of cylinders. I suppose I don’t exactly like the circa-2005 interior either, but that is a Subaru-wide problem.

    • 0 avatar
      Synchromesh

      I beg to differ. I own a ’12 hatch and I wouldn’t trade it for a new car even it was a direct swap. I’m not going to say that old car looked beautiful – it didn’t but it had utility. The new car comes in useless sedan form only and looks like regular Impreza with a scoop.

      • 0 avatar
        Chan

        I agree that the lack of a hatchback WRX is a sore spot, and given the choice, that’s the body style I would rather own.

        But, haven’t WRX bodies always been Imprezas with flared fenders and hood scoops? I only prefer the front end of the 2015…the rest of the body, save for the side skirts and fender flares, has never been any more than plain Impreza.

    • 0 avatar
      godomatic

      I recently went from an ’05 Forester (275k miles with no major issues) to a ’15 WRX. I’m seeing nearly 30mpg since I do mostly highway miles and it’s fun to drive. The compromises are mostly gone. I absolutely love the car and miss the hatchback less than I thought I would. I’m too old to appreciate the old boy-racer look and this generation suits me.

      I’m happy to see Subaru doing well and anticipate buying another one.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m with you.

        I am on my fifth and, while I wish they would actually make a replacement for my Spec B, I’ll be happy with a new, 2017 WRX…or an STi (sans wing), if the new for 2017 generation brings a new engine.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    It’s not surprising. Subaru took a lot of the quirkiness out of their products, focused on being more mainstream, and the buying public is totally convinced that AWD = Abrams tank level of safety.

    They can’t build them fast enough – well except the BR-Z.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      IMO it’s more than AWD, there’s also the clever marketing campaigns (“Love”, anyone?), the cleverly named “EyeSight” adaptive cruise control, crash test scores, etc.

      Safety sells, even if the advantage over other car brands is theoretical.

      • 0 avatar
        Undefinition

        Yes, safety sells, but it also helps that Subarus can come in cheaper than comparable Hondas and Mazdas.

      • 0 avatar
        Advance_92

        I think the Love campaign is nothing compared to a Paul Hogan pitching jacked up two-tone Legacies, though.

        • 0 avatar
          Mandalorian

          “Subaru has gone mainstream, they don’t make Legacy wagons anymore, their cars are so bland now.” This “Enthusiast” whining is getting real old. It was old in 2009 and it’s old now. Subaru has changed, get over it. They’re going through exponential growth with their new plan, unlike the old manual Legacy wagon which is dead and buried.

          Vehicles have made a huge jump in refinement recently. Sales are through the roof. Subaru is doing it right,

          And seriously jacking up a 175hp station wagon 2″ does not take it from a Nurembergring crusher and turn it to a Suzuki Sidekick.

          • 0 avatar
            Steve Biro

            “This `Enthusiast’ whining is getting real old. It was old in 2009 and it’s old now. Subaru has changed, get over it. They’re going through exponential growth with their new plan, unlike the old manual Legacy wagon which is dead and buried.”

            I understand your point but if one is an enthusiast – and not a rich one – there’s almost nothing that interesting on the market anymore. Certainly not below $30K. Even the WRX isn’t that interesting anymore.

            Most of us understand Subaru’s success. But it would be nice if they had at least a couple of vehicles for the faithful. Just like Volvo kept making the box-like 240 Series for their traditionalists for so long.

            One final word from me: Going mainstream can be a dangerous thing. Once you go mainstream, you’ll be judged against other mainstream cars. This is where VW went wrong. During their air-cooled era, they could never compete on traditional terms against most cars. But they were funky, fun and unique, and were judged on their own merits. These days? Not so much.

            Subaru’s relative lack of refinement will only be tolerated for so long under such a scenario. Boxer engines and symmetrical all-wheel drive will only take them so far. If this is where they want to go, fine. But they’ll have to raise their game. Underpowered engines are a good place to start.

          • 0 avatar
            Chan

            Also, I disagree that the WRX has been neutered in any way.

            It’s better than ever, and let’s just quietly ignore that they now sell a CVT version. It doesn’t matter to the enthusiasts; what does is that the manual is still here and we can still get a fun daily driver. My neighbour just got one (manual), and it sounds aggressive without being STI-obnoxious.

            The sacrifice in refinement is minimal compared to a typical compact 4-door like the Honda Civic. The main area where Subaru lags behind is interior design…never been a strength of Fuji and Co.

            Now onto a serious question: are head gaskets expected to be an issue with the FA20 motor, or even the old 2.5 in the STI?

          • 0 avatar
            See 7 up

            I never really understood this stance.

            You are implying Subaru’s success is due to removing the manual option on, say the outback.

            I’d say Subaru’s success us due to refining their cars. People would still flock to automatic out backs and foresters even if a manual option was available. Or are you saying if Subaru offered a MT outback, total sales would suffer?

            Now Subaru may think there is no real business case in offering a mt outback, but that is not a reason they have seen sales increases. Futthermore, they were able to invest in the new outback fesign even when “burdened” by the old ones that had a mt option.

          • 0 avatar
            bullnuke

            Subaru still manufactures 6MT Outbacks and Legacy’s for the Canadian market (in Lafayette, no less) but doesn’t sell them in the US. Probably has something to do with keeping the US CAFE figure up as the CVT’s get better mpg’s. I purchased one of the last Outback 6MT’s in 2014 when I heard that production was ending for the US market. http://www.subaru.ca/WebPage.aspx?WebSiteID=282&WebPageID=19456&Range=Outback&ModelYear=2015&CarID=805

          • 0 avatar
            gottacook

            “But it would be nice if they had at least a couple of vehicles for the faithful.”

            Well, they did make the “proper”-sized, frameless-window Legacy/Outback wagon for 20 years (1990-2009) and the equivalent Forester for 12 years (1997-2008). There are still nice ones out there if you want one. But you can’t have any of ours! (’03 Legacy SE wagon 5-speed, ’06 Forester X premium package 5-speed, ’07 Forester LL Bean)

      • 0 avatar
        Skink

        AWD provides improved control and increased acceleration in the snow, etc. That can help keep you out of trouble. So yes, safety. But not just safety.

        • 0 avatar
          rpn453

          Relative to FWD, the improved control of AWD isn’t even available to the most safety-conscious, conservative drivers. And you really only gain the control to rotate the vehicle if you have the nannies off.

          I think people just want to be able to accelerate quickly in a straight line in winter.

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Safety only sells at a low price today. Volvo’s failure to continue capitalizing on their safety image is Exhibit A.

        To be sure, Subaru is selling safety, but they are really selling independence and emotion – something Volvo seems incapable of doing.

  • avatar

    “The Indiana plant is set to assemble the next-gen Impreza, which will hit showrooms in 2016…”

    Are you telling us that the – what – 4 year-old Impreza is about to be replaced?

  • avatar
    fiasco

    As a holdout of the manual Legacy wagon set, I think the solution lies in the XV Crosstrek.

    I live on a crappy road in New England. At least two months a year (“mud season”, and with winter, it’s more like five months), I need a car with more than 6″ ground clearance (more is better, and with the King springs and skid plates on my rusty205k mile 2003 Legacy wagon, I’m ahead of a modern Outback).

    I’ll let you know when my Legacy has a four-figure component failure. Which will be sometime between tomorrow or 350k miles. Although I may try to make the inherited Volvo 850 sedan fill the role in the Subaru’s absence, even though I’m constantly looking for the clutch pedal when I drive it.

  • avatar
    Oliver Snurdlap

    Got an Outback with Eyesight. The teenager texting will wake up fast if his car had Eyesight as his brakes go on and the warning light flashes. I also have the 3.6 engine, but it could really run with the small H4 (with a mild turbo boost of course!)
    p.s. I can fit 2 bikes in the back without taking the wheels off and still have room for a passenger in a second row seat.

  • avatar
    VW16v

    Sales would be even higher if the WRX was still offered in a 5 door hatchback.

  • avatar
    wmba

    I’ve owned three Subarus. The new ones bore me. The Forester is a wasteland inside, and offers no dynamic qualities as offset. The Impreza is so noisy it’s like driving around with a rear window down, and the engine is a major wimp. The new Legacy/Outback is voluminous inside with a semi-decent interior and a very soft ride.

    So these are the reasons people obviously love them! Good thing for Subaru that they have become so popular in the US, because the Chinese refused to allow them to build a plant in China.

    As for the usual commenters who show up to deride Subaru AWD, they need to drive a Subaru to discover what in the real world the stable ride they provide, soft suspension or not, rather than the voices in their head telling them what the cars are like. As if that will ever happen! People like to remain hopeless.

    As an owner, I feel competent to judge and criticize the new ones compared to the one I own. The average opinionated internet scribe who has no experience of them, I laugh at.

    • 0 avatar
      Chan

      Funny how when I test drove a WRX, I thought it was quiet and refined.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        The new WRX is a nice car. I can’t speak to the interior’s long term durability or lack of squeaks but it is perfectly adequate for a car at its price point.

        It’s not as good as the GTI but at it’s price point what is? If anyone hasn’t sat in the new car, do so. You might be pleasantly surprised.

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