By on June 13, 2017

2018 Subaru WRX STI and WRX - Image: SubaruNo auto brand in the world sells more all-wheel-drive vehicles than Subaru, says Subaru.

Autocar is reporting figures from Subaru UK that say 15 percent of the global market for all-wheel-drive vehicles is scooped up by the Subaru brand.

In Subaru’s fiscal year from April 2015 to April 2016, the automaker finished with nearly 1 million sales of all-wheel drive vehicles — 245,382 more than the next-highest-volume all-wheel-drive provider: Audi.

Branded as Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive, Subaru’s AWD system appears in 99.3 percent of the Subarus sold in America, the brand’s largest market.

Subaru’s U.S. surge is well documented.

The brand, TTAC said not long ago, is so popular now that Subaru is now decidedly mainstream.

Despite a slowdown in the market overall, Subaru will sell more vehicles in America this year than ever before, a feat that will repeat Subaru’s accomplishments from 2009 onward. Everything fell apart for the U.S. auto industry that year, but Subaru expanded its sales.

Also well-known is the Japanese automaker’s U.S. reliance. While Subaru reported 965,892 all-wheel-drive global vehicle sales between April 2015 and April 2016, 60 percent of that volume originated in the United States.

The traditional Subaru message of all-wheel drive and safety simply doesn’t resonate nearly so strong across the pond. The whole of Europe eats up fewer than 50,000 Subarus per year — less than Subaru manages in the U.S. each month.

The British buff books’ historical hankering after Prodrive-tuned WRX STIs surely doesn’t correlate to UK sales success: Subaru sold a piddling 1,210 vehicles in the UK in the first five months of 2017 — a 19-percent drop — while earning just 0.1 percent of the overall market.

It’s sort of like Major League Baseball’s World Series. The title may be global, but it’s all decided in the United States of America.

Subaru’s U.S. reliance should, theoretically, speak to the global possibilities. And perhaps, long-term, those are real possibilities. But in the near-term, Subaru will look for expansion just south of the company’s existing heartland: America’s sun belt.

Alabama vs. Clemson. Grits and greens. Hurricanes and hospitality. And all-wheel drive?

[Image: Subaru]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!


13 Comments on “With Mostly American Support, Subaru Claims Global All-Wheel-Drive Sales Supremacy, Stomps On Quattro...”

  • avatar

    Subaru and Honda – strong in America and pretty weak everywhere else – including Japan.

  • avatar

    In Europe the problem is they only sell one diesel engine, nearly 8 years old, stuck at 150HP as when it debuted, and no hybrid. With the equivalent of 6 to 8 $/gal for gas, Subaru’s portfolio simply does not fit European needs.

  • avatar

    “The whole of Europe eats up fewer than 50,000 Subarus per year — less than Subaru manages in the U.S. each month.”

    I don’t think so! According to some obscure website –, Subaru sold less than 50,000 vehicles as recently as April…..

  • avatar

    Having owned both brands, I’ll take the Audi every time.

  • avatar

    Subaru cites sales of vehicles described as “all-wheel-drive”, while ignoring sales of vehicles labelled “four-wheel-drive”. There may be a technical difference (I’m not an engineer), but I suspect the average consumer conflates the two.

    “It’s sort of like Major League Baseball’s World Series. The title may be global, but it’s all decided in the United States of America”

    A common misconception. The title is not global at all – the series is named for its original sponsor, the New York World newspaper. The newspaper is long dead, the baseball championship it named lives on.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Vulpine: @DM: I suggest you actually measure the distances rather than making assumptions. You gave me 2′ by...
  • DenverMike: Maybe you’re using The New Math. But you’re wrong. Go try it. I just did and I can reach a...
  • MiataReallyIsTheAnswer: Every single one I owned (3) had plastic headlights. I think my oldest was 1988 so possibly...
  • Giskard: The Plaid Model S will likely have high margins but you’re correct in that it won’t be a huge...
  • ajla: This, but it’s an Arteon and has 150 more miles of range.

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber