Subaru Australia’s importer will break its sales record in 2016, with 8 per cent annual growth to the end of November over last year’s high-water mark despite declines from four of its best-known model lines.
With one month to go, Subaru’s growth this year takes its cumulative total to 43,110 units, meaning it’s a sure thing to overtake its 2015 all-time annual record of 43,600.
This comes despite declines for the Impreza (down 16 per cent to 3966 sales, with a brand-new model launching next week) and Liberty (down 13 per cent to 3291, and falling in market share from 8.5 per cent to 7.4 per cent).
There’s also the WRX sedan (down 16 per cent to 2660, in typical performance-car fashion) and just-updated BRZ coupe (down 57 per cent to just 249, compared to 1937 for the Toyota 86, which is itself down 31 per cent as the novelty factor fades).
So what’s happening? Subaru is riding the crossover boom, with the aged XV (up 16 per cent to 7645 sales), Forester (up 13 per cent to 12,484) and Outback (up 11 per cent to 11,306) all performing extremely well.
Thanks to sharpened value, the soon-to-be-replaced current XV is actually belying a small SUV segment decline of 1.4 per cent, while the Forester has battled a swathe of new rivals such as the Hyundai Tucson to grow above its segment average.
Meantime, the Outback remains a stellar success. The new model grew sales 345 per cent last year over the old car’s dismal 2014, and Subaru has kept the growth coming — no easy feat. It’s rated as the number-two selling large SUV.
The final piece of the puzzle is the new Levorg, which has added 1509 cumulative sales in five-and-a-bit months, no doubt stealing some from the WRX sedan in the process. This is a solid performance indeed in the declining wagon market.
It promises to be a big 2017 for Subaru as well, with a full year of all-new Impreza (pictured above) sales in the static but immense small-car segment, and a new XV based on this car later in the year the headline changes.