Subaru of America is the US sales and marketing subsidiary of Japan's Fuji Heavy Industries. It is responsible for the distribution, marketing, sales and service of Subaru vehicles in the US. Subaru vehicles, parts, and accessories are marketed through a network of about 600 dealers across the country. Equipped with all-wheel drive technology and the fuel-efficient Subaru boxer engine, its vehicle line includes the Impreza, Legacy, Outback, Forester, and Tribeca models. All Subaru products are said to be manufactured in zero-landfill production plants. Subaru of Indiana Automotive Inc. is also the only automobile production plant to be designated a backyard wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation.
The US is Subaru's second key market next to Japan. Despite the previous global auto sales slump, Subaru managed to increase its total vehicle sales by 26% from 2011 to 2012. This represents a new record in the number of vehicles sold: it sold 271,582 in 2012 (up from the previous record-holder, 266,989 vehicles in 2011).
Subaru attributes much of the growth to its Impreza line, which increased by 165% from 2012 to 2011. It also experienced increased in demand for its Outback (14%) and Legacy (12%) models during that same time period.
Fuji Heavy Industries has entered into an alliance with Toyota to strengthen the companies' competitiveness through shared technology, R&D, and product supply. Toyota doubled its stake in Subaru to over 16%, which improves the capital on hand for Subaru. In return, Toyota takes advantage of some of Subaru's engineering, as well as its US manufacturing facilities in Indiana, where Toyota Camrys are built. The company also has an agreement with Daihatsu Motor to provide Subaru with sub-compact vehicles (mini cars).
The company credits a number of decisions for its recent success. Subaru gave up competing with premium European automobiles like Volvo and Audi and instead launched more practical, outdoor models like the Outback wagon, repositioning itself as a value brand by pricing its cars more affordably. It also restyled its models with more interior space, which is important to US drivers, who tend to require more leg room. Additionally, Subaru is seeing increasing customer loyalty to its brand thanks to marketing efforts, and it is a top safety pick among highway safety experts.
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