The hottest car brand in America isn’t Tesla or one of Detroit’s big three: It’s quietly successful Japanese car maker Subaru, which reported a massive 28% increase in U.S. sales this September when compared to last year.
The announcement is the continuation of a trend of outcompeting rivals that dates back four years.
The sales growth numbers were only beat by Mitsubishi and Infiniti. However, these two companies were showing total vehicles sold that struggled to break the 10,000 mark, with Subaru increasing from 41,000 to over 53,000 vehicles sold.
September saw all car makers posting great sales results in part due to a change in accounting that included Labor Day sales, which were not counted in 2014.
Subaru’s repeated instances of monthly sales growth is a result of the weak yen and strong dollar. Another major factor is its plethora of SUV vehicles in a country that can’t seem to buy enough.
President of Subaru of America, Thomas Doll, stated that the success was rightly deserved. “This extraordinary success has been built on a foundation of the right product, the right positioning and most of all, a strong retail network.”
Doll went on to describe the company’s advertising shift years ago, when the focus became more about customers’ lifestyles and less about vehicle purchase programs. The company has also created philanthropic offerings for the communities surrounding its dealerships.
One of the company’s most popular models, the Forester, again received high marks for its 2016 offering, beating out the Ford Escape and Mazda CX-5. In the midst of the recent mess over Volkswagen’s emission troubles, it also held the best emissions classification from California regulators, the PZEV.
Subaru may not ever win any awards for their eye-pleasing designs, but Japanese car makers have often been known for their plain yet durable offerings.
It also doesn’t hurt that the company used to have little exposure in Midwest and Southern states, focusing on sales in Northern coastal states. Expansion in these regions coupled with the company’s relatively small size allowed Subaru to easily exceed the growth rates of its rivals.