Official figures have not been released yet but already Subaru maker Fuji Heavy Industries has been recognized for having recorded the only increase in US sales this year, aside from Hyundai Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp.
CEO Ikuo Mori said that Fuji Heavy continues to gain a stronger foothold in the key US market with sales rising by about 20%.
However, he says that company has a lot of work to do in order to raise its earning power. Fuji Heavy, owned 16.5 percent by Toyota Motor Corp., currently has the same market share as mass-volume brand Volkswagen AG. Mori said that he expects the trend will persist. In fact, November sales are up 20% compared to the year before.
In an interview with Reuters, Mori said that Fuji Heavy is boosting its share in the US as it is considered as the single-most important market under its medium-term strategy.
Mori asserted that Fuji Heavy's revenue and profits remain low and conditions are still tough. However, he shares that he feels like things will gradually get better.
Mori cited the company's new guidance announced this month to return to an operating profit for the financial year to March 2010. With the demand for Subaru's Forester and Legacy surpassing expectations this year, its US sales increased 13% in the first 10 months.
Sales were particularly high during the months when the cash-for-clunkers program was active. This achievement is made all the more impressive if you consider that the overall market plunged 26 percent in the same period.