Subaru of America expects sales to surge to 500,000 units by 2016 as the brand hikes capacity at its only site in the United States, company president Tom Doll disclosed. Subaru posted a 26-percent jump in sales in 2013 to 424,683 vehicles, making it one of the fastest growing brands in the US in the past five years.
Speaking at the Automotive News World Congress today, Doll remarked that Subaru will "have to moderate that growth." Subaru will concentrate on improving its customer service and dealer service capacity.
"We have sold so many cars we do not have the service structure at our retailers to handle all the vehicles coming back," adding that Subaru’s challenge in the next few years will be to make sure that it has the necessary service capacity -- the lifts, service bays, technicians, better waiting rooms and loaner cars.
He said that when customers come in for service, Subaru has everything in place to handle them.
Subaru is expecting sales to jump between 6 percent and 8 percent in 2014 to between 450,000 and 460,000 units, or even between 7 percent and 8 percent annually in 2015. He said that Subaru does not need to build a new US site and is expanding the capacity of its Lafayette plant in Indiana by 100,000 units to 300,000 by 2016.
The Lafayette site builds the Outback and Tribeca crossovers; the Legacy sedan; and the Impreza four- and five-door compact. According to Doll, Subaru will offer a battery-powered electric car by 2018 to comply with strict regulations in California. The carmaker launched its first hybrid, the XV Crosstrek Hybrid, in 2013.