Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. updated its operating profit forecast from the six months ended September 30, 2012, to reflect an expected 34-percent increase. The raised forecast reflects higher sales in the U.S., wherein higher prices for its Subaru brand cars more than offset lower sales in China. For April-September 2012 period, Subaru sales grew 27% in North America, which accounts for around half of its global sales.
The increase in US sales came despite the imposing lower discounts on Subaru cars and sports utility vehicles. Unlike Japanese rivals Toyota Motor Corp. and Nissan Motor Co., Subaru took advantage of the recovering US demand by offering cashback rebates on models like the Forester and Outback. In a statement, Fuji Heavy said it is expecting an operating profit of JPY43 billion ($539 million) for the six months ended Sept. 30, 2012, up from the previous forecast of JPY32 billion.
Fuji Heavy, however, posted a 64-percent drop in sales in September in China, after a territorial dispute between Japan and China led to anti-Japan protests and boycotts of Japanese goods. China accounts for about 7% of the carmaker’s sales. Fuji Heavy said overall vehicle sales for the April-September period were below its forecast. The company will disclose further details when it releases its second-quarter earnings on Oct. 30, 2012.
The latest Subaru Outback was first revealed during the 2009 New York International Auto Show media conference. Now in its fourth generation, the World's First Sport Utility Wagon features a spacious and a more capable version of the vehicle which started the 15-year old crossover trend. This new model offers enhanced performance, economy and comfort with a new styling made even crisper and bolder. It also debuts the latest Subaru Lineartronic Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT) and a new chassis. It is also enhanced with the first-class wing-out roof rail, crossbar design as well as an improved ground clearance of 8.7 inches.
This new model is smart-sized unlike the typical crossover vehicles and its off-road capable and easy-to-maneuver wagon body features a mid-size interior volume. The interior volume is increased by eight percent which is shorter compared to the previous model. Its wheelbase is also increased by 2.8 inches which improves the rear seat legroom by four inches.
It is also equipped with a rear double wishbone suspension that improves the dynamics of the chassis and the rear cargo space. This model is also made wider by two inches to get the best passenger comfort. The headroom is increased along with the 37.8-inch rear seat legroom which is also increased by four inches. It is also more fuel efficient compared to its previous models.
Outback highlights a bolder new look while still upholding some features of its predecessors. It also features wheel arches, which are very expressive, and wider tracks, which contribute to a greater road presence. It is also built on a new platform with a wheelbase of 107.9 inches, which is longer by 2.7 inches. This provides for an amplified interior space and a smoother ride.