Business / Corporate

Subaru targets 1 million cars sold


Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd., the maker of Subaru cars, expects annual global sales to break 1 million vehicles around 2020, its president said.

The 1 million mark represents an increase of roughly 20 percent from the 810,000 vehicles projected to sell in the year to next March, Yasuyuki Yoshinaga said in an interview Thursday.

He said that sales in the United States will account for half of the 1 million goal.

Subaru’s U.S. sales are estimated to reach 435,000 vehicles this year, up sharply from its all-time high of 358,000 set in 2012, driven by the popularity of the Forester SUV and other models.

The company plans to its strategy of selling vehicles with relatively high profit margins in developed countries and targeting wealthy drivers.

“We don’t see the point of joining a race for how many vehicles are sold” at the expense of profitability, Yoshinaga said.

Elsewhere, Fuji Heavy aims to double sales in China to 100,000 vehicles while expanding in Southeast Asia and Russia as well. It plans to boost annual global output to 922,000 vehicles by the end of 2016 from 772,000 now by expanding plants in Gunma Prefecture and in Indiana.

Asked about the potential impact of the consumption tax hike next April, Yoshinaga said he was not worried because a drop in other levies will offset it.

“Wild swings in demand are not expected” because taxes separately imposed on the acquisition of automobiles will fall.

The first stage of the consumption tax hike will lift the rate to 8 percent while the second stage will take it to 10 percent in 2015.

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