Subaru in 2015: A Fantastic Year for the Niche Auto Brand
No one likes to look at boring sales figures all day, but Subaru knocked it out of the park this year. Before December had even begun, Subaru had already broken its yearly record for sales here in the United States. In the first eleven months of the year, Subaru sold 526,401 units, and with Share the Love in full swing, it is likely that those numbers will continue to climb.
Impreza Sedan Concept
Subaru announced this year that it will be introducing a completely new global architecture upon which all its models will be built. The first model to be built on this platform will be the 2017 Subaru Impreza. But we didn’t have to wait until 2017 to get an idea of what this new Impreza will look like, since Subaru brought the Impreza Sedan Concept to the LA Auto Show last month.
While Subaru’s individual models have each earned their fair share of awards, the brand itself has received plenty of positive praise. For example, Subaru was named Best Overall Mainstream Brand by ALG, earned the title of Best Resale Value Brand (for the second year in a row) from Kelley Blue Book, and dethroned Honda as the Most Trusted Brand in America. Not a bad year for the underdog automaker.
Person of the Year
For the first time, Motor Trend decided to name a Person of the Year in the automotive community. That award went to Subaru of America President and COO Thomas J. Doll.
“At first glance, Tom might seem an unexpected choice for Motor Trend’s first ever Person of the Year,” remarked Motor Trend Editor-at-Large Angus MacKenzie. “He’s not an engineer or a designer or a marketer by training, but his unique vision and quiet leadership have guided Subaru to outstanding success over the past few years. This recognition is richly deserved.”
This year, Subaru confirmed a new three-row, seven-passenger SUV that will fill the hole left by the discontinued Tribeca. There is a lot of mystery surrounding this new SUV, including its name—though we have a few leads.
If there’s one thing that Subaru does right, it is branding. This year saw a number of notable commercials that were just spot on for Subaru, including “Dream Weekend,” “Making Memories,” and “Mitch.”
Okay, I take back saying that if Subaru does one thing right, it’s branding, simply because Subaru does a lot of things right—especially giving back. In fact, one of my favorite things about Subaru is its capacity to give back, especially to environmental and animal welfare causes, which are often overlooked. Subaru’s Share the Love is its big annual giving campaign, but throughout the year, Subaru has supported education, the National Parks, pet safety research, and more.