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Subaru’s Forgotten Market Wakes Up

The 2024 Subaru Outback and 2024 Subaru Crosstrek are the hot models now, but it's outside the U.S. See what's going on up north in Subaru's forgotten market. 

What SOA wants, They get

Subaru of America (SOA) is not just a top market for Subaru Corporation; it's a strategic partner. With approximately 75 percent of all Subaru vehicles sold in the U.S. market and four models manufactured in Lafayette, Indiana, Subaru's commitment to the U.S. market is undeniable. 

Subaru of Indiana Automotive's factory lineup, which includes the Outback midsize SUV, Crosstrek Sport, Wilderness, Limited trims, the Ascent 3-Row SUV, and the Legacy midsize sedan, has been well-received in both the U.S. and Canadian markets. These models cater to a wide range of customer preferences, contributing to Subaru's success in both countries. 

And the Forester is soon to be made on U.S. soil for the first time starting a year from now. Read my report here

That's good for U.S. customers because, generally speaking, what Subaru of America wants, they get. SOA gets the cars they want and the new model inventory they need. U.S. customers are the Japanese automakers' first priority.

SOA Is Favored

Subaru is so confident in the U.S. market that it shifted production of its top-selling model to the U.S. factory.

Subaru shows its cards.

Scott Brand, President and Chief Operating Officer Subaru of Indiana Automotive, told me,"  We're excited about Subaru Corporation's decision to build the Forester at our facility. Once again, they've demonstrated their confidence in our associates to build the company's most popular models. We take pride in these opportunities to remain a key contributor to the brand's continued success."

What about Canada?

Canada, once considered Subaru's forgotten market, is beginning to emerge as a significant player. The Canadian customers, much like their U.S. counterparts, appreciate Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system and the automaker's impeccable safety record.

Both U.S. and Canadian customers share a common appreciation for Subaru's Symmetrical all-wheel-drive system, a feature that proves its worth on icy, snowy roads in the winter. Additionally, they value the automaker's stellar safety record, a testament to Subaru's commitment to passenger safety. 

Canadians value Subaru's top resale values, which U.S. customers also love about their Subaru Outback, Crosstrek, and other all-wheel-drive models.  

While SOA gets the new models first, like the 2025 Forester that arrives in the U.S. now, Canada has to wait. But that doesn't stop them from selling Subaru models up north.

Canada wakes up after a cold winter.

Subaru Canada is on a winning streak, and it's a cause for celebration. With May 2024 sales up by 14.2 percent compared to the previous year and year-to-date sales soaring by 56.6 percent, Subaru's Outback and Crosstrek are leading the way. 

The Crosstrek subcompact SUV and Outback midsize SUV each had their best May ever. Subaru Canada reported the Crosstrek, which has logged another successive record month since September 2023, sold 2,277 units in May. The Outback finished the month with 1,187 units sold.

"We have seen record months throughout all of 2024 so far," said SCI Chairman, President, and CEO Tomohiro Kubota. "We can't thank our award-winning dealer network enough for their hard work and dedication."

No Stranger To Success

Earlier in the year, AutoTrader Canada crowned the Subaru Crosstrek and Outback the Best Subcompact SUV and Compact SUV, respectively, for the 2024 AutoTrader awards. 

I covered the AutoTrader awards last year, and both won for the second consecutive year. You can read my report here.

"It's impressive to see Subaru earning repeat wins with its Crosstrek and Outback," said Jodi Lai, AutoTrader Editor-in-Chief, "These are two vehicles that continue to impress the AutoTrader jury with their practicality, user-friendliness, standard safety features, and added confidence in Canadian winters. Congratulations to the team at Subaru for this pair of excellent crossovers."

Additionally, Crosstrek was ranked Best for Residual Value in the Small SUV segment in the J.D. Power 2024 Canada ALG Residual Value Awards. This marked the eighth win for Crosstrek in nine years. Read my report here.

This J.D. Power 2024 ALG Residual Value Award signifies that these models keep their value the highest of any other model in their segments. After four years of ownership, the Subaru Crosstrek and WRX are projected to hold the highest percentage of the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) for mainstream (non-luxury) vehicles.

For the third year in a row, the Crosstrek received the Canadian Black Book Best Retained Value in the SUV: Main Sub-Compact category. Read my recent report here.

The Canadian Black Book Best Retained Value Awards pick the top vehicles that retain the highest percentage of their original MSRP after four years. The awards program analyzed the model year 2019 cars, trucks, and SUVs in fifteen categories.

"Our strategic planning always includes providing long-lasting value to our customers," said SCI chairman, president, and CEO Tomohiro Kubota. "Awards like these give us confidence that our goals are achieved."

Subaru Canada sells approximately 5% of Subaru Corporation's total global sales volume, but it is waking up. It had its best May ever, and the Crosstrek and Outback led the way. 

I am Denis Flierl, a top Torque News reporter since 2012. I’ve invested over 13 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role, working with every major car brand. I am an experienced Rocky Mountain Automotive Press member. You'll find my expert Subaru analysis here. Follow me on my X SubaruReportAll Subaru, WRXSTI, @DenisFlierlFacebook, and Instagram.

Photo credit: Subaru Canada


Fozzy (not verified)    June 16, 2024 - 12:51AM

Kudos to Suburu! While so called domestic brands shamelessly shift production and jobs to Mexico, COMMY China, South America, etc. Glad to see Suburu appreciates the USA!👍👍