In December of 2016, Subaru of America, Inc. announced its best sales month ever just as the company was about to post its 8th consecutive annual sales record. Last year saw the brand setting a new all-time sales record of more than 615,000 vehicles sold, which is a more than 5% increase over the previous year.
The same month marked the company’s 61st consecutive month of back to back growth on a monthly basis, as well as the 8th month in a row during which more than 15,000 Outbacks were sold. With an impressive sales history and a brand name that has become synonymous with reliability, the company is making strides as a burgeoning leader in the automotive industry.
Subaru Breaks Fastest Four-Door Record
More recently Subaru has been making waves in the racing sector, having released the first four-door to ever make a full run around the legendary Nordschleife track in under 7 minutes. The track includes a whopping 73 turns that twist through about 13 miles of treacherous terrain and varying weather systems. Driving on this road at regular speed limits is challenging enough, let alone attempting to break a speed record on it driving a small 4-door.
Make no mistake about it, though, the 2017 Subaru WRX STI is no ordinary 4-door sedan. Hundreds of similar vehicles have raced around the notorious Nordschleife, but none have been able to finish it in under 7 minutes, even while facing horrible conditions. Needless to say, the car was pushed to its limits to the point where it probably needed a full check up at a Subaru service center after all was said and done.
Some credit for the record has to go to pro driver Richie Stanaway, who was able to remain calm and composed despite it being his first time around the infamous track. It took him five laps and on the final lap he got around the track in under 7 minutes, setting yet another world record for Subaru and adding a nice piece of prestige to his résumé.
Being that the Nordschleife is a sports racing track, it makes sense that Subaru would be the perfect candidate for breaking the record, as the company has won several awards for Sports Car of the Year. The brand has also won numerous Best Engine Awards and is arguably the most well-known and prestigious Australian vehicle manufacturer.
Not the First Record the WRX STI Has Claimed
Back in 2011, driver Mark Higgins broke a world record when he drove a Subaru WRX STI around the Isle of Man’s Snaefell Mountain Course in just 19 minutes and 37 seconds, averaging 115.3 MPH despite it being a tough course.
Then, again in 2014, Higgins revisited the course driving a 2015 Subaru WRX STI and broke the record again with a new average speed of 116.4 MPH. However, he wasn’t fully satisfied with that, and decided to try to top it again on the same day, breaking the record and setting it at the current 117.5 MPH and finishing in just 19 minutes and 15 seconds.
There’s no questioning that Mark Higgins was the right man for the job, but for that to be done in a stock vehicle with no major upgrades is quite impressive and it shows that the series has made several strides in the vehicle’s performance since the previous record was set 3 years earlier.
Higgins also made waves in March of 2017 when he drove the Subaru WRX STI around the Olympia Bobsled run. The video went viral and has been one of the more memorable stunts of the year due to the narrowness of the run. Mark narrowly navigated the run with mere inches on each side of the car and scraped the sides and roof repeatedly. He was also completely sideways on some parts of the run, and he appeared to be thankful to have made it through the ordeal safely at the end. If you want to see the WRX STI in some winter off-road type action, it’s definitely a cool video to check out.
Continued Success with Consecutive Records Year After Year
Subaru has not only excelled in setting racing records and attracting customers from that sector at all-time highs, the company has also posted increasing sales every month for 5 years straight. With a trend like that, it seems as though the quality manufacturing and brand marketing strategy of their corporate leadership is spearheading the organization’s journey into becoming one of the top sports car producers in history.
Still, it’s clear that Subaru doesn’t aim to capitalize on all niches in the automobile industry, instead focusing on a specific type of racing-oriented vehicle. Thus, nobody should expect Subaru to begin competing with the likes of Toyota in terms of the number of vehicles sold each year. In 2013 Toyota sold about 10 million vehicles worldwide.
Subaru’s 600k sold last year might seem slim compared to that, but when you consider the fact that it is a specialty vehicle maker, it’s actually an impressive sales amount. Typically speaking, vehicles that are capable of breaking world records aren’t usually mass-produced, so the exclusivity of the car also contributes to the lower number of automotive sales.
Subaru is no stranger to records, awards, and achievements, having won the International Engine of the Year Award several times since 2006. The company is known for producing quality parts and designing vehicles that are built to last. Although the WRX is a favorite amongst racing fans, the Outback, Forester, and Legacy are the most popular models.
What Subaru Enthusiasts Can Expect in the Short Term
Projections for Subaru’s future are bright, with investors pouring funds into the engineering and distribution side of the group’s operation. They’ve been showcasing a number of creative concept cars and promising prototypes expected to hit the market between now and 2020 and beyond.
The next generation of Subaru vehicles will incorporate all of the advancements the company has made thus far, while also introducing further improvements in collision safety, maneuverability, and interior space optimization.