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Sube kicks on with big March

By Peter McKay, 06 Apr 2009 Industry

Sube kicks on with big March

What downturn? Rex and Forester cut fine figures in latest sales results.

Sometimes the new-vehicle market is a hard beast to analyse.

Take Subaru's performance in March, when the overall industry slumped by more than 15,000 units and 17.1 percent over the same month in 2008.

Yet Subaru delivered 3415 vehicles in March - up 18.4 percent over the same month last year, according to official VFACTS figures.

While sales numbers are down year-to-date (4.4 percent, against 3.9 percent this time last year), Subaru has increased its share, shoring up the belief that in tougher economic times, consumers turn to brands they can trust and shun those they may have taken a gamble on when they were flush

The hero cars for Sube during March were the Forester. Its volume of 1323 sales was an increase of 84.8 percent over last March, giving it a 19.5 percent share of the Compact SUV category. While sales in the segment are down 18.4 percent year-to-date, Forester is up 29.9 percent.

Forester is Australia's best seller across all SUV categories year-to-date, retailing 3523 in the first three months.

And lost among the 1053 sales of Imprezas in the small car sector were 176 WRXs, the best number for some time. Maybe performance car buffs are downsizing...

A happily surprised Subaru Australia managing director Nick Senior observed that the excellent results for the brand came without any advertising campaigns "and the cars are not being discounted".

Liberty sales of 559 represented an 11.9 percent market share, compared to 9.6 percent last March.

Subaru's market share for the month was 4.5 percent, compared to 3.2 percent last March.

Regional highlights for Subaru in March included a 9.2 percent market share in Tasmania, 7.2 percent in the ACT and 5.8 percent in NSW.