Subaru expects 2011 to be second best year ever in U.S.

Last year, Subaru sold around 273,000 cars and its estimates for 2011 put it around 263,000 units. In addition, Subaru says it has reduced its fleet sales from about 10,000 cars to roughly 4,000. Fleet buyers typically buy cars at a greater discount than retail buyers, which erodes profitability for automakers.

Subaru was forced to idle plants in Japan and Lafayette, Indiana, earlier this year over a shortage of an essential electronic chip caused by March's earthquake and tsunami in Northern Japan. Now, the automaker says that its plants are working at their highest vehicle assembly rates ever and that it is only constrained by capacity, not demand. Its high-volume models, like the Outback, Legacy and Forester, all have less than 30 days' supply on dealership lots.

The automaker told journalists gathered in the Northeast this week for the media launch of its new Impreza that it anticipates big growth for its traditionally underperforming compact sedan and hatchback models to help it break a new sales record in 2012.

As seen on leftlanenews.com

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