Japanese automaker Subaru Corp. is the second company expecting to outperform U.S. market expectations in 2020.
Subaru CEO Tomomi Nakamura told reporters that the popularity of is SUV and crossover models in the U.S. will push it to record sales next year. He said the demand in its top market, and the world’s second-largest market behind only China, for its Forester and Outback models should push sales up.
He predicted sales of the two utes will help overall Subaru sales to rise to as much as 730,000 units in the U.S., which would be more than a 4% increase over the expected 700,000 vehicles it will sell in the U.S. this year.
“We expect the U.S. market to slow only slightly next year, so we’re planning to see more growth in our sales. We think we can achieve this,” Nakamura told reporters in Tokyo, according to Reuters.
Analysts are predicting that sales in the U.S. will drop to about 16.7 million vehicles in 2020. That was the predictions heading into 2019, and through the first six months of the year the market was meeting expectations.
However, the second half of the year has seen a bit of a rally. The Federal Reserve raised interest rates only once this year, when there was an expectation it would be more. In the meantime, the economy has remained strong and lenders have been dropping interest rates on new vehicle below 6% after the summer selling season.
Automakers enjoyed a strong November as sales rose slightly. October was also a turned in a robust result. Toyota officials recently offered up that they expected sales in 2020 to fall slightly, but they made the same prediction last year and believe that 2020 could be a replay of 2019.
In the meantime, despite some sluggishness for some automakers, Subaru has continued to charge along in recent years, with sales doubling during the last six years, Reuters reported. Nakamura also believes the company could grow its sport-utility share in the U.S. beyond the 7% it currently enjoys.
“If competition in the U.S. SUV market continues, that segment will keep growing even as the overall market slows,” he said.
U.S. sales account for around 65% of Subaru’s total global sales of around 1 million units. By the end of November, sales of the Forester this year had climbed 6.4% from a year ago, while sales of the Outback, its best-selling model in the country, were up 0.9%, Reuters reported.