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Subaru dealers: We need cars

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Subaru dealers: We need cars

Amy Wilson

Automotive News -- February 22, 2010 - 12:01 am ET

ORLANDO -- With sales hot and market share rising, the only thing Subaru dealers want is more cars.

They can't keep enough in stock, particularly the updated Outback crossover and Legacy sedan, Phil Porter, chairman of the Subaru National Dealer Advisory Board, said after the make meeting here.

"We don't know, because we don't have excess inventory, just how many Outbacks and Legacys we can sell," said Porter, who owns three Subaru stores in Florida and Connecticut.

Subaru of America's overall supply is under 30 days, COO Tom Doll told Automotive News. Supplies of the Outback and Legacy are under 10 days, he said.

"Our biggest challenge is to get enough product to dealers so they can achieve another sales increase," Doll said.

Subaru's plant in Indiana is running on overtime, including weekends. The company is investing in additional tooling in the plant to expand capacity. Those upgrades will come in April and July, Doll said.

Porter said added production will guarantee that sales rise this year. Even with thin inventory, Subaru's January sales spiked 28 percent to nearly 16,000 vehicles. In 2009, Subaru sales in the United States rose 15 percent to 216,652 vehicles, as overall industry sales fell 21 percent.


• Dealers want more inventory as tight supplies limit sales.

• Subaru will invest in Indiana plant to increase production in spring, summer.

• Subaru and dealers forecast higher sales, more market share in 2010.

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