Subaru expects 6 percent growth in the U.S. next year image

Fuji Heavy Industries, the maker of Subaru automobiles, forecasts at least 6 percent growth in U.S. sales for Subaru in 2013.

The CEO of Subaru of America, Takeshi Tachimori, said the brand will maintain its growing momentum in North America, with U.S. sales expected to reach at least 350,000 vehicles next year. The executive added that the gains will help Subaru achieve its longer-term sales target ahead of schedule.

“Obviously, the U.S. is the most important market for Subaru,” Takeshi Tachimori said, adding that sales in the region could account for 60 percent of Subaru’s targeted global sales of one million units within the decade.

Tachimori’s remarks indicate the Japanese carmaker’s growing confidence in the essential role of the North American market in its future growth. However, since much of Subaru’s production is still based in Japan, the company must cope with the disadvantage of the strong yen, that dents its exports. The strong Japanese currency affects the price competitiveness of the cars it makes in Japan.

To solve this problem, Fuji Heavy Industries is planning to ramp up its U.S. production capacity by 2014, Tachimori said. He added that Subaru’s sales in the United States this year are expected to rise 24 percent to 330,000 units, recovering from 2011’s problems caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.