Subaru has reached a new milestone in Australia, with SUV sales here exceeding 600,000 since local operations were formalised 50 years ago. While renowned for their all-wheel drive vehicles, the SUV has only been part of Subaru’s Australian product mix for around 25 years, making the 600K sales milestone even more impressive.
Subaru’s presence in the Australian SUV market is best represented by the Forester, which was the brand’s first true SUV and arguably sparked Australia's love affair with family SUVs when it was introduced in 1997. Today, the Forester accounts for more than half of the 600,000 Subaru SUVs sold in Australia, with 300,000 local sales for the model achieved earlier this year.
Alongside the Forester, Subaru’s Australian SUV offerings include the XV (recently renamed Crosstrek), which has achieved more than 100,000 sales, and the Outback, whose sales have more than doubled in the past decade. The Crosstrek and Outback both achieved their best July sales results ever this year, according to VFACTS data.
"Surpassing 600,000 Subaru SUVs sold in Australia is a momentous occasion and one we are incredibly proud of,” said Blair Read, Managing Director of Subaru Australia.
"We owe achieving this milestone to the ongoing support of our loyal customers, the dedication of our valued dealers and the passion of our entire team. We are proud to have earned the trust of Australians over the last five decades, and we are committed to building on this legacy."
While Subaru once dominated sectors of the Australian SUV market (the Forester led its segment from 2008 to 2011), increasing competition from Korean brands in the past decade, and more recently Chinese-made SUVs, has seen that dominance dwindle. For example, Subaru was third best in the Sub-$70K Large SUV segment for the first six months of this year, the fifth best-selling brand in the Sub-$60K Medium SUV segment and only just made the top ten in the Sub-$45K Small SUV segment.
Led by its SUVs, Subaru’s annual Australian sales peaked in 2017, when 52,511 new vehicles were sold. Last year’s sales of only 36,036 reflected supply issues and difficulty obtaining specific parts (particularly semi-conductors) that have impacted many other manufacturers globally. With many of these obstacles now cleared, Subaru Australia believe they are on track to exceed 40,000 sales in 2023.