Auto Biz

People Are Buying Subarus

Here's an antidote to the gloom from the Detroit Auto Show: Subaru is doing brisk business. The quirky Japanese auto company increased sales in 2008 by 491 cars, or 0.3 percent. It might not sound like a lot but in the current climate it amounts to a boost in Subaru's market share from 1.2 percent to 1.92 percent—more than Cadillac, for instance. The company managed to succeed by rolling back list prices, backing off rebates, and relying on its loyal customers. The company also expanded beyond its safety-first image to one playing up the fun of vehicles like the Outback and Forester.