Last week VW promoted Barbie's 50th anniversary with its proud, pink, special edition Malibu Barbie New Beetle Convertible. Subaru's promoting a doll, too...executive Thomas Doll. He's not quite the looker that Barbie is, but then again he appears to be less freakishly proportioned and has performed sales wonders at Subaru, the only automaker to post U.S. gains in 2008 as the overall market tumbled some 18 percent.
As such, Subaru has reinstated the Chief Operating Officer position and moved Doll from his post as CFO to the new position.
2009 Subaru Impreza WRXEnlarge Photo
Subaru's sales have been buoyed by Motor Trend's pick of the 2009 Forester crossover/SUV as their 2009 SUV of The Year. The brand has long held cult status with the turbocharged rally racer crowd, their Impreza WRX sedan dominating in worldwide competitions and selling like hotcakes to a select group of enthusiasts.
While Subaru will likely never be a huge player in the U.S. marketplace, their steadfast loyalty to medium-sized, quirky all-wheel drive vehicles with horizontally-opposed engines appears now to be paying off as the market trends to smaller vehicles. As well, Subaru's massive improvements in interior quality and attention to detail make us think the brand will see sales hold steady or continue with incremental increases. Wish we could say the same thing about the Dow.
[source: Automotive News]