TOKYO — Subaru has long leaned on the five-door version of the Impreza for volume in the small-car segment. But with the next-generation arriving this year, Subaru wants the sedan variant to do more heavy lifting.
Subaru’s entry car is skewed heavily toward hatchbacks. As a result, sedan-oriented rivals such as the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Ford Focus and Chevrolet Cruze easily outsell Subaru in the segment.
Hatches account for 70 percent of the Impreza’s U.S. sales, compared with 30 percent for its sedan, says Kazuhiro Abe, project general manager for the Impreza. The opposite is usually true for competitor models, with sedans accounting for the lion’s share of total volume.
But with the full redesign expected to arrive stateside in November, Abe wants to achieve a better balance, with the sedan variant growing to about 40 percent of total volume.
Subaru has not disclosed a sales target for the new-generation Impreza, which debuted at this year’s New York auto show. The company sells about 270,000 Impreza sedans and hatches globally. The U.S. is the car’s biggest market, Abe says. Last year, its U.S. sales surged 20 percent to 100,519 vehicles, including the WRX, a sporty trim version that now is marketed separately. (Impreza sales without the WRX rose 15 percent to 66,785; WRX sales rose 32 percent to 33,734.)