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Strong Subaru sales are good news for Lafayette

June 4, 2008
Subaru of America Inc. reported a 13-percent increase in sales of its vehicles in May, the company's largest single-month increase and an indication of stability for workers at a Lafayette plant where several of the lines are assembled.

The Lafayette plant produces Outback and Legacy cars and the Tribeca sport-utility vehicle. While sales of the Legacy models increased 11 percent, sales of the Outback line declined 9 percent. Tribeca sales rose 4 percent, according to The Journal & Courier of Lafayette.

Subaru officials say positive coverage in several magazines about the auto maker's Impreza car has helped boost sales. The Impreza, which is made in Japan, is among 12 compact sedans recommended by Consumer Reports magazine as the best to combat high gas prices.

Subaru's success is in stark comparison to woes experienced by Detroit automakers.

General Motors Corp. saw a 27-percent decline in May sales from a year ago. It plans to close four truck and sport-utility plants as it focuses on making smaller cars. It also is considering a sale of its Hummer brand. Chrysler's sales fell 25.4 percent in May.

And Ford Motor Corp.'s F-Series truck, which held the No. 1 spot for sales for the past 17 years, was pushed down to No. 5 in May, following the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Camry and Honda Accord.

In March, for the first time in 10 years, more cars were sold than light trucks, a segment that includes pickups, SUVs and minivans. The trend continued in April and May.

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