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Why Subaru Is Outpacing the US Auto Industry

2012 Subaru Tribeca
Source: Edmunds.com
2012 Subaru Tribeca

Subaru has sold more than 300,000 cars in the U.S. year to date for the first time in its history as new product launches have allowed to post speedier growth than its competitors, Thomas Doll, Subaru of America COO, told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on Tuesday.

"The industry this year is up about 15 percent so far year-to-date, and we've been up about 30 percent, so about double," Doll said.

The executive attributed the strong growth to both new product launches and its relatively small market share in the U.S.

Even though Subaru posted a 60 percent increase in November sales from last year, it estimates that super storm Sandy reduced its car sales by about 1,000 vehicles in the month.

"Obviously, we're gain that back this month plus a little bit of alpha," Doll said, as Americans replace vehicles destroyed during the storm.

The stronger sales growth is also allowing it to add capacity at its factory in Indiana. Subaru of America expects to increase the number of workers at the facility from 2,200 currently to as many as 2,800. The company is also looking at the possibility of bringing another car line over from Japan, as well.

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"With the bankruptcies and General Motors and Chrysler a lot of capacity was taken out of the system, as a result there's potential for new capacity to be added in," Doll said, but it depends on the manufacturer.

The strength on the yen relative to the dollar is pressuring profitability and requires Subaru and other Japanese car makers to rethink how they manufacture cars.

"If they're manufactured over in Japan, we have the vessel costs and the inland manufacturing costs versus if it's produced in the U.S., we have a lot less inland transportation out to our dealers and retailers," Doll said.