Later this year, Fuji Heavy Industries' (NASDAQOTH:FUJHY) Subaru will offer its first ever hybrid vehicle: the XV Crosstrek Hybrid. Even better? According to Edmunds, the Crosstrek Hybrid promises to be a resounding triumph. Great news if you're looking for your next great car stock. Here's what else you need to know.
Subaru gets its green on
With a starting MSRP of $25,995, the Crosstrek Hybrid has a number of impressive features. First, it has a hybrid electric drive system, coupled with a 2.0-liter SUBARU BOXER engine that delivers 148 horsepower and 145 lb-ft of torque. Plus, the Crosstrek Hybrid has symmetrical AWD, and an EPA estimated fuel economy of 25 mpg city/33 mpg highway . Further, the Crosstrek Hybrid uses a 13.5-kW nickel-metal hydride battery pack instead of lithium-ion, is build in a zero-landfill plant, and is the lowest-emission, most fuel-efficient AWD hybrid crossover in America.
Even more impressive? When Subaru announced the Crosstrek Hybrid in Japan, it had a monthly sales target of 550 units. However, within two weeks of the Crosstrek Hybrid's unveiling, Subaru had received 5,850 orders -- more than 10 times the monthly sales target.
Sky-high September sales
Subaru's non-hybrid Crosstrek model hasn't been around for very long, but it's already a resounding win for the company -- great news for the upcoming Hybrid model. Recently, Subaru reported its best September U.S. sales month in the company's history. Year-to-date sales came in at 313,407 -- a 27.7% increase from the same time last year. Additionally, Subaru sold 3,536 Crosstrek units in September, compared to 192 from the same time last year .
More to the point, sales for the Crosstrek are running nearly double what Subaru projected, and as Green Car Report stated, "combined global demand for the Impreza line, the Crosstrek, and now the Hybrid is so high that the factory that makes all those models is running flat out." Great news for Subaru, and especially good news for Fuji Heavy's stock, which has gone from $18.10 a share on October 1st, 2012, to $57.61 a share at the time of this writing.
The CUV hybrid and the future
The crossover hybrid segment is incredibly small. In fact, according to Edmunds the only real mainstream competitor the Crosstrek Hybrid will face is Toyota Motor's (NYSE:TM) Toyota Highlander Hybrid, which has a staring MSRP of $40,170 . Ford (NYSE:F) used to offer the Ford Escape Hybrid, but the hybrid option was dropped following the 2013 model redesign . Consequently, Edmundsstates, "Expect the Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid to be a major hit, thanks to its attractive price and lack of competitors."
For investors, the above paints a very attractive picture. What's more, as I've written before, Fuji Heavy saw its operating income jumped 301.8% in its first quarter, and net income was up 196.4%. That, in turn, caused Fuji heavy to raise its projected FY2014 Full-Year forecasts, and it even stated that, "Net sales and all profit figures are to each hit an all-time high in FHI's history." Clearly, good news for investors. Accordingly, Fuji Heavy Industries could make an attractive addition to your investing portfolio.
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Fool contributor Katie Spence has no position in any stocks mentioned. Follow her on Twitter @TMFKSpence. The Motley Fool recommends Ford. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.