Subaru is launching a Facebook campaign that encourages people to choose a charity for the automaker to partner with in this fourth annual Subaru Share the Love event.
The automaker, which launched the program in 2007, said it has donated $15 million to charities, and plans to donate $20 million this year.
The program gives $250 for every new Subaru vehicle sold or leased from Nov. 19 through Jan. 3. What's new is that the Facebook voting program allows Facebook fans of Subaru to vote for a "People's Choice" charity, per the Cherry Hill, N.J. company.
Teach For America, The American Red Cross, The Children's Miracle Network, and The Make-A-Wish Foundation are the four charities people can vote for.
Brian Johnson, national advertising manager for Subaru of America, Inc., said the program enables customers to "get directly involved with our partners and allows them to have a say in who Subaru partners with."
The online voting, which started Thursday and runs through Sept. 15, is being hosted on the Subaru of America Facebook page. The charity that receives the most votes will be the fifth charity partner. For the first 200,000 votes, Subaru will donate 10 cents per vote to the charity receiving the vote.
While the automaker saw about a 9.3% drop in U.S. sales last month versus 2010, the company -- which had a huge 2010 (when it posted record sales and a 21.8% increase versus 2009) -- is still on a positive trend year-to-date. Subaru reported that year-to-date sales were up 2.56% through July. But that is still pretty far removed from the stellar 50% increase in sales since 2009, while the rest of the market overall had been in a slump.
One challenge for Subaru is Impreza, which has lagged its traditional strong suit of Forester and Outback. Expect a big push for the 2012 version of the car, which comes to market in November. The automaker said that it is holding the MSRP at the 2010 price of $17,495 for the base model.