Customers are ready to buy the newly-redesigned 2020 Subaru Outback, but the Camden, N.J. automaker is not releasing models to dealers they can sell. They have delivered some pre-production models to sit on the showroom floor, but customers are not being allowed to drive them. New Outback models produced at the Lafayette, Indiana plant are ready to deliver to dealers, but Subaru is holding them back.
Jeff Walters, Subaru of America's senior vice president of sales told Automotive News they are going to hold the new six-generation Outback models for a few weeks before delivering them to dealers. "I think we'll hold those cars for a couple of weeks before we start sending them out to our retailers," he said of the early launch units. Dealers "should expect their initial deliveries around the third or fourth week of August."
2020 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition
Torque News went to a Subaru dealer near Denver and found a new 2020 Outback Onyx Edition sitting on the showroom floor for customers to look at, but they would not let customers drive the new model. We interviewed two employees at the store and one said the Subaru rep told him they gave them this new Onyx Edition pre-production model to display on the showroom floor, but it was not for sale. The factory rep said this model would be taken back right after they were done with it.
A salesman at the Subaru store told Torque News the model was not even available for customers to take on a test drive. He showed us the Outback keys that were marked with a note that said, “2020 Subaru Onyx, Cannot Drive!!” When asked how many 2019 Outback models they had available, he said: “We still have 40-50 2019 models left on our lot to sell.” He also told us they are only getting six new 2020 Outback models and they won’t arrive until late September or early October. Until then, customers can only sit in the new cabin.
New 2020 Subaru Outback Onyx Edition Interior
"It's going to be a great changeover," Walters went on to tell AN. "We're at the right level of incentives, and the supply of 2019s will be at a very good place when the 2020s start to arrive. The retailers will be ready for it."
Subaru is not having a problem selling the 2019 models as they have offered zero-percent financing and have given customers incentives to buy them. So until Subaru dealers move all the 2019 Outback models off their lots, customers can only sit in a new 2020 Subaru Outback but they can’t drive it. The U.S.-made models you can drive won’t begin arriving at dealer showrooms until late September.
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Photo credit: Torque News, Denis Flierl