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A Cold Start To The New Year - Record Low Inventory Sinks Subaru Sales

It’s the same story to start the new year, Subaru sales are down compared with one year ago. See how much Subaru fell, and the 2022 Forester sets a new record.

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It was a cold start to the year as Subaru of America (SOA) reported sales fell 4.8 percent in January 2022. Even with the severe microchip shortage, Subaru delivered 44,158 vehicle sales in January, a 4.8 percent decrease compared with January 2021 (46,400).

Like much of the automotive industry, Subaru of America continues to face production challenges and factory shutdowns because of the semiconductor shortage and supply chain issues.

“Subaru Corporation and Subaru of America are very proud of the results our retailers delivered in January despite the supply chain challenges,” said Tom Doll, President, and CEO, Subaru of America. “Our retailers continue to provide our customers with an industry-leading purchase and ownership experience, which makes our retailers more than a typical dealer and which makes us more than a car company.”

2022 Subaru Forester, 2022 Subaru Crosstrek, 2022 Subaru Outback

The good news is, in January, the Forester was the top performer again by volume and, the compact SUV achieved its best January ever with 13,531 models (up 2.45 percent) delivered to customers. The refreshed 2022 Forester models arrived last month and, they have been a big hit with compact SUV shoppers.

The Ascent 3-Row family hauler sales for January increased the most of any SOA SUV carline (15.3 percent). The Impreza compact sedan and hatchback sales increased 6.1 percent compared to January 2021. The all-new 2022 BRZ sales in January increased 103.1 percent compared to the same month in 2021. Subaru delivered 331 BRZ sport coupes to customers compared with 163 in January 2020.

2022 Subaru Forester, 2022 Subaru Crosstrek, 2022 Subaru Outback

“Despite supply challenges, the Subaru retailer network continues to achieve record-setting efficiency levels,” said Jeff Walters, Senior Vice President of Sales. “Our award-winning line-up continues to generate strong consumer demand for spacious family-friendly vehicles that boast safety, reliability, and style.”

The bad news is Subaru continues with inventory issues for its top-selling models. 2022 Outback midsize SUV sales fell 10.7 percent in January, with 10,527 models delivered to customers compared with 11,784 in January 2021. Crosstrek sales fell 8.7 percent, with 9,527 subcompact SUV sales in January, compared with 10,431 model sales in January 2021.

Legacy sedan sales dropped 14.6 percent and, WRX and WRX STI performance sedans fell 78.1 percent as Subaru runs out of 2021 performance models.

What can customers expect in 2022?

AutoForecast Solutions says the supply chain issues aren’t going away anytime soon. Automotive News (by subscription) reports that signs indicate the shortage will persist in the coming months, even as more microchip production comes online. Last week, the U.S. Commerce Department revealed there remains a “significant, persistent mismatch in supply and demand for chips,” with automakers seeing the problem lasting for at least another six months.

With the recent Subaru plant sundown in Japan this week, there will continue to be short supplies of the 2022 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, and other are models. Stay tuned.

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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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Photo credit: main image Subaru of New England via IG @maineheath

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