Subaru WRX/STI Sales Head South: Is There a Problem?
Up until now, news for the 2016 Subaru WRX/STI has only been positive. May saw the first downturn in sales and it was big drop. Sales for WRX/STI slipped almost 20 percent. With the 2017 Subaru WRX STI making its dealer launch in June, it will be interesting to see if May’s sales slump for the 2016 models is just a blip on the screen.
What happened in May?
In April, WRX/STI led the the percentage of sales increase for the entire lineup with a jump of 14.1 percent over the previous. Last month (May), WRX/STI dropped 19.6 percent over the previous year’s sales. Only the BRZ sports coupe had less sales over the previous year with a big 36.8 percent drop. BRZ has been slipping for over a year now. WRX/STI sales have only been up since the new-generation performance sedans launched in 2014. Does the slide backward suggest problems?
A temporary blip?
It could be a supply issue for Subaru Japan as they make the model change from 2016 to 2017. The new 2017 WRX STI performance sedans will arrive in showrooms this month (June) in North America. Five new upgrades are coming for Subaru’s 2017 performance models. You can read about the new upgrades here.
Still the best performance value
The WRX/STI is still the best value on the market for performance enthusiasts. The sales slump is likely just a blip on the screen and when the 2017 models arrive, sales will jump back up. All Subaru models are suffering because Subaru can’t produce them fast enough. Indiana’s factory production capacity will come online later this year and it will help supply issues as it takes pressure off Subaru’s Gunma factory.
The only model in the lineup that saw record sales in May was the Subaru Crosstrek crossover. It was the best May ever for the Crosstrek hatchback. The Subaru brand is still growing and May was another overall record month and the 54th consecutive month of sales increase.
The new-generation Subaru WRX/STI has seen increases every month until now. Will the 2017 Subaru WRX and WRX STI keep the momentum moving forward? BRZ gets seven new upgrades for 2017. Is the WRX/STI next in line for an engine overhaul? Stay tuned.
Image source: Subaru