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A First-Ever - Subaru Outback And Crosstrek Just Outsold The Top Forester

The 2021 Subaru Forester was the top-selling model for Subaru of America, but it got outsold by the 2021 Subaru Outback and 2021 Subaru Crosstrek last month. See why it's a first-ever for the automaker.

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It's been a strange year for Subaru of America (SOA), and it just got stranger. The 2021 Subaru Forester is the best-selling SUV for Subaru of America, and in July, it was outsold by the 2021 Outback wagon/SUV and the 2021 Crosstrek subcompact SUV. It's the first-ever that both Outback and Crosstrek sold more vehicles than Forester in a single month.

SOA reports they delivered 12,235 2021 Forester models to customers in July compared with Outback's 14,058 sales and Crosstrek's 13,402. It's the first time in a year, the Subaru Outback outsold the popular Forester, and it's the first time the Crosstrek has been on top of the Forester.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Outback
photo credit: Adventure Subaru

The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek also achieved its best July ever, and the popular model posted a 42 percent increase year-to-date, leading all Subaru nameplates.

Why the dip in Forester sales? Subaru of America could have sold more Forester SUVs, and it would have been the best-selling model in the lineup again, but SOA is running out of new 2021 Forester models. Subaru retailers don't have many Forester SUVs to sell.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Outback
photo credit: Subaru West Palm Beach

Why does Subaru have a shortage of new Forester SUVs?

The inventory shortage is due to the microchip shortages and plant shutdowns that have depleted the inventory of new Forester vehicles arriving from Japan. One of Colorado's largest volume Subaru retailers has fourteen 2021 Forester compact SUVs in transit and one new Forester Touring model on the lot.

When will Subaru's inventory levels return to normal?

"Due to the chip shortage, we are focusing production on our top-selling vehicles," Director, Corporate Communications Subaru of America, Dominick Infante, told the Courier Post this week.

Reports from sources close to Subaru tell us it could be late August into September before new Forester inventory levels improve and possibly six months before they return to normal. Subaru has the lowest inventory of any automaker in the U.S., and sales dropped 2.6 percent compared to July 2020 due to reduced inventory.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Outback

When will the 2022 Subaru Forester arrive?

In a typical year, the retailer launch for the 2022 Subaru Forester should have been this summer, but it's been pushed back to early fall, 2021, because of production delays. The all-new 2022 Subaru Forester Wilderness, teased this week, is expected to arrive at Subaru showrooms in late fall, early winter 2021.

Subaru has experienced a crazy year, and it's not improving for the Camden, N.J automaker. The 2021 Subaru Outback and 2021 Crosstrek each sold more models than Forester in July.

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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 West Palm Beach

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Fred Hoyt (not verified)    August 6, 2021 - 12:40PM

In Japan, at the Subaru factory, what Crosstrek is actually being built today - 2022 or 2021? When did/will 2022 production start? Thanks.