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A Major Earthquake Shuts Down New Subaru Forester And Crosstrek Production

Subaru suspends production at its Japan plant affecting the 2022 Forester and 2022 Crosstrek due to a major earthquake. See what it means for customers and new car shoppers this spring.

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Subaru Corporation announced today (March 18) it would temporarily suspend production at its primary automobile manufacturing facilities in Japan again. The shutdown is because of supply chain interruptions triggered by a large earthquake that struck Japan this week.

Subaru says they will close the plants again that manufacture the refreshed U.S.-spec 2022 Subaru Forester, Crosstrek, WRX, WRX STI, and BRZ. The shutdown will be for two working days on March 18 and 21.

2022 Subaru Forester, 2022 Subaru Crosstrek
photo credit: Boise Subaru

Subaru said, “They will temporarily suspend production at its automobile manufacturing facilities due to interruptions in the supply of certain parts, as operations of the supplier factories for those parts have been affected by the earthquake.”

A report from Automotive News says, “The 7.4-magnitude earthquake, which struck shortly after 11:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday, was centered off the Pacific coast from the northeastern city of Sendai, in the same region throttled by the 2011 earthquake-tsunami disaster that caused meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear power plant.”

2022 Subaru Forester, 2022 Subaru Crosstrek

The earthquake triggered a tsunami, causing blackouts as far away as Tokyo, derailed the country’s famed bullet train and buckled highways that serve as critical supply arteries.

Two Subaru manufacturing plants will be affected by the closure; the main automobile plant in Gunma and its other manufacturing facility in Yakima. The engine and transmission plant in Oizumi will also be idle for two days.

The new Subaru plant closure comes after three other plant shutdowns in 2022. The two plants were idle from January 28, January 31 through February 2, February 7 - 8, and February 18 and 21. For a total of eight working days.

The 2023 Subaru Solterra will also be affected

Toyota also announced it would halt production at eleven factories in Japan. The plant closures will affect the all-electric 2023 Subaru Solterra SUV manufactured in Japan by Toyota.

What does it mean for shipments of cars to the U.S.?

The two-day loss of production will further slow the number of new cars available for U.S. customers. Subaru manufactures the refreshed 2022 Forester compact SUV and 2022 Crosstrek subcompact SUV at its Yakima plant. It makes the 2022 Subaru WRX and WRX STI performance sedans and 2022 Subaru BRZ sports coupe at its main plant in Gunma, Japan.

Subaru Corporation has not announced how many vehicles have been lost to the recent plant closures. CFO Katsuyuki Mizuma told Automotive News it was still unclear when supply chains and production levels would return to normal. Automotive News (by subscription) says Subaru is especially susceptible to the shortage of semiconductors “because of its small size and extensive use of commonized components, executives say.”

What does it mean for customers?

Customers in the U.S. will see fewer new 2022 Subaru Forester compact SUVs and 2022 Crosstrek subcompact SUVs available in showrooms this spring and summer. Subaru of America already shut off 2022 Forester orders for its U.S. retailers on March 7 and has not re-opened the ordering for the compact SUV. You can read the complete report here.

Will the 2022 Outback, Ascent, Impreza, and Legacy be affected?

Subaru of Indiana Automotive in Lafayette, Indiana, where Subaru manufactures the 2022 Outback, Ascent, Impreza, and Legacy, has not announced any plant shutdowns. The Japan announcement could affect the four models because they get some parts from Japan.

The 2022 Outback, Impreza, and Legacy have 40 percent of their parts shipped from Japan. The 2022 Ascent 3-Row family hauler has 30 percent of its parts from Japan.

Subaru has also shut off orders for the rest of 2022 for the 2022 BRZ sports coupe, 2022 Subaru Impreza compact sedan and hatchback, and the 2023 Solterra all-electric SUV. You can read the complete report here.

Customers looking for a refreshed 2022 Forester, 2022 Crosstrek, 2022 WRX, 2021 STI, or 2022 BRZ will be harder to find this spring and summer because of the major earthquake that struck the Tohoku region this week. If customers have recently ordered a Forester or Crosstrek from a U.S. retailer, delays will be likely unless they are already in the pipeline for delivery. Stay tuned to Subaru Report for the latest new model news.

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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: Subaru

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