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New Outback Drops In Sales More Than Any Subaru Nameplate - 3 Reasons Why

The 2022 Subaru Outback has arrived, and Subaru of America reports the midsize SUV dropped in sales more than any other nameplate. Is the Outback slipping in popularity?

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There is good news and bad news for the popular 2022 Subaru Outback midsize SUV. The good news is, Subaru of America reported September sales, and the Outback is the number two selling carline for the Camden, N.J. automaker behind the Forester compact SUV. The Outback is only one of three nameplates posting an increase for the first nine months of 2021.

Compared with the same period in 2020, the 2021-2022 Subaru Outback posted a 15.6 percent increase year-to-date, while the hot 2021 Crosstrek and WRX and WRX STI performance sedans posted year-to-date gains of 31.4 percent and 37.5 percent, respectively. All other Subaru carlines are down in sales for 2021.

2022 Subaru Outback, features, specs, pricing

The bad news is, the Subaru Outback midsize SUV dropped in sales more than any other nameplate in Subaru of America’s lineup in September. Subaru delivered only 7,082 new Outback models to customers in September compared with 17,023 in September 2020. That’s a 58.4 percent drop in sales, more than any other Subaru carline.

Why did the Outback drop so far? It’s most likely because of the shortage of new Outback models on retailers’ lots. The global microchip shortage has hurt Subaru’s inventory in the U.S. more than other automakers. Subaru reported a 30.0 percent decrease in sales last month and says it is “due to inventory constraints caused by the global microchip shortage.”

2022 Subaru Outback, features, specs, pricing

Jeff Walters, Senior Vice President of Sales, says in the September statement, “As the automotive industry continues to face challenges on several fronts, Subaru retailers remain focused on delivering an outstanding customer experience.”

The several fronts are Subaru’s challenge to fill its inventory pipeline with enough vehicles for U.S. customers, including the Outback. Subaru of America is the Japanese automaker’s largest market, selling approximately 71 percent of global sales.

2022 Subaru Outback, features, specs, pricing

As Subaru of Indiana Automotive changed from the 2021 Outback to the 2022 Outback models, they have had to have enough microchips to build the all-new 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness for its active outdoor customers. The new Wilderness sub-brand model has been a big hit with customers, and retailers are selling every model they can get from Subaru.

“Our retailers continued to show record sales efficiency in September, despite the continued challenges from the global supply chain disruptions,” said Tom Doll, President, and CEO, Subaru of America.

The Outback hasn’t slipped in popularity; the midsize SUV is in more demand now with the new 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness trim level.

You Might Also Like: The New 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Is Shut Out At Mudfest Competition

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 USA

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Jeff Klabish (not verified)    October 8, 2021 - 3:02AM

Outback lost their edge. Dropping the 3.6R was a big mistake and not having updated technology like heads up display and 360 cameras put the Outback behind the competition. The Wilderness Edition is fine but I suspect 90% of Outback owners never take their vehicles off of paved roads. The Wilderness Edition also raises the center of gravity of the vehicle. I doubt a Wilderness Outback could pass the moose test.