When Subaru completely remodeled the Crosstrek for 2018MY, it paid off big last year. Every model in Subaru's lineup posted a sales decline in 2018, except for the new 2019 Crosstrek which saw a sales increase of 31.1 percent to 144,384 units in 2018. But Crosstrek is down in 2019. Is the redesigned Forester to blame?
It looked liked Crosstrek would keep up its torrid pace in 2019, but the compact SUV has seen four straight months of declines. In January, Crosstrek was down 12.7 percent, 8,236 units sold vs 9,437 in 2018. February, Crosstrek was down again 22.3 percent 8,257 units vs 10,625 the same period the previous year. In March, Crosstrek was -27.6 percent, 9,704 sales vs 13,400 in 2018. And last month, in April the compact SUV was down again for the fourth straight month -24.0 percent, 9,319 vs 12,266. Year-to-date, Crosstrek is down 35,516 vs 45,728 units a minus 22.3 percent for the year.
Forester is up
Subaru can thank the new 2019 redesigned Forester for some of Crosstrek’s drop-off. It hit dealer showrooms last fall and it’s been a big hit with customers. Many likely saw the new changes and opted for the compact Forester SUV ($24,295) over the smaller Crosstrek ($21,895). For the small difference in price, customers get more cargo room, more power under the hood and new safety technology.
Subaru Corp went all out for the new-generation flagship SUV and customers are liking all the upgrades. It’s the second-best selling all-wheel-drive vehicle in the Japanese automaker's stables here in America next to the Outback SUV/Crossover. Crosstrek is number three on the depth chart and it’s close to 20,000 units behind the more popular Forester.
Customers doing their research when looking for a new crossover, have been responding in a big way to the newly-redesigned Crosstrek. They get an all-wheel-drive vehicle that’s comfortable for the city commute, fuel-efficient, gets enhanced active safety, and is recreation-purposed with a go-anywhere attitude.
New 2019 Subaru Crosstrek sales in May will tell if the compact SUV is staying on a downward trend or if the first third of the year was a course correction from the torrid pace the small crosser was on last year.
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Photo credit: Subaru