After a plant closure in Japan due to an earthquake, Subaru Corporation restarted production at its automobile manufacturing facilities in Japan today, March 22, after being idle for two days, on March 18 and 21. The Japanese automaker manufactures two of Subaru of America's top-selling models; the refreshed 2022 Subaru Forester compact SUV and 2022 Subaru Crosstrek subcompact SUV at the Gunma plant in Japan.
The 2022 Forester compact SUV, Crosstrek subcompact SUV, the WRX and WRX STI performance sedans, and BRZ sports coupe are manufactured at the main automobile plant in Gunma and Yakima plant. The engine and transmission plant in Oizumi was also idle for two days.
photo credit: Boise Subaru
The shutdown was because of supply chain interruptions triggered by a large earthquake that struck Japan last week. This is the third plant shutdown in Japan already this year, and there could be more before the end of the year.
Subaru retailers at the NADA Show in Las Vegas said they are hoping to have more new Forester, Crosstrek, and other new models on the ground to sell. Reports say the microchip shortages and supply chain issues will last through 2022.
How many vehicles were affected by the plant closure?
Subaru Corporation did not announce the number of Forester, Crosstrek, WRX, WRX STI, and BRZ models affected by the recent plant shutdown. If things were normal, Subaru would produce about 2500 vehicles per day at the main Gunma plant and its Yajima plant. With the microchip shortage and supply chain issues, the number of new cars produced at the plants is down considerably.
What does it mean for new car shoppers?
Subaru has the tightest new model inventory of any automaker, now at three days supply. The day's supply refers to the number of days needed to sell all vehicles in inventory, based on the previous month's daily selling rate. The inventory level is the unit count of new cars at Subaru of America retailers, factory lots, ports of entry, and in transit from Subaru's factory in Gunma, Japan, and Lafayette, Indiana.
The refreshed 2022 Forester compact SUV, new rugged Forester Wilderness trim level, and number three-selling 2022 Crosstrek are already hard to find and will be affected most by the recent shutdown.
With few new models on retailers' lots, customers can order a new 2022 Forester, 2022 Crosstrek, and other models through Subaru's ordering system. Currently, all Forester orders are temporarily shut off, allowing Subaru to catch up on heavy orders already in the system.
What does it mean for customers this spring? Customers looking for the refreshed 2022 Forester compact SUV, Crosstrek subcompact SUV, 2022 WRX sports car, 2021 WRX STI performance sedan, or 2022 BRZ sports coupe will be harder to find this spring and summer. Check out the best way to order a new model below.
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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 USA