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New Subaru Outback Launches Past Forester For The First Time In 2 Years

It's been an extraordinary and strange year for Subaru of America. The 2022 Subaru Outback just passed the popular Forester in total sales.

Can it get any stranger for Subaru of America? The popular Subaru Forester compact SUV has been the top model in the all-wheel-drive lineup for two years, but that changed in November. The 2022 Outback was the top performer by volume last month with 10,454 vehicle sales, and the midsize SUV passed the Forester in total sales year-to-date.

The 2022 Subaru Outback now leads the Forester for the first time since 2019, when Outback barely edged out Forester and was the overall sales leader. It could happen again in 2021. The Outback has 141,980 models sales through November, while Forester is sitting at 140,793 models delivered to customers with one month to go.

2022 Subaru Outback, features, specs, pricing
photo credit: Subaru Canada

It's not because the Forester has lost its appeal to customers looking for a compact all-wheel-drive SUV. Subaru of America can't get enough of the models to meet customer demand. Tom Doll, President and CEO, Subaru of America, said this week, "Like other automakers, the global semiconductor chip shortage has impacted our vehicle production, but our top priority is meeting the demand for Subaru vehicles."

Even with the Outback delivering solid sales, the SUV declined 19.1 percent compared with November 2020. The Forester only had 3,719 models sales and dropped the most of any carline with a decrease of 69.5 percent in November.

2022 Subaru Outback, features, specs, pricing

It's been a challenging year for Subaru

Subaru of America reported 33,045 vehicle sales for November 2021, a 34.5 percent decrease compared with November 2020 (50,413) as Subaru continues to deal with supply chain shortages. The automaker also reported year-to-date sales of 532,664, a three percent decrease compared with the same period in 2020.

In an even stranger twist, the Forester compact SUV was outsold by the 2022 Ascent family hauler, which has never happened since the 3-Row SUV launched in 2019. Customers bought 5,628 Ascent SUVs, an increase of 7.6 percent compared with November 2020.

It's been a challenging year for Subaru of America, and it's not over yet. The 2022 Subaru Outback just passed the popular Forester in total sales with one month to go. What will happen in December is anyone's guess.

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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