A New Subaru Plant Shutdown Affects 15,000 Vehicles Including 2022 Outback
Torque News reported earlier this month the Subaru Yajima Plant in Gunma, Japan, would suspend production April 10–27, 2021. We said the Subaru plant in Lafayette, Indiana, also shut down between March 25 and April 1.
A spokesman for Subaru of Indiana Automotive told Torque News today, "Due to an interruption in the supply of certain parts that use semiconductors, Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) has temporarily suspended production for the weeks of April 19 and 26 (total of 10 days). We are scheduled to resume on May 3."
This new U.S. plant shut down will likely affect 2022 Subaru Outback production and the all-new 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness production. The new models are expected to reach retailers this summer. The SIA spokesmen also said, "We expect approximately 15,000 vehicles will be affected."
SIA manufactures the 2022 Subaru Outback, Ascent, Impreza, and Legacy models, which will also be affected as the plant stays dark. The plant in Gunma, Japan, where they make the Forester, Crosstrek, and other models, will lose around 10,000 vehicles to its shutdown this month.
The reason for both Subaru plant shutdowns is due to the worldwide shortage of microchips. The SIA spokesman said this is mainly because of delays in parts arriving via ocean and air freight. The congestion of container vessels at the West Coast ports is causing shipping delays.
What does it mean for U.S. customers?
As Subaru makes the model change from 2021 to 2022 Subaru Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek, customers in the U.S. could see the top-selling all-wheel-drive SUVs harder to find.
Subaru of America has the tightest supply of vehicles of any automaker. Torque News reported Subaru had the tightest inventory at 38 days at the end of February 2021. Subaru CEO Tom Doll told Bloomberg's Carol Massar that the microchip shortage would have a minimal impact through March, and then there will be an adjustment in April and May; they don't know how much.
As of this writing, Subaru of America has ample inventory of the most popular 2021 Subaru Forester compact SUV, 2021 Outback wagon/SUV, and Crosstrek subcompact SUV trims and colors. That will likely change this summer as the 2022 Subaru Outback, 2022 Outback Wilderness, 2022 Forester, and 2022 Crosstrek begin to arrive. Torque News will bring you further Subaru production updates as we get them.
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 of Indiana Automotive