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New Subaru Vehicle Production Slows - What It Means For Shoppers This Spring

Subaru of America could see fewer cars available this spring and summer as 2021 Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek production slows. See what it means for new car shoppers.


Subaru Corporation announced production results for 2021, and the news is not good for new SUV shoppers. The 2021 Subaru Forester compact SUV and 2021 Crosstrek subcompact SUV are manufactured in Japan, and production is down 34.2 percent, the second consecutive month of decrease.

The 2021 Subaru Outback wagon/SUV and 2021 Ascent 3-Row SUV are manufactured at Subaru's plant in Lafayette, Indiana, and production is down 27.3 percent, the second consecutive month of decrease.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Outback
Photo credit: Subaru of San Bernardino

Subaru Corporation says both domestic and overseas production of its all-wheel-drive models decreased as a result of production adjustments due to the interruptions in parts supplies.

The components that are in short supply are microchips used to light up the new Subaru tablet-style touchscreen and also its EyeSight advanced driver-assist system. The microchips used for the sensors apply the brakes before a driver backs into a car in the parking lot.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Outback
Photo credit: Schumacher Subaru

According to a report last month from the Automotive News Research & Data Center, Subaru plant shutdowns reduced January output by about 20,200 vehicles because of the recent microchip shortage. AutoForecast Solutions projects this number will increase.

The Automotive News report says the problem could hurt Subaru into the second quarter and possibly even the second half of 2021. Phil Amsrud, an IHS Markit senior principal analyst who is tracking the crisis, says, "This isn't going to go away quickly."

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.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Outback
Photo credit: Subaru of San Bernardino

"It's essentially going to be a week-to-week, and every ten days, we get an estimate from our factories in Japan and Lafayette, Indiana giving us updates on the status of the chip shortage," Doll said.

A recent report from Automotive News (by subscription) says Subaru of America had the tightest inventory of any car brand. The data compiled by Cox Automotive revealed Subaru had the tightest inventory at 38 days at the end of February 2021.

What does it mean for new car shoppers?

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 spring and summer. Stay tuned.

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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