Subaru Boss, “We Could Sell More New Ascent SUVs If We Could Just Get Them”
The all-new 2019 Subaru Ascent has finished a full year and it’s largely been a big success for Subaru of America (SOA). Subaru Corporation heard the cries from across the Pacific for a larger SUV for growing families in North America and the Japanese automaker listened and designed one just for Subaru dealers in the U.S. and Canada. How is the new 3-Row family SUV doing? In an interview with Automotive News, Subaru of America COO Tom Doll says they need more but can’t get enough for customers.
Tom Doll told AN they could sell more Ascent SUVs if they had them. "I can't tell you what the top is for Ascent because we don’t have the inventory levels.” Dealers want more but they can’t produce enough. Doll went on to say, "We just don't have the inventory to get there, which is good because, in our business, one less is always better than one more, although I'd like to have a few more.” Ron Owens, general manager at Wilsonville Subaru in Portland, Ore., told AN, "We can't stock enough Ascents.”
Ascent vs Tribeca
Ascent arrived mid-June last year and will have a full year of sales this weekend. So far, SOA has sold 69,305 Ascents in the first 12 months. The discontinued Tribeca which ended its production fin in 2014, could only muster 76,774 3-Row sales after its 10-year lifespan. So it’s safe to say, Ascent has been a huge success.
Subaru Ascent Is Built in the U.S.
The all-new Ascent is built in Lafayette, Indiana by Subaru Indiana Automotive (SIA), Subaru’s only plant outside of Japan. It hasn’t been all rainbows and lollipops for the Ascent. There have been quality issues as SIA ramped up production of the new SUV. Subaru’s dealer board has gone on record saying “we would like to express our disappointment with the continued poor product quality and with the poor launch of the new Ascent.”
Subaru is cranking out the Ascent family SUV as fast as they can. The SIA plant has undergone a major expansion nearly doubling production capacity. This year, they are projected to produce 370,000 Subaru vehicles, which in addition to the Ascent, the production includes the Subaru Outback SUV, new Impreza compact sedan and 5-Door hatch and the Legacy sedan.
Subaru has been a victim of their own success as they’ve seen record growth in the U.S. for the last 10 years. They have been trying to keep up with the demand for their all-wheel-drive SUVs while maintaining a high-quality product for their customers.
There have been growing pains as the brand launched the largest vehicle they have ever built, but largely, the all-new Ascent has been a huge success. The second-year 2020 Subaru Ascent is coming with a few upgrades and a small bump in price for the upper trim levels and arrives later this summer. Stay tuned.
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Photo credit: Subaru USA, Subaru via Candice Berman