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Subaru Finishes The Year Down 12.6 Percent - What’s Ahead In 2021

Subaru of America is down for the year but not out. See what's next for the Camden, N.J. automaker.


Subaru of America reported year-end sales, and the Camden, N.J. automaker is down 12.6 percent for the year. Subaru sold 611,942 vehicles, which is far short of its goal of 725,000 vehicle sales in 2020. In a year that saw COVID eliminate SOA's chance to hit its 12th consecutive year of record growth, they still fared well.

The 611,942 cars they sold in 2020 are more than they projected in June when CEO Tom Doll told Automotive News their new target was 575,000 vehicle sales. Subaru grew its influence from a 4 percent market share and now has a 4.35 percent market share in the U.S. according to a year-end report from CarSalesBase.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Outback

There were some bright spots for Subaru of America. The automaker was up 1.9 percent compared with December 2019. The 2021 Subaru Crosstrek had its best December ever as the refreshed compact SUV came with a new 2.5-liter engine and 30 more horsepower. Crosstrek had 14,957 sales compared with 10,140 in December 2019.

Another bright spot for SOA is the Forester SUV that is now the number one selling nameplate in the all-wheel-drive lineup. It overtook the popular Outback wagon with 176,996 models delivered to customers compared with Outback's 153,294 for the year.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Outback

Forester only slipped 1.8 percent for the year while Outback was down 15.4 percent, Ascent down 17.5 percent, and Crosstrek minus 8.7 percent to finish 2020.

What's next for Subaru in 2021?

The performance lineup of WRX, WRX STI, and BRZ all come with redesigns in 2021. The 2022 WRX will launch in late 2021, and the BRZ will be in Subaru showrooms in March. The Impreza also gets a complete remodel for the 2022 model change. Forester will also get a mild refresh and will make its dealer launch this summer.

The big news is that a new all-electric SUV makes its launch in the U.S. market and makes its global reveal later this year. Subaru will rely on Toyota to bring its first-ever battery-electric car. While Toyota plans to launch a "portfolio of battery-electric products," Subaru will launch one all-new model in 2022, and it will have limited availability.

Subaru of America is down for the year but not out. New models are coming, and Subaru expects to bounce back from a problematic sales year. With the 2021 Subaru Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek in the hot small SUV segment, Subaru is optimistic going into 2021.

You Might Also Like: The Top 13 Questions You Have For Subaru Heading Into The New Year

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