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With Subaru Inventory Thin What's Next For New Model Shoppers

The 2021 Subaru Forester, Outback, Ascent, and Crosstrek pricing is announced but will customers find the new models in showrooms? Here is what customers can expect to see.

Subaru's September sales announcement comes today, and sales should be up about 6.5 percent over last year. That's good news for the Japanese automaker, but the supply of new 2020 Subaru Forester, Crosstrek, Ascent, and Outback all-wheel-drive models is at record lows. A Cox Automotive report shows Subaru had one of the lowest supply of vehicles of any automaker in August.

Inventory is lower now as sales roared back in September, leaving fewer Forester, Crosstrek, Ascent, and Outback models for customers. The good news is both Subaru plants are running at full capacity, and new Forester and Crosstrek models are arriving from Japan. Outback and Ascent models are shipping from the U.S. plant in Lafayette, Indiana.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Outback

Subaru typically keeps inventory levels low, but the plant shut down for eight weeks because of the pandemic stripped retailers of their most popular models. Demand for 2020 Subaru Forester, Crosstrek, Ascent, and Outback all-wheel-drive models is up as customers waited for retailers to reopen their showrooms.

Will you find the Subaru you want?

Subaru customers may not find the exact model they want. "The result is a marketplace that is very thin on product availability, and shoppers may be unable to get the color or trim they want," said Charlie Chesbrough, Cox Automotive senior economist.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Outback

Subaru retailers are still getting some 2020 models before the automaker makes the 2021 model change. New 2021 Crosstrek models are the first to arrive as Subaru Corporation began Japan's model change last month. 2021 Subaru Ascent models are also shipped next in line at the plant in Lafayette, Indiana, to begin production.

Subaru would typically have most vehicles changed over to the 2021 model change by October, but the new 2021 Forester is slower to arrive. Chesbrough says many automakers are still building 2020 models.

"The share of the model year 2021 inventory is only about 2.7 percent of all of the available inventory so far in 2020. In comparison, it was almost 22 percent last year. Consumers are not finding the new models as automakers are still making the older stuff," said Chesbrough.

The best deals are on 2020 Ascent, Forester, Outback, Legacy, and Impreza models. Subaru is offering no-interest financing on those models now through November 2, 2020. Customers looking for new 2021 Subaru Forester and other models will have to wait or take a 2020 model in whatever trim they can get.

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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 and the founder of 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, Schumacher Subaru, Subaru Bend