2019 Subaru Outback features, standard EyeSight,
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Is Subaru Outback Losing It’s Game? Sales Drop Again In 2018

The Subaru Outback is the brand's number one selling nameplate, but it slipped again. Is Outback losing its game?
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When Toyota, Honda, and Nissan are reporting a sales slump for July, SOA reports the best July ever with a 6.7 percent increase over July 2017, but it’s not the Outback nameplate that’s helping the Japanese automaker set new records. The Outback dropped 8.4 percent in July and this was the second month that the flagship SUV/Crossover posted a decline in 2018. Outback sales were also down 2.7 percent in April.

Two newer Subaru vehicles are leading the charge

Subaru outsold the Hyundai brand by 8,289 in July, and it’s due to the all-new Subaru Ascent 3-Row family hauler selling 4,589 vehicles in its first full month. It’s also because the new Subaru Crosstrek had an increase of 4,692 over the previous July making it the only nameplate to have an increase over the same period last year. Between the two models, that’s an additional 9,281 vehicles.

The newly-redesigned Subaru Crosstrek is one of the hottest vehicles in America and is up 69.2 percent for the year. Subaru has sold 87,139 Crosstrek crossovers in 2018 compared with 51,500 last year through July. Subaru’s other nameplates were all down in July. Outback is off 8.4 percent, Forester down 10 percent,, Impreza down 5 percent, WRX/WRX STI off 31.4 percent, Legacy down 31.2 percent, and BRZ down 20.2 percent.

READ: 2019 Subaru Outback Keeps 3.6R Trim; But Not For Long

Subaru’s Jeff Walters, Senior Vice President of Sales says the Crosstrek and Ascent are bringing many first-time Subaru buyers into their showrooms and returning customers are moving up to the new Ascent 3-Row.

Consumers are responding positively to the all-new 2019 Subaru Ascent 3-Row, the largest vehicle Subaru has ever built, and it’s a good fit for active families. The newly-redesigned 2018 Crosstrek is the brightest star in the Subaru stable and it’s the hot nameplate with adventurous millennials. The Outback slips for the second month this year, but it’s still the number-one-selling nameplate in the lineup. It’s due for a complete remodel sometime next year when it will likely get a new game on.

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Photo credit: Subaru USA


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Comments

The biggest issue is costs. While yes Subaru had a command over the awd midsized suv since the turn of the millenia. It now comes down to costs, Subaru yes remains probably the best vehicle for the awd weekend warriors. Now because of the boxer engines not becoming more fuel efficient like the competition of hrv crv eco sport escape and so on. They are becoming more of a luxury car without luxury amenities at their starting prices of 26k. Where you can have a near fully loaded crv for that entry price of an outback and still get better fuel economy. Normally I bash on American automakers for not listening to consumers and truly still don't. But Subaru for a change needs to play catchup and figure how an impreza can go to 15k starting, forestor 19k and outback 20k ish to grab hold of that market again. Because for the first time in a long time there is actual competition to Subaru in the mid sized suv market.
The biggest issue is costs. While yes Subaru had a command over the awd midsized suv since the turn of the millenia. It now comes down to costs, Subaru yes remains probably the best vehicle for the awd weekend warriors. Now because of the boxer engines not becoming more fuel efficient like the competition of hrv crv eco sport escape and so on. They are becoming more of a luxury car without luxury amenities at their starting prices of 26k. Where you can have a near fully loaded crv for that entry price of an outback and still get better fuel economy. Normally I bash on American automakers for not listening to consumers and truly still don't. But Subaru for a change needs to play catchup and figure how an impreza can go to 15k starting, forestor 19k and outback 20k ish to grab hold of that market again. Because for the first time in a long time there is actual competition to Subaru in the mid sized suv market.
Not surprising. The five year refresh cycle is up and frankly the Outback looks "dated". While one cannot argue that it's still "King of the Hill" in terms of utility, etc. The 2019 version will need more than a simple refresh. The Impreza and Crosstrek succeeded because their exterior/interior were noticbly different from their predecessors. That's the key, I said noticeably not radically different. I don't think the 2019 Forester will sell that well since it failed to really differenitate itself from the current generation. Perhaps added safety and better ride quality will help, but again it simply looks like a refresh.
Bring the LEVORG to the US.