Subaru Corporation shut down its U.S. plant in Lafayette, Indiana on March 23 in response to COVID-19. They recently extended the U.S. plant shutdown until April 17. Now Subaru announced they will suspend all auto production at its main plant in Gunma, Japan from April 11 to May 1, 2020.
The Japanese automaker said it's because of supply chain disruptions and a sharp fall in global demand for new automobiles amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Subaru manufactures the 2020 Forester compact SUV at the main plant in Japan, and it’s the automaker’s number one selling model around the globe and in the U.S. now passing the Outback in 2020. They also make the Crosstrek Subcompact SUV, Levorg sports tourer, Impreza compact, WRX, WRX STI performance cars, and BRZ / Toyota 86 sport coupes at its main Japan plant.
2020 Subaru Forester is the brand’s top-selling model
With both plants suspending production, there will be over 70,000 fewer vehicles rolling off assembly lines during the shutdown; 39,000 units in Japan and 32,000 units at the U.S. plant in Lafayette, Indiana. There are a total of 10,000 plant workers that will remain employed through the temporary closures.
Subaru joins other major Japanese carmakers including Toyota, Nissan, and Honda, in halting domestic production due to the coronavirus outbreak whose sales have also been affected last month. Toyota was down -36.9 percent, Honda -48.0 percent, Mitsubishi -52.0 percent, Mazda -41.8 percent, and Nissan who reports quarterly dropped FQ1 -29.6 percent.
U.S. Sales dropped 47 percent in March
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected Subaru sales in the U.S. in a big way. The Camden, N.J. automaker moved just 32,611 vehicles off dealer lots in March 2020 compared with 61,601 last year. Subaru of America reported a huge 47 percent drop in sales compared with the same period last year. Surprisingly, the 2020 Forester compact SUV had less of a drop in sales than all other models.
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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his reports are archived on our Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Subaru Report. Check back tomorrow for more Subaru news and updates at Torque News!
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Photo credit: Nippon TV News 24 Japan