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Subaru Reports A Huge 47 Percent Drop In Sales-One Model Stays Warm

Subaru announced March sales and they are dismal. One model did better than all others during the downward trend.


Subaru of America reported a huge 47 percent drop in sales compared with the same period last year, but one model faired better. The Camden, N.J. automaker moved just 32,611 vehicles off dealer lots in March 2020 compared with 61,601 last year.

The huge downturn is due to the COVID-19 global health crisis impacting the entire automobile industry.

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With no end in sight to the worldwide pandemic, this is sure to bring an end to Subaru’s goal to hit twelve consecutive years of sales records in 2020. With social-distancing and shelter-at-home orders in many communities and cities, many Subaru dealers are closed and it’s “limiting car buying across the board,” said Jeff Walters, Senior Vice President of Subaru Sales.

2020 Subaru ForesterThe 2020 Subaru Forester fairs better than other models

A surprise for Subaru is the 2020 Forester compact SUV that’s been the hot model for Subaru. For March, the compact SUV saw a drop of “only” 33.7 percent compared with the top-selling Outback wagon that saw a 53.8 percent drop in sales. The next best selling model, the subcompact Crosstrek SUV, was down 47.5 percent, and the new Ascent family hauler declined 49.1 percent for the month as many families opt to delay planned purchases.

How did other Japanese automakers do in March? It was dismal for all automakers. Toyota was down -36.9 percent, Honda -48.0 percent, Mitsubishi -52.0 percent, Mazda -41.8 percent, Nissan who reports quarterly dropped FQ1 -29.6 percent, and Hyundai -43.0 percent (South Korea).

2020 Subaru ForesterOwners still need to have their vehicle serviced

You may not be shopping for a new car, but you still need to get your Subaru vehicle in for service. Some dealers are now providing alternative methods of vehicle service, including pick-up and drop-off, expanded service loaner fleet, and mobile repair. Subaru says dealers that remain open are “following the most up-to-date guidelines from the CDC, adapting services and undertaking enhanced measures for cleaning and sanitation to help support the safety of employees and customers.”

If you are struggling to make your car payment on your Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, or another all-wheel-drive model, the automaker is offering a Payment Deferment Program and you could qualify. You can contact your Subaru dealer or click here for Subaru Motors Finance information.

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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: Subaru USA


Steven Arant (not verified)    April 2, 2020 - 10:56PM

Americans want POWER. I80HP isn't going to cut it. You build these Subarus and want people to live an "Active Lifestyle" but we don't have enough HP to tow anything or you can't load up your Subaru and make up a slight incline with out coming out of 2nd gear because there's not enough torque to get the job done. THEN you take the turbo model out of the Forester the go to adventure vehicle and put it in the Outback that has the looks of a turtle. STOP listening to the bean counters and build something exciting!!! You take away the hatchback WRX and give people a dead duck called the Crosstrek. Have you seen the competition??? They are killing it right now!! You seen the VW Golf R? The Honda lineup?? There is nothing now to be excited about. I want to be excited about a Subaru but I got nothing.

John (not verified)    April 3, 2020 - 9:02AM

In reply to by Steven Arant (not verified)

You got that right and now they have introduced a hybrid with a gutless 2.0 litre motor and a useless battery addition. It's rated as worse than the equivalent petrol vehicle. Don't even start me on Subaru's overpriced servicing costs. Why not look at the class leader, Toyota RAV4 and see they operate.

AW (not verified)    April 3, 2020 - 11:37AM

In reply to by John (not verified)

Agree with these statements. I've been driving 2015 Subaru Outback Limited with 3.6. With no 6 liter in lineup, my next vehicle purchase will be Toyota. Sorry, Subaru. Love the concept, but performance/power is not enough.

S V R (not verified)    April 3, 2020 - 11:00AM

In reply to by Steven Arant (not verified)

Says the person who doesn't own a Subaru. I have the "gutless' 2015 Outback, and I can fully load it with camping gear, and still make it up and down hills.. Just shut up when you don't know what you are talking about... If you want more power, get the H6 idiot...

Thomas (not verified)    April 3, 2020 - 3:56PM

In reply to by Steven Arant (not verified)

Steven, i want a comfortable and reliable vehicle that gets me from point A to point . I have a 2019 Subaru Forester Sport and love driving it. I get a lot of compliments on the vehicle. I don't understand why people are complaining about the 180 HP. Its been fine. Steven, stop whining and ranting about the Subaru lineup of vehicles. If you don't like it, move on to another brand. Many people do like Subaru including myself. First Subaru and don't regret it.

Herman (not verified)    April 3, 2020 - 5:38PM

I rank Subaru behind Toyota and Honda in California, but if I still lived in Alaska I'd drive a Forester. Subaru AWD system is #1.

Chan Fatt Chang (not verified)    April 4, 2020 - 4:49AM

I am from Malaysia n own a Subaru Forester for coming 2 years....
So far we are loving it for its performance n power.
A good choice.

Sylvia E Burgett (not verified)    April 10, 2020 - 8:47PM

I have always loved Honda. My Mom had a Honda Accord 1994, A Honda Oddessy 2003.Loved that Accord; drove it for 17 years.... I came upon the Subaru Impressa Supreme. 2019... Just by Accident; thanks to my Salesman Christopher. Oh My God! I just love it...It drives like a Dream. I made the Switch and am So Glad.

VS (not verified)    July 29, 2020 - 11:46AM

I can remember sweating in 90F degree weather with my old under powered Crosstrek. So glad I switched to another brand.. Bye Bye Subaru