Subaru Restarts U.S. Plant - What It Means For The All-New Outback Wilderness
Subaru of Indiana Automotive (SIA) is scheduled to resume production today, May 3, after the automaker suspended production from April 19 to April 26 (a total of 10 days). The plant manufactures the Subaru Outback, Ascent, Impreza, and Legacy models. Subaru is scheduled to begin producing the 2022 Outback models this spring, and the all-new 2022 Outback Wilderness trim.
Earlier this year, production at the U.S. plant was suspended for six working days between March 25 and April 1. Both shutdowns were in response to the limited supply of semiconductor chips needed for its vehicles.
Craig Koven, Subaru of Indiana Automotive Communications and External Relations Manager at the U.S. plant, told Torque News, "We expect approximately 15,000 vehicles will be affected." The company didn't say how many workers are affected.
Koven said the Subaru plant shutdown was mainly because of delays in parts arriving via both ocean and air freight. The congestion of container vessels at the West Coast ports is causing shipping delays.
In a report from Indiana Public Media, Carol Handwerker, Purdue University materials engineering professor, said hundreds of chips are needed for each car.
"There are chips associated with the ignition; there are chips associated with all of the internal combustion engine; how it gets powered," said Handwerker. "There are now chips that control the braking. So, they are everywhere in the car."
What does it mean for U.S. customers?
As Subaru makes the model change from 2021 to 2022 Subaru Outback, the Camden, N.J automaker's number two selling model, customers in the U.S. could see the midsize SUV harder to find this summer.
What is the price of the 2022 Subaru Outback?
The 2022 Outback comes in eight trim levels; the base trim is priced from $27,845 (+$225), Premium ($30,270 +$175), Limited ($34,720 +$75), Touring ($38,620 +$75), Onyx Edition XT ($36,270 +$75), new for 2022, Outback Wilderness ($38,120), Limited XT ($39,120 +$75), and Touring XT ($41,070 +$75). Pricing includes $1,125 destination and increase of $75 over the previous year.
Subaru of America has the tightest supply of vehicles of any automaker. Torque News reported Subaru had the tightest inventory at 38 days at the end of February 2021. Subaru CEO Tom Doll told Bloomberg's Carol Massar that the microchip shortage would have a minimal impact through March, and then there will be an adjustment in April and May; they don't know how much.
As of this writing, Subaru of America has ample inventory of the most popular 2021 Subaru Forester compact SUV, 2021 Outback wagon/SUV, and Crosstrek subcompact SUV trims and colors.
That will likely change this summer as the 2022 Subaru Outback and the all-new 2022 Outback Wilderness begin to arrive. Torque News will bring you further Subaru production updates as we get them.
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 USA