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Subaru’s Bumpy Ride Just Got Rougher

Subaru of America reports disappointing March sales and another decrease. Check out their two bright spots and top-performing models.

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Subaru of America’s (SOA) bumpy ride continues in the first quarter and reports a 17.5 percent decrease compared with Quarter 1 in 2021. In the first three months, they have year-to-date sales of 132,346. Subaru’s new model supply continues to be affected by microchip shortages and supply chain issues impacting the industry.

In March, shortages of the refreshed 2022 Forester and other models dropped sales to 43,322 models delivered to customers in the U.S., a 34.1 percent decrease compared with March 2021 (65,726).

2022 Subaru Forester, 2022 Subaru Crosstrek, 2022 Subaru Outback
photo credit: Boise Subaru

The 2022 Forester compact SUV saw the most significant drop in the SUV lineup again. Forester dropped 68.7 percent from March 2021, with 6,572 models delivered to customers compared with 21,005 in March 2021. Subaru shut off orders for the redesigned Forester for three weeks since March 7th, and why the compact SUV had such low sales performance.

Two bright spots and top-performing models

SOA reports the 2022 Outback midsize SUV and 2022 Crosstrek subcompact SUV were the top-performing all-wheel-drive models by volume. Subaru delivered 13,808 Outback SUVs to customers compared with 17,053 in March 2021, a drop of 19.0 percent. Subaru delivered 13,460 Crosstrek SUVs to customers compared with 14,065 in March 2021, a decline of 4.3 percent.

2022 Subaru Forester, 2022 Subaru Crosstrek, 2022 Subaru Outback

Jeff Walters, Senior Vice President of Sales, said, “This month, the Outback and Crosstrek were customer favorites as car buyers prepare themselves for good weather and outdoor adventure on the road or the trail this spring and summer.”

The Ascent 3-Row SUV dropped 20.8 percent in March, with 4,047 models delivered to families compared with 5,111 in March 2021. The 2022 Subaru Ascent is the only SUV in the lineup to have an increase over quarter one sales and is up 1.6 percent.

If not for the microchip shortages shutting down Subaru’s new model production for eight days already this year, the Camden, N.J. automaker would likely be seeing record sales. Subaru launched the new Outback and Forester Wilderness outdoor brand, the next-generation BRZ sports coupe, the all-new WRX sports sedan, and its first all-electric Solterra SUV.

“While we continue to feel the effects of vehicle shortages across the country, we are confident in the quality of Subaru vehicles which are widely recognized for their safety, reliability, and sense of adventure,” said Jeff Walters, Senior Vice President of Sales.

Even with few new vehicles to sell, two models saw positive gains from March 2021. Legacy sales (2,611) for March 2022 increased 12.3 percent, while BRZ sales (291) increased 20.7 percent compared to March 2021.

Subaru of America’s bumpy ride continues, and it won’t improve for a while as the 2022 Forester, 2022 Outback, 2022 Crosstrek, and other new all-wheel-drive vehicles are in short supply.

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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. 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: main image Subaru USA

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