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Subaru’s New Model Inventory Improves But It’s Still Worst In The U.S.

When will the 2023 Crosstrek, Outback, Forester, and other new Subaru model inventory improve? See how much it's up over the last month and why the automaker still ranks last.


There is good news for new Subaru shoppers looking for a 2023 Crosstrek, 2023 Outback, or 2023 Forester. Subaru of America's new model inventory is up. But the Camden, N.J. automaker still has the tightest supply of any automaker.

A new report from Automotive News (by subscription) reveals Subaru of America's new model inventory is now at six days supply as of October 1, 2022, up two days compared with September 1, 2022, at four days. It's still well below the U.S. average, which is a forty-two-day supply.

Subaru’s new 2023 model inventory
photo credit: new Subaru vehicles delivered to Patrick Subaru

Subaru of America still has the tightest supply of new vehicles of any car brand. The next automaker with the lowest inventory is Hyundai and Kia, with a ten-day supply of new cars.

Why is Subaru's inventory the lowest?

In the U.S., Subaru still has the tightest inventory of new cars of any automaker because of microchip shortages and supply chain issues. Subaru shut down its Japan factory five times in 2022, where they manufacture the 2022 Forester compact SUV, 2022 Crosstrek subcompact SUV, BRZ sports coupe, and WRX sports sedan.

Subaru’s new 2023 model inventory
Photo credit: Suburban Subaru

The Japanese automaker has historically kept a low supply of new cars even before the pandemic. Subaru of America runs a lean supply, and Subaru retailers know how to sell from its Japanese and U.S. factory production pipeline.

Why does Subaru like to keep its new car inventory low?

Keeping inventory low allows Subaru to keep its incentives low and price its new models at or near Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). Low inventory also helps Subaru keep its resale values the highest in the industry.

Subaru has operated under this business philosophy for over a decade. Subaru Corporation CEO Tomomi Nakamura told Automotive News recently, "Due to the COVID-19 situation, our sales efficiency improved quite a bit, and we learned a lot. The system to sell from the inventory pipeline has been strengthened," he said.

Subaru of America was able to tweak its sold-order system to improve visibility of what vehicles were in the pipeline and match them more quickly with retailer and customer orders, Nakamura said. This helped the automaker better manage low stocks, and it has become the new norm for operating at a more efficient pace when the industry recovers in the coming months.

"Despite the low inventory, our sales efficiency, the amount of inventory versus the number of sales at the end of the month, is extremely high, at the top of the industry. And the model turn rate, how fast those vehicles sell, is also at the top of the industry," he said.

When will Subaru's inventory levels improve?

"We still have uncertainty in front of us, considering the semiconductors situation," Nakamura said. "So it might be difficult to recover that in January. So we are seeing a gradual increase in inventories and a gradual recovery of supplies. And that is going to take about a year."

Subaru of America's new Crosstrek, Outback, Forester, and other new model inventory has improved from four days to six last month. Nakamura said Subaru expects "a gradual ramp-up" of the 2023 Crosstrek, 2023 Outback, and 2023 Forester, its top three selling models.

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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 Boise Subaru