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Subaru Sales Are Down - Customer Incentives Are Up

Subaru expects sales to drop 18 percent this year. Is it a good time to buy a 2020 Subaru Forester, Outback, or Crosstrek?


Like all automakers, Subaru is adjusting its sales projections for 2020 and expects to be down eighteen percent from last year. They were projected to sell 725,000 models in the U.S., and now it could be 150,000 less. But it’s good news because incentives are up at Subaru which translates to savings for SUV shoppers.

In an interview with Automotive News ( by subscription), Subaru of America CEO Tom Doll, says in spite of the downturn in sales, it’s “going better than we thought.” That’s partly due to Subaru offering no-interest financing and 63-month terms to lure customers into their showrooms. The 2020 Subaru Forester had the best month ever in May.

2020 Subaru Outback, 2020 Subaru Forester, 2020 Subaru CrosstrekWhat incentives are Subaru offering?

It’s also due to Subaru of America offering larger incentives to customers. According to ALG, while Subaru has less incentive spending than many automakers, the average customer incentive was $1,848 in May, up 21 percent from last year ($1,528).

What is the best month to buy a Subaru?

It could be the best time to buy a 2020 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, or Ascent SUV around the 4th of July Holiday. Subaru retailers will be motivated to move cars off their lots and will be ready to deal.

2020 Subaru Outback, 2020 Subaru Forester, 2020 Subaru Crosstrek

In addition to the extra incentive discount you can get, don’t forget to ask the salesperson to throw in accessories at no charge. You might be able to get body side molding, an air deflector, cargo net, all-weather floor mats or free bottles of touch up paint.

Will I be able to find the model I want?

Keep in mind, inventory is low at many Subaru retailers around the country. Tom Doll says they like to keep inventory low normally, but it’s especially low with the Subaru plants being closed, and sales were better in April and May than expected. Doll doesn’t expect inventory to rise to reasonable levels until mid-August.

You can get the best deal on a 2020 Subaru Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, or Ascent if you buy a model the retailer has on the lot. They are more willing to make a better deal to make an immediate sale.

You Might Also Like: New Subaru Outback - Should You Buy the 2020 Model Or Wait For 2021?

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 and the founder of 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


Luis A Cabrera (not verified)    June 27, 2020 - 10:47AM

I leased a 2018 outback 3.6 touring and have had nothing but issues with their electronics, to wit; radio, back lift gate not opening, car accelerating while stopped on traffic light, engine not starting, navigation system not working properly, etc. One final issue is that whenever I brought the vehicle in and complained their answer was " we couldn't replicate the problem". I was appalled when one of the service managers asked me what vehicle I had before and I said I was leasing a Lincoln mkx. His answer was " you left a Lincoln mkx for this? I switched dealer's and on July 2019 I was having issues with the shifter that it wouldn't engage in park . One time I parked the vehicle and exited and noticed the engine was still on, I reached in to shut off the engine and the vehicle rolled back throwing me to the ground with one leg inside the car dragging me across the street to my neighbors driveway, causing multiple injuries
Subaru changed the shifter and said it was defective. Don't buy a Subaru they are over rated. Can't wait to end my lease oct. 2021
Their dealer's are no different than all other dealers they sweet talk you into a lease and then they don't want to know you after needing service for you vehicle. No more Subaru's for me.

subaruowner (not verified)    August 14, 2020 - 5:48PM

Gas leak smell, leaking cvt. what's new? dealer says it's normal and cannot replicate the other issues. "leaking cvt is just a loose bolt, nothing to worry about". This is my third subaru. i'm done with Subaru. That AWD system is no longer enticing when their engines and trannys are a crap shoot. RAV4 PRIME HERE I COME.