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Subaru's Sales Slide Continues For 12 Months In-A-Row

Subaru of America reports another decrease in sales for May. The slide continues now for twelve months. Check out the top-selling model.


Subaru of America's (SOA) sales slide continues in May as the Camden, N.J. automaker reports a 24.8 percent decrease compared with May 2021. They reported 42,526 vehicle sales for May 2022, compared with May 2021 (56,558).

Through the first five months, they have year-to-date sales of 220,620, a 20.8 percent decrease compared with the same period in 2021. Subaru's new model inventory continues to be affected by microchip shortages, supply chain issues, and another plant shutdown announced this week.

2022 Subaru Forester, 2022 Subaru Crosstrek, 2022 Subaru Outback
Subaru Outback is the top-selling model

The 2022 Subaru Outback was again the top performer in the lineup, and the automaker reports the midsize SUV had 14,724 sales. The Outback was up 5.2 percent compared with May 2021 (13,994 sales).

Jeff Walters, Senior Vice President of Sales, said, "The Subaru Outback captured car buyers' attention in May as they seek out safe, family-friendly vehicles that also boast a sense of fun."

The Outback is the top performer in Subaru of America's all-wheel-drive lineup, with 64,206 models delivered to customers in 2022. The Outback Wilderness is a significant reason, and it's been a big hit with outdoor enthusiasts and customers with active lifestyles.

2022 Subaru Forester, 2022 Subaru Crosstrek, 2022 Subaru Outback
Ascent sales are up for the third month in a row

The Subaru Ascent sales are up again in May, increasing for the third month in a row by 25.3 percent, with 5,402 3-Row SUVs delivered to customers compared with 4,310 in May 2021. The Ascent is up 9.3 percent year to date, with 25,328 3-Row SUVs sold to families in 2022.

The sizzling hot Crosstrek cooled off in May with 9,894 sales, down 1.2 percent compared with 10,013 sales in May 2021. The Crosstrek is second in total sales, with 59,374 subcompact SUVs sold year-to-date. The hot Crosstrek is up 2.7 percent for the year.

The refreshed Forester had a significant drop in May with 5,496 sales, down a whopping 72.5 percent compared with 20,006 sales in May 2021. Forester is down 50.7 percent through the first five months of the year and is now third in the lineup in sales, with 42,984 sales year-to-date.

Next-generation 2022 BRZ sport coupe sales (201) increased 957.9 percent compared to April 2021 (19). The Legacy sedan was up 13.6 percent, Impreza slid 40.8 percent, and the new 2022 WRX dropped 15.6 percent for May.

"We're continuing to see supply chain challenges across the industry. We focus on delivering the top-notch vehicles and standout customer experience that Subaru is renowned for," said Jeff Walters.

What's next for Subaru?

Subaru of America will increase sales from the new 2023 Subaru Solterra EV compact SUV as it's set to arrive at U.S. retailers this month. The Solterra is Subaru's first all-electric model and its most significant new model launch since the Crosstrek in 2012.

Subaru of America's sales slide continues for twelve months in a row, and it won't improve for a while as the 2022 Forester, 2022 Outback, 2022 Crosstrek, and other new all-wheel-drive vehicles are still in short supply.

You Might Also Like: Subaru Says They Just Ramped Up New U.S. Model Production 85 Percent

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


Robert daddario (not verified)    June 2, 2022 - 10:08PM

The reason Subaru sales are declining is because dealers are overcharging for their cars. Some are useing tactics like no deal unless you finace or take an extended
Warranty. We paid almost 8000 over msrp only because I needed the car and we are previous Subaru owners did I comply and pay 46’000 for an Outback limited.
Subaru should compensate loyal buyers like me.

James (not verified)    June 3, 2022 - 5:18PM

In reply to by Robert daddario (not verified)

I disagree. My 2022 Forester along with the Crosstrek are suffering from parts shortages. True I paid MSRP for mine but if you paid $8k over you went to the wrong dealership. I could have bought a used 2020 with 40k miles for $34k but I ordered mine for under $32k delivered. Should be here by September.

Frank A Martin (not verified)    June 3, 2022 - 1:12AM

The Forester is by far the saddest victime of production woes, only beating the Ascent by less than 2% in sales.
I'm surprised that Indiana does not cut off production of Imprezas and Legacys and just concentrates on making as many Outbacks as possible. The outback has to fill the forester demand as well.

Ross Wollenhaupt (not verified)    June 3, 2022 - 8:16AM

Subaru needs to refresh the look of their vehicles, the corporate design language is becoming dated. Also, dealers have been price gouging and people are sick of it. Nobody wants to go underwater in a loan when a recession is right around the corner. Also the chip shortage excuse is becoming old too. Especially when graphic cards and computer parts are now back to normal levels, everybody knows the auto industry is lying at this point. Plus, gas companies continue to pricee gouge too

Richard E. Sac… (not verified)    June 4, 2022 - 6:38PM

Subaru has deserted their performance oriented loyal buyers. My wife has the LAST Forester with a turbo and 5-speed (2008) and I have the LAST STi with a hatch (2014).

I have since bought 2 Golf R's & will do an STi swap on Linda's Forester (engine, 6-spd, rear & brakes).

Currently Subaru does not make a vehicle I'm the least bit interested in.

Masoculus (not verified)    June 6, 2022 - 11:56AM

In reply to by Richard E. Sac… (not verified)

Totally agree. I got one of the last Legacy GT wagon 5MT in the Limited trim. They have the engineering acumen to produce serious down market alternatives to sport wagons like the E63S (RIP), and the RS6 Avant. It's sad. They're frittering away a diehard loyalty base by abandoning the performance and engineering that made us Subaru enthusiasts in the first place.

Chuck (not verified)    June 8, 2022 - 10:02AM

I am a first time owner of a 2020 outback touring model. The drivetrain of this car is horrendous. Noisy uneven power with the worse turbo lag I have ever experienced. The CVT shifts horribly. The motor tranny set up is so undefined it is a real disappointment. I developed a motor oil leak at 7900 miles. Dealer said it was the pan gasket. As soon as the car market stabilizes I am selling the car. Imo this car is a piece of junk.

Paulie (not verified)    June 11, 2022 - 9:09PM

Been a Subaru owner since 1995, having three so far. Was planning to buy my final one in a couple of years when I retire. Unfortunately the latest models just don’t have that wow factor anymore. The Outback Wilderness is nice, but pricing is a huge deterrent. Wish Subaru hadn’t abandoned developing a sport truck larger than the Baja. Hate to move to a different brand, but may have no choice. Subaru needs to reward loyalty as well as create excitement again.