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Things Go From Bad To Worse For Subaru Sales With More Parts Shortages

Subaru of America reported the most significant drop in sales year-to-date. The 2021 Subaru Forester, Outback, and Crosstrek are all down. There is one model that was a surprise in September.

The top three selling models, 2021 Subaru Forester, 2022 Subaru Outback, and 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, all dropped in September because of significant challenges for Subaru of America. In the September sales report, Subaru retailers faced "continued challenges from the global supply chain disruptions," said Tom Doll, President and CEO, Subaru of America. Subaru sales dropped 30.0 percent in September.

The global microchip shortages and plant shutdowns have hit Subaru of America hard. Every Subaru nameplate, except for the WRX and WRX STI performance sedans, dropped in sales. The Forester remains the sales leader by volume year-to-date but had 11,366 sales in September compared with 15,648 in September 2020, down 27.4 percent. Subaru Corporation ended production of 2021 models as they made the switch to the refreshed 2022 Forester models.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Outback

The 2021 Subaru Outback saw the most significant drop in sales, with only 7,082 midsize SUVs delivered to customers, a 58.4 percent drop compared with 17,023 models delivered in September 2020. Subaru of Indiana Automotive also stopped 2021 Outback model production as they made the switch to 2022 models.

The hot 2021 Subaru Crosstrek dropped in sales only 0.7 percent and was the overall sales leader with 11,864 models delivered to customers compared with 11,950 in September 2020. The hot Crosstrek subcompact SUV beat the Forester compact SUV and Outback midsize SUV to lead all nameplates for the first time.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Outback

The Subaru Ascent 3-Row family hauler declined with 4,208 models delivered to families versus 5,744 SUVs sold in September 2020, a 26.7 percent drop.

The Impreza compact sedan and hatchback dropped 20.7 percent, the Legacy sedan fell 48.8 percent, and BRZ dropped 99.6 percent while retailers waited for the 2022 BRZ to arrive.

2021 Subaru Forester, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, 2021 Subaru Outback

The 2021 Subaru WRX and WRX STI, 2021 Subaru Crosstrek, and 2021 Subaru Outback are the only nameplates that posted an increase in sales for the first three quarters of 2021. WRX and STI are up the most at 37.5 percent, Crosstrek is up 31.4 percent, and Outback is up 15.6 percent year to date.

When will Subaru's inventory improve?

Japan's plant shutdown last month affected 2022 Subaru Forester, Crosstrek, WRX, WRX STI, and BRZ inventory this fall and winter. Subaru lost approximately 60,000 vehicles in the latest twelve-day shutdown. Because of global supply chain disruptions, no one knows for sure. Still, it could be late fall early winter before inventory levels improve and possibly nine months or longer before new car inventory returns to normal. Stay tuned.

You Might Also Like: The New 2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness Was Just Shut Out At Mudfest Competition 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. 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


Zach (not verified)    October 2, 2021 - 1:19PM

In reply to by Jason V (not verified)

Given Subarus overall reputation and ratings, both in consumer reports and other studies, as building reliable, long lasting cars that have some of the highest owner satisfaction and loyalty ratings of any brand, I have to ask, what makes you say this?

Roger (not verified)    October 2, 2021 - 5:39PM

In reply to by Zach (not verified)

My 2021 Outback had been terrible. The STARLINK infotainment crashes while I’m driving, driver motioning system is constantly beeping and flashing lights at me, while I’m watching the road, profiles auto delete for no reason, lane assist is downright dangerous, and the transmission jerks back and forth and feels like it’s attached to a rubber band. Took it in for service and they gave me to old could not reproduce have a nice life. I’ll never buy another Subaru.

Jason V (not verified)    October 2, 2021 - 7:48PM

In reply to by Roger (not verified)

Worst cars I have ever owned. 2012 Impreza and 2015 Forester. Each needed engine replacements due to excessive oil consumption. Subaru has lied about the problem and replaced the defective engine with another defective one. Now I need a third engine on my Forester at 63k miles. In addition....with these vehicles I've experienced defective Bluetooth/ audio, two failed AC systems defective batteries, prematurely failing control arm bushings, bad bearings, even a hood latch opening on the highway. These are the worst cars I've ever owned and I do all the scheduled maintenance and don't even drive much. I hope they go out of business.

Dave (not verified)    October 4, 2021 - 4:45PM

In reply to by Jason V (not verified)

Sounds like you got a raw deal. Fortunately, I am very pleased with my Subies, having collectively surpassed three million kilometres in 20 years. I currently have a 13 Crosstrek with 460k ( engine replaced under warranty at 340k ad running perfectly) as well as my 18 Crosstrek with 212k and no issues other than wheel bearings ( which I replace myself with Moog lifetime warranteed bearings. Never pay again.
Great cars! Prolly see you in a Honda!

Roger (not verified)    October 4, 2021 - 6:33PM

In reply to by Dave (not verified)

I don’t doubt the mechanical side of Subaru is solid. My Outback may run 250,000 miles. It’s the in car experience and technology this is sloppy and broken. Too many cut corners to save money from my perspective.

Zach (not verified)    October 5, 2021 - 12:54AM

In reply to by Roger (not verified)

I’m really sorry to hear about your experiences, but given how customizable all of these features are, it sounds like you had a dealer that wasnt very good at explaining these things when you purchased the vehicle, I’m personally not a huge fan of the big screen, it’s needlessly over complicated but it does have its benefits, including removing a clutter of buttons everywhere but I’ve never seen any of the issues you’ve described except by people who didn’t understand how the technology works, and I’ve seen a few 2020 models pre update have issues with the screen/driver monitoring system but since the update on those and on 2021 models they’ve performed flawlessly. So I’m sorry for the issues your having, and I hope your able to get them worked out

Zach (not verified)    October 5, 2021 - 1:05AM

In reply to by Jason V (not verified)

Sounds to me like your vehicles would qualify for lemon law if this issues are legit, ive never seen one car have anywhere near this kind of trouble, let alone 2, I am aware of the oil consumption on some of the early FA/FB motors when they moved to 0w20 oil, given the current market you could get some good money for your 2015 Forester with only 63k miles, so with your luck, I’d move on and try to have better luck with another brand, and see if that fixes your issues

Deb (not verified)    November 17, 2021 - 8:06PM

In reply to by Zach (not verified)

Buy Mazda. Hope they are feeling the revenue hit. I was part of the oil consumption corruption that Subaru continually denied after having me complete at least 10 of the 1200 mile oil consumption tests when my oil light would come on randomly way less than the 7500 synthetic oil change. Go plant (or hang youself) trees or give to a pet shelter with the revenue garnered from your phony love campaign but not repair a problem with your product for a good customer. Buy Toyota.

Michael (not verified)    October 2, 2021 - 4:24PM

I feel like this is just the same recycled, re-worded material with a new clickbait headline to get a few clicks. I appreciate this site and the writers, but nothing went from bad to worse than what was written and we all knew a couple of weeks ago.

Take it from a Subaru salesman, we're desperate for anything and are thankful for what little we get.

Christopher Baker (not verified)    October 13, 2022 - 6:32PM

why doesnt anyone. reproduce discontinued subaru parts. ie alot of the body part for the baja's are discontinued and you can't get them witch is bullshit. if you ask me. I like my baja but it's extremely hard to body pieces for the rusted out sections.