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