Subaru Posts Lopsided North American Sales
Apparently not quite done with monthly sales reporting, Subaru produced two very different tallies for its U.S. and Canadian arms in July. Known for being able to build just as many vehicles as it can sell, the automaker habitually carries one of the slimmest inventories in the industry — and the pandemic didn’t help things on that front.
Domestic factories have been up and running since May, lessening the strain on both dealers and sales sheets, but normalcy remains out of reach for certain industry players. And that group includes Subaru. In the U.S., volume was down nearly 20 percent last month, but north of the border it was an entirely different story.
The 19.7-percent year-over-year U.S. sales decrease in July was a worse showing than the 12-percent YoY decrease seen in June, both in terms of comparative metrics and actual volume. Big sellers like the Outback, Cross trek, and Ascent were off last year’s tally by double-digit percentages, thought the popular Forester did post a 4 percent YoY gain.
Also gaining ground over July 2019 were the low-volume WRX/STI and the BRZ. All told, the automaker’s year-to-date volume was down 21.1 percent at the end of July.
In Canada, however, there was cause for jubilation, as Subaru posted its best July ever in the country to the north. Sales rose 10.1 percent, year over year. The automaker’s Canadian arm claims last month was its third-best on record, and its best in the Quebec market.
Countrywide, the Outback posted its best showing to date, up 14.7 percent. Crosstrek and Forester saw July records, up 2.2 and 22.5 percent, respectively, while the range-topping Ascent recorded a volume boost of 39.4 percent. There’s still a lot of lost ground to make up, though — the brand’s year-to-date volume currently sits 26.8 percent below the level seen this time last year.
Citing diminished inventory, not demand, as the reason for the poor U.S. showing, Jeff Walters, Subaru of America’s senior vice president of sales, said, “Our manufacturing facilities are now fully ramped up and the delivery of Subaru vehicles to our retailers will significantly improve in August so we can better support the demand from our customers.”