The same factors that plagued all other automakers are being blamed.
Subaru, like many other car manufacturers, has faced a tough few years. The onset of the COVID-19 epidemic threw the world into turmoil and the economic disruption is still being felt across the globe. Brands like Subaru continue to face supply issues, and the semiconductor chip shortage played havoc on its production capabilities. Earlier in the year, we reported that Subaru's sales figures were recovering in the US, despite showing weak numbers in other markets, but the final scores may have left shareholders disappointed as this comes at a time where many other manufacturers have been posting record-breaking sales. Could it be time for Subaru to head back to the drawing board?
Subaru has announced sales figures of 51,146 vehicles in December 2021, which is down 19.5% when compared to December 2020. The full-year sales figure came to 583,810 cars, which represents a 4.6% decrease in sales compared to the 2020 calendar year. The Subaru Forester was the best performing car of 2021 with an impressive 154,723 annual sales, followed by the Outback with an equally impressive 154,623 vehicle sales. The Subaru Crosstrek saw a 6.5% increase in sales to 127,466 units compared to last year. On the performance side, Subaru saw impressive results, with the WRX and STI models posting a 28% increase to 27,141 units, while 2,320 BRZ models were sold (a 2% increase). The company has blamed the semiconductor shortage and ongoing COVID-19 pandemic for the drop in overall sales.
"2021 is now in the record books and we know it could have been so much better had we not had to deal with the microchip shortage and the continuing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic," said Thomas J. Doll, President and CEO of Subaru of America, Inc. "While it wasn't the year we were expecting, our retailers, distributor partners, and colleagues at Subaru of America and Subaru Corporation stepped up to the challenge and delivered an industry-leading purchase and ownership experience to our customers. We look forward to improving conditions in 2022 which should allow us to return to growth mode."
The good news is that Subaru recently introduced five completely new or refreshed models, including the drifty BRZ, rugged Forester Wilderness, and controversial WRX. The all-new 2023 Subaru Solterra EV is also set to join the Subaru family in mid-2022.