But not all is lost. Not even close.
Subaru has become the Japanese automaker that could. Up against global rivals as big and influential as Toyota and Honda, Subaru has more than held its own in the most important market: North America. The brand that helped make all-wheel-drive mainstream suffered over the past year or so, specifically regarding recalls and quality concerns, the latter likely due to high demand. Its factories in Indiana and Japan simply couldn't keep up. And yet through it all, Subaru's monthly sales numbers have increased for 93 consecutive months. Until now.
The automaker has just released its official September 2019 sales figures which showed a 9.4 percent decrease compared to September 2018.
This means Subaru's eight-year streak of continuous monthly sales gains has come to an end. So, what went wrong, exactly? Subaru states it was"due to low days supply and three fewer selling days compared to September 2018." Bear in mind that Labor Day Weekend, traditionally a popular time to buy new vehicles was partially in August.
"Due to the rapid sell-down of the last generation Legacy and Outback models, our yearly, month-over-month sales streak of 93 consecutive months came to an end in September," said Subaru of America president and CEO Thomas J. Doll in a statement.
"We look forward to robust sales in October and are on target to achieve our 700,000-vehicle sales goal for 2019, marking 12 consecutive years of sales increases."
Only the Forester, Ascent, and previous-generation Outback did not post a year-over-year decline for September. Fortunately, there's plenty of good news, specifically the arrival of the redesigned 2020 Outback and Legacy. Subaru also highlights that there's already a long list of presold orders for both vehicles waiting to be fulfilled. Aside from the BRZ and WRX and WRX STI, the entire Subaru lineup is nearly new or all-new.
Both the hot-selling Ascent and latest generation Forester were new for 2019 while the Impreza and Crosstrek were redesigned for 2018. Adding up sales for all models, Subaru's volume is still up by 4.4 percent through the end of last month. Subaru may have had a disappointing September 2019, but it very much remains a formidable player.