Has the Scooby lost its edge?
Subaru of America recently reported its sales figures for June 2022. Overall, it was a disappointing month, which seems to be the trend these days. On a more personal note for the brand, the American audience seems to have little interest in the all-new WRX, with fewer than 1,500 examples finding new homes.
There is one positive note, however. In June 2022, Subaru sold 43,175 vehicles in total, a 0.7% increase over the 42,877 units it sold in June 2021. It's a slight increase, but just seeing a plus in front of sales figures is a win in these turbulent times.
Unfortunately, the year-to-date sales are disappointing. By the end of June 2021, Subaru had sold 321,250 units. So far this year, it has only sold 263,795 vehicles. That's a significant 17.9% decrease, and the lack of semiconductor chips and supply chain issues continue to be the main contributing factors.
In June 2022, Subaru sold 1,465 WRXs. In June last year, when the previous-generation WRX and STI were still available, it sold 2,354 units. That's a drop of 37.8%.
The year-to-date figures are even more telling. So far this year, Subaru has sold 6,212 WRXs. During the same period last year, it sold 14,272 units. That works out to a 56.5% drop.
Only one model has been hit harder. Due to supply chain issues, Subaru was forced to stop BRZ production in early June. As a result, only 193 were sold. It seems the problem lies with the WRX itself. While it remains a performance bargain, the WRX seems to have lost its edge. And with no STI model coming, vehicles like the Honda Civic Type R and the upcoming rally-bred GR Corolla have the advantage.
The rest of Subaru's range continues to sell relatively well. Crosstrek sales improved by 66.4% compared to July 2021, showing a healthy 9.1% increase in the year-to-date sales figures. The yoga business must be booming.
Scooby's best-seller continues to be the Outback, even though it dipped in both categories. We were expecting to see a bump in sales after the introduction of the off-road-ready Outback Wilderness, but the pick-up on this model has also been slow.
"Our priority for the second half of the year is to continue navigating supply chain challenges to best meet the strong demand for Subaru vehicles," said Jeff Walters, Senior Vice President of Sales. "As the summer travel season is in full swing, we continue to see a desire for our adventure-friendly vehicles including the Outback, Ascent, and Forester."