Subaru Incentives? Maybe You'll Soon Get A Deal On An Outback Or Forester

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
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subaru incentives maybe you ll soon get a deal on an outback or forester

Although Subaru is selling more new vehicles than ever before, particularly in North America, the automaker’s run of record profits came to end in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017. Subaru made money, no doubt, but Subaru’s operating profit was down 27 percent compared with the prior year.

Subaru’s revenue grew 3 percent while global volume rose 11 percent to more than 1 million vehicles, according to Automotive News. That’s the kind of information that matters to investors.

As for consumers, it’s the information from Subaru CEO Yasuyuki Yoshinaga that matters most. Saying the U.S. market has peaked, Yasuyuki Yoshinaga claims, “The market environment has increasingly become tougher.” In a tougher market, Subaru’s largest market, an automaker must either give way or make way.

Subaru’s decision? “We will carefully examine the situation and will take the necessary steps to maintain our sales, including incentives,” Yoshinaga says.

You heard right. Subaru, notorious for limited supply and limited scope for deal-making, might just offer you a bit of a discount on your next Outback or Forester.


In fact, Subaru incentives in the U.S. are already on the rise, though they remain at an industry low. In the fiscal year just ended, Subaru was discounting vehicles in the U.S. by an average of $1,450, up from $900 in 2015/2016.

According to ALG, Subaru spent just $864 per vehicle in incentives in April 2017, up a whopping 45 percent compared with April 2016. But that’s 78 percent less than Nissan was spending last month, 82 percent less than GM spent per vehicle, and less than half of what even stingy Honda spent to get new vehicles out the door.

In other words, there’s room for Subaru to spend much, much more. Doing so will obviously eat into profits especially as Subaru continues to make the kinds of investment that limited profit over the last year: increased R&D and major production expansions.

But a greater willingness to lure buyers with marketable discounts will allow Subaru to continue to gain market share in its most important market while entering a new segment with the Ascent.

For the time being, everything about Subaru’s U.S. sales picture appears rather rosy. Sales more than doubled between 2011 and the brand’s record-setting 2016, and Subaru is on track in 2017 to sell more than 660,000 vehicles.

Thanks to the launch of a new Impreza, Subaru’s growth includes a passenger car sales uptick of 9 percent, year-over-year, to go along with a 7-percent rise in utility vehicle volume. The brand’s overall growth — sales are up 8 percent in the U.S. this year — comes as the industry slowly loses momentum. Subaru’s car improvements, meanwhile, occur despite a 12-percent reduction in overall industry car sales in 2017’s first four months.

Sales momentum means Subaru can afford to provide discounts if need be, which means you can more easily afford a Subaru if need be.

Timothy Cain is the founder of, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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  • Loguesmith Loguesmith on May 13, 2017

    Two years ago, the wife wanted to ditch the SUV for a "wagon". Only choices then were the XC70 and the Outback. Outback was $10K less, and she's perfectly content with the 3.6R we ended up buying. That said, she's driven the 4-cyl Outback and thinks it's a slug.

  • Chiefmonkey Chiefmonkey on May 18, 2017

    Subaru really pulled the wool over people's eyes with this AWD stuff: The advantages aren't that significant. I am glad they are finally getting stylish, but I still think for the most part that they are tinny, mediocre cars which rank near the bottom in virtually every respect.

  • Charles When I lived in Los Angeles I saw a 9-5 a few times and instanly admired the sweeping low slug aerodynamic jet tech influenced lines and all that beautiful glass. The car was very different from what I expected from a Saab even though the 900 Turbo was nice. A casual lady friend had a Saab Sonnet, never drove or rode in it but nonetheless chilled my enthusiasm and I eventually forgot about Saabs. In the following years I have had seven Mercedes's, three or four Jaguars even two Daimlers both the 250 V-8 and the massive and powerful Majestic Major. Daily drivers of a brand new 300ZX 2+2 and Lincolns, plus a few diesel trucks. Having moved to my big farm in central New York, trucks and SUV's are the standard, even though I have a Mercedes S500 in one of my barns. Due to circumstances with my Ford Explorer and needing a second driver I found the 2006 9-5 locally. Very little surface rust, none undercarriage, original owner, garage kept, wife driver and all the original literature and a ton of paid receipts and history. The car just turned 200,000 miles and I love it. Feels new like I'm back in my Nissan 300ZX with a lot more European class and ready power with the awesome turbo. So fun to drive, the smooth power and torque is incredible! Great price paid to justify going through the car and giving her everything she needs, i.e., new tires, battery, all shocks, struts, control arms, timing chain and rust removable to come, plus more. The problem now is I want to restore it and likely put it in my concrete barn and only drive in good weather. As to the writer, Alex Dykes, I take great exception calling the 9-5 Saab "ugly," finding myself looking back at her beauty and uniqueness. Moreover, I get new looks from others not quite recognizing, like the days out west with my more expensive European cars. There are Saabs eclipsing 300K rourinely and one at a million miles and I believe one car with 500K on the original engine. So clearly, this is a keeper, in love already with my SportCombi. I want to be in that elite club.
  • Marky S. I own the same C.C. XSE Hybrid AWD as in this article, but in Barcelona Red with the black roof. I love my car for its size, packaging, and the fact that it offers both AWD and Hybrid technology together. Visibility is impressive, as is its small turning circle. I consider the C.C. more of a "station wagon" by proportion, rather than an “SUV.” It is fun to drive, with zippy response and perky pick-up. It is a pleasant car to drive and ride in. It is not trying to be a “Butch Off-Roader”, or a cosseting “Luxury Cruiser.” Those are not its goals or purpose. The Corolla Cross XSE Hybrid AWD is a wonderful All-Purpose Car (O.K. – “SUV” if you must hear me say it!) with a combination of all the features it has at a reasonable price.
  • Ernesto Perez There's a line in the movie Armageddon where Bruce Willis says " is this the best idea NASA came up with?". Don't quote me. I'm asking is this the best idea NY came up with? What's next? Charging pedestrians to walk in certain parts of the city? Every year the price for everything gets more expensive and most of the services we pay for gets worse. Obviously more money is not the solution. What we need are better ideas, strategies and inventions. You want to charge drivers in the city - then put tolls on the free bridges like the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. There's always a better way or product. It's just the idiots on top think they know best.
  • Carsofchaos The bike lanes aren't even close to carrying "more than the car lanes replaced". You clearly don't drive in Midtown Manhattan on a daily like I do.
  • Carsofchaos The problem with congestion, dear friends, is not the cars per se. I drive into the city daily and the problem is this:Your average street in the area used to be 4 lanes. Now it is a bus lane, a bike lane (now you're down to two lanes), then you have delivery trucks double parking, along with the Uber and Lyft drivers also double parking. So your 4 lane avenue is now a 1.5 lane avenue. Do you now see the problem? Congestion pricing will fix none of these things....what it WILL do is fund persion plans.