By on July 1, 2020

Everyone’s doing it, and now it seems Subaru has joined the maddening crowd of sales reporting conformity.

Not long ago, Subaru, like most every other automaker, reported its sales totals on a monthly basis. And why wouldn’t it? The previous decade saw the brand’s popularity expand massively in the U.S., with volume up not on an annual basis, but on a monthly, year-over-year basis. It pulled off the latter feat 93 consecutive times.

Alas, times change.

As reported by Automotive News ahead of Wednesday’s June sales results, Subaru will join the herd in switching to quarterly sales reporting. Frankly, we blame Ford for kicking off the trend, more or less.

Yes, analysts will tell you how quarterly reports provide a more accurate measure of an automaker’s performance, but it annoys us just the same. After the June report, the next Subaru sales update will be on October 1st, then January 1st, and so on. The exception has now become the norm, with only Toyota, Honda, Hyundai/Kia, and Mazda still choosing to update the public on a monthly basis. Volvo, too.

And who knows how long that will last.

Last month, Subaru of America CEO Tom Doll stated the brand’s new prediction for 2020, which — unsurprisingly — is not the lofty, record figure quoted at the outset of the year. Through the end of May, Subaru’s year-to-date sales were down 23 percent in the United States as a result of pandemic-related lockdowns. If monthly reporting is really all about telegraphing your brand’s strengths to the media, then Subaru clearly doesn’t see as much good news going forward.

That said, May’s sales were down only 19 percent on a year-over-year basis, which was better than the industry as a whole. Sales of the Forester and WRX were actually up on a year-over-year basis, with the Forester figure setting a new May record for the model.

[Image: Subaru]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

9 Comments on “Not You Too, Subaru!...”

  • avatar

    I get it. Quarterly reporting is the norm for everything else financial, makes for a smoother picture to the outside world, and requires less work than monthly reporting.

    Plus, you know they’ve still got pretty accurate monthly numbers internally. So the only disadvantage is to outside parties who want to pick apart their numbers.

  • avatar

    I know I’m devastated :(

  • avatar


    Commentariat have gone from deathwatch for each automaker that did this to, “gee, this makes sense,” now.

  • avatar

    At my company quarterly reporting is stressful enough… I can’t imagine going thru that level of detail every month. Also we know our trends, our sales have that classic hockey stick shape – nothing, nothing, nothing then suddenly a big surge. Management has tried changing sales compensation packages to spread things out more evenly but our customers just buy this way due to yearly budgets.

  • avatar

    Shame on you Subaru! It is time to start boycotting Subaru, says my cat.

  • avatar

    I suppose the freelance auto industry “consultants” will be further put out by this. I always think of Maryann Keller as the lead “consultant” without much of a clue, don’t know why. Monthly pontification gives away to quarterly, so that’s a few articles less to hawk to pay the bills.

    Nobody else cares.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • conundrum: No, these chairs are faux leatherette upholstered, chrome over white metal chassis all-singing all-dancing...
  • ajla: “Missing entirely from this Posky masterpiece of theatre is the technical reason for CARB’s new...
  • conundrum: Missing entirely from this Posky masterpiece of theatre is the technical reason for CARB’s new rule....
  • ollicat: Joking right?
  • MitchConner: Watching Lou repeatedly step on rakes then pretend that he didn’t is all in good fun.

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber