Not You Too, Subaru!

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
not you too subaru

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]

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2 of 9 comments
  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Jul 01, 2020

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

  • Conundrum Conundrum on Jul 02, 2020

    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.

  • Jim Bonham Thanks.
  • Luke42 I just bought a 3-row Tesla Model Y.If Toyota made a similar vehicle, I would have bought that instead. I'm former Prius owner, and would have bought a Prius-like EV if it were available.Toyota hasn't tried to compete with the Model Y. GM made the Bolt EUV, and Ford made the Mach-E. Tesla beat them all fair and square, but Toyota didn't even try.[Shrug]
  • RHD Toyota is trying to hedge their bets, and have something for everyone. They also may be farther behind in developing electric vehicles than they care to admit. Japanese corporations sometimes come up with cutting-edge products, such as the Sony Walkman. Large corporations (and not just Japanese corporations) tend to be like GM, though - too many voices just don't get heard, to the long-term detriment of the entity.
  • Randy in rocklin The Japanese can be so smart and yet so dumb. I'm America-Japanese and they really can be dumb sometimes like their masking paranoia.
  • Bunkie The Flying Flea has a fascinating story and served, inadvertently, to broaden the understanding of aircraft design. The crash described in the article is only part of the tale.