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.
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.
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