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Record September mitigates tough Q3

Subaru of America’s sales dropped 8.8 percent in the third quarter to 169,446, but September emerged as a bright spot as its best sales month of 2020.

Through September, Subaru’s best-seller is the Forester compact crossover, with sales of 134,082, a 2 percent increase. It’s the only nameplate to have posted a sales increase this year through September. The rest of the lineup posted double-digit declines of at least 11 percent.

However, except for the Impreza, each nameplate in the lineup posted a sales increase in September. Sales totaled 60,103 for the month, a jump of 16 percent.

It was Subaru’s best September result, the company said, noting that it was the first record month since February, when sales grew 5.3 percent. January was also a record.

For the Outback crossover, it was the best September ever and Subaru noted that the Crosstrek had its best sales month of 2020.

September also marked the first time Subaru had surpassed the 60,000 mark since December.

Subaru has sold 436,560 vehicles through September, a drop of 17 percent.

In August, Jeff Walters, senior vice president of sales, told Automotive News that Subaru’s sales forecast for 2020 is around 585,000, down from the original pre-COVID-19 goal of 725,000 vehicles.

Notable nameplates: Outback up 51% in September, down 5.9% in Q3; Forester up 17% in Sept., up 6.6% in Q3; Crosstrek up 0.5% in Sept., down 22% in Q3 ; Ascent up 8% in Sept., down 7.5% in Q3; Legacy up 18% in Sept., down 7% in Q3; Impreza down 21% in Sept., down 31% in Q3; WRX/WRX STI up 47% in Sept., up 2.2% in Q3; BRZ up 126% in Sept., up 80% in Q3.

Incentives: $1,627 per vehicle, up 12% from a year earlier, ALG says.

Average transaction price: $29,991, up 1.5% from a year earlier, according to ALG.

Quote: “This has been a challenging year for us all, but the success we have seen this month gives me hope and excitement for a strong fourth quarter,” said CEO Tom Doll in a statement.

Did you know? September’s sales increase of 16% was Subaru’s first double-digit increase since June 2018, when sales surged 15%, according to the Automotive News Data Center. September’s increase is the largest monthly sales increase since June 2018, as well.

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