TOKYO — For the past year, Subaru has been dogged by increasing quality problems that have hurt sales, dented the brand's reputation and torpedoed profits — but all in Japan.
Now, after rising recall costs pushed Subaru to a rare quarterly loss, the lapses are bleeding into the all-important U.S., and global President Tomomi Nakamura isn't happy.
"I have already heard from our U.S. dealers that they are worried about brand image," Nakamura said last week during the company's quarterly financial briefing.
"It is true quality-related issues have been on the increase," Nakamura said, blaming them on Subaru's breakneck growth. "There is a sense of complacency in various areas of our company."
The newest setback will saddle U.S. dealers with time-consuming repair work. But just as those retailers want more product, Subaru is forced to slow production to better ensure quality on its factory floors.