Subaru zoomed back to profitability on the back of booming business in the recovering U.S., its traditional earnings engine. Sales to overseas markets soared 32 percent to 175,300 vehicles, which includes U.S. sales that advanced 28 percent to 116,600.
"In the U.S., car demand has been very strong on the back of economic recovery, and our sales have been robust as well," CFO Katsuyuki Mizuma said while announcing financial results at a briefing last week. "We think we could have sold more if there had been more in our inventory."
Subaru's U.S. inventory shrank to just a seven-day supply in the latest quarter, compared with an already tight 18 days at the end of April, Mizuma said.
But that short supply helped Subaru rein in spiffs, he said, cutting average vehicle incentive by $500 from a year earlier, to $1,100.
This saved Subaru some ¥1.5 billion ($13.6 million) in incentive costs.
Subaru said it expects the semiconductor shortage to temper sales for the full fiscal year, lopping about 40,000 off its original volume target for the full year. Subaru expects the chip crunch could begin to ease in the October-March period, bolstering second-half results.
Subaru now expects to sell 960,000 vehicles in the full fiscal year ending March 31, 2022.
That revised target is up from the previous year's total of 860,200, but down from Subaru's original forecast for global wholesale volume of 1 million vehicles.
In its fiscal first quarter ended June 30, Subaru Corp. booked operating profit of $266.8 million, reversing an operating loss of $142.0 million the previous year.