Subaru of America ended 2019 with its second monthly sales decline in four months but still sold enough vehicles to set its 11th consecutive annual sales record.
Subaru sold 62,364 vehicles in December, a decline of 3.4 percent. The last month of the year traditionally has been one of the automaker's strongest.
The automaker pinned the December decline on decreased inventory caused by Typhoon Hagibis in Japan. Subaru suspended production at its Gumma plant in October for about a week because some suppliers were inundated with water from the deadly typhoon.
For the year, Subaru sold 700,117 vehicles, an increase of 2.9 percent, setting a new U.S. sales record. The year 2019 also marked the 12th consecutive year of U.S. sales increases for the brand.
The final sales tally was just enough for Subaru to meet its sales goal of 700,000 vehicles for 2019.
Notable nameplates: In December, Outback, up 5.1%; Forester, down 6.8%; Crosstrek, down 10%; Ascent, up 7.1%; Legacy, up 1.2%; Impreza, down 2.4%; WRX/WRX STI, down 35%; BRZ, down 62%
U.S. market share: 4.1% in 2019 v. 3.9% in 2018
Incentives: $1,153 per vehicle, up 8.3% from a year earlier, ALG says
Average transaction price: $30,300, up 2.7% from a year earlier, according to ALG
Quote: "We are pleased to close December and 2019 with strong sales and steady growth, despite an increasingly competitive auto industry," said Jeff Walters, senior vice president of sales. "In 2019, Outback was our top-selling model, Forester had its best year ever and the Ascent saw a triple-digit sales increase, reflecting the continued strength of our product portfolio."
Did you know? 2019's sales increase of 2.9 percent was Subaru's smallest yearly gain since 2011's increase of 1.2 percent.