Subaru of America ended 2020 with slight volume increases in December and the fourth quarter, but the automaker also saw two remarkable U.S. sales streaks snapped as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic's impact earlier in the year.
Subaru sold 63,558 vehicles in December, an increase of 1.9 percent. It was the highest monthly sales total in 2020, beating out October's 61,411 tally, and the highest since August 2019 saw 70,039 deliveries.
In the fourth quarter, Subaru's sales rose, albeit slightly, 0.3 percent to 175,382, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
For 2020, Subaru sold 611,942 vehicles, a drop of 13 percent from 2019's record of 700,117 vehicles.
The final 2020 sales figures came in higher than the 605,000 deliveries that Subaru Corp. CEO Tomomi Nakamura forecast during an Automotive News interview in December.
Prior to 2020, Subaru had been riding two streaks: 11 years of U.S. sales records, which began in 2009, and 12 years of annual increases, which began in 2008.
Notable nameplates: In December, Outback, up 3.7%; Forester, down 2.6%; Crosstrek, up 48%; Ascent, down 19%; Legacy, down 26%; Impreza, down 31%; WRX/WRX STI, up 26%; BRZ, up 31%
Incentives: $1,591 per vehicle in the fourth quarter, up 16% from a year earlier, TrueCar says.
Average transaction price: $30,571 in the fourth quarter, up 1.3% from a year earlier, according to TrueCar.
Quote: "The Subaru franchise closed out December and the 2020 sales year ahead of target, and we anticipate achieving our ninth consecutive year of total share growth," said Jeff Walters, senior vice president of sales, in a statement. "With 100 percent of our retailers operational, despite some pandemic-related restrictions, and new products in the horizon, we are optimistic about 2021."
Did you know? The 2020 sales tally is Subaru of America's lowest since 2015, when U.S. volume totaled 582,675 vehicles.