Double-digit increases for three of Subaru of America's four crossovers led the brand to its best quarter for U.S. sales in company history.
Subaru tallied deliveries of 160,426in the first quarter of 2021, a jump of 23 percent over the first quarter of 2020, which was ravaged by the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Subaru was the only major automaker to hike first-quarter incentives, according to TrueCar, though the increase was slight and the company's discounts remain well below the industry average.
All but three of Subaru's eight nameplates posted double-digit increases of at least 22 percent in the first quarter. The Ascent was the only crossover in Subaru's lineup to be down through the first quarter, joining the Impreza compact sedan and hatchback and Legacy midsize sedan as the only models with weaker volume.
Subaru's first-quarter performance was aided by a strong March for new sales. Subaru sold 65,726 vehicles in March, which the brand said was the second-best month in its history, behind only August 2019's tally of 70,039 vehicles.
The increase in the first quarter marks the second quarter in a row in which Subaru has posted a gain. In the fourth quarter of 2020, Subaru's sales rose, albeit slightly, 0.3 percent to 175,382, according to the Automotive News Data Center.
Notable nameplates: Outback, up 27%; Forester, up 22%; Crosstrek, up 64%; Ascent, down 7.4%; Legacy, down 3.5%; Impreza, down 11%; WRX/WRX STI, up 23%; BRZ, up 49%
Incentives: $1,349 per vehicle, up 1.1% from a year earlier, TrueCar says.
Average transaction price: $30,489, up 1.3% from a year earlier, according to TrueCar.
Quote: "Given the state of the automotive industry last March when the COVID-19 pandemic affected us all, it's a terrific accomplishment for the Subaru team to achieve our best-ever March, and, in fact, the second-best month ever in the history of Subaru of America," said Jeff Walters, senior vice president of sales, in a statement.
Did you know? Subaru sold 21,005 Foresters in March -- the crossover's best month ever, the automaker said. The Forester went on sale in the U.S. in 1997.