Editor's note: A day after this report was published, Subaru of America informed Automotive News that it reversed the decision to switch to quarterly sales reporting and will continue to report deliveries monthly through the rest of this year.
Subaru of America, once a monthly sales streak darling as its U.S. volume rapidly expanded over the past decade, is switching to quarterly sales reporting.
The automaker will report its June U.S. sales Wednesday, then switch its cadence going forward.
“Quarterly reporting is the new industry standard and the transition makes sense now given the current volatility in the market,” said Jeff Walters, Subaru's senior vice president of sales, in a statement.
The automaker, of Camden, N.J., was one of the few holdouts still reporting on a monthly basis. After Subaru switches to quarterly, Honda, Hyundai-Kia, Mazda, Toyota and Volvo will remain the only automakers to report monthly.
While Subaru also had a monthly sales decline in December, 2019 was another record year for the brand, with 700,117 vehicle sales, an increase of 2.9 percent.
The automaker posted monthly increases in January and February, but shelter-in-place orders in the U.S. were quickly felt across its retailers, with sales dropping 47 percent in both March and April. Those were the largest declines since sales fell 49 percent in February 1990, the company said. Sales were also down in May, but only by 19 percent.
Through May, Subaru's U.S. sales were down 23 percent to 213,199 vehicles.
In an interview with Automotive News this month, CEO Tom Doll said Subaru's 2020 sales target was now around 575,000 vehicles as the automaker recovers from the sales impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Subaru's original goal for 2020 was 725,000 sales.
Last year brought Subaru's 11th consecutive annual sales record and 12th consecutive year of U.S. sales increases, but those streaks are set to be broken.
Doll, one of the architects of Subaru's U.S. success, acknowledged the streak of yearly sales records will end in 2020, but he remained optimistic.
"We'll start a new streak next year," he said.