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February 7, 2019

Woes hit Subaru nine-month results

Subaru sales and profits fell in the first nine months of fiscal 2019 and the automaker has revised its forecasts after being hit with recalls related to quality inspections for the Japanese market and a recent production stoppage due to faulty power steering parts.

By Olly Wehring

Subaru sales and profits fell in the first nine months of fiscal 2019 and the automaker has revised its forecasts after being hit with recalls related to quality inspections for the Japanese market and a recent production stoppage due to faulty power steering parts.

Global unit sales of Subaru vehicles decreased 5% to 762,000 units. Unit sales in Japan decreased 17.1% to 98,000 units, as sales of Impreza, Subaru XV and Levorg declined, offsetting strong demand for the redesigned Forester launched in July 2018.

In overseas markets, Subaru kept strong momentum on retail sales with growth in its largest North American market driven by the newly-introduced Ascent and the Crosstrek (XV outside North America). On the other hand, consolidated overseas unit sales fell 2.8% to 664,000 units, as deliveries of the Forester decreased before the redesign version and deliveries were adjusted to optimise local inventory levels mainly in the US.

Consolidated net sales declined 2.5% to JPY2,377.4bn yen.

Operating income declined 49.8% to JPY153.7bn due to factors such as an increase in quality-related expenses due to recall campaigns notified in November 2018 and a decrease in consolidated unit sales. Ordinary income decreased 48.2% to JPY157bn. Net income fell 22.7% to JPY118.2bn.

Full-year forecasts for FYE2019 have bee revised from the previous announcement made on 5 Novembe, 2018, reflecting factors such as higher raw material costs and decreases in production output and unit sales volume as a result of the recent production halt at the Gunma manufacturing plant due to a defect in the electronic power steering control unit.

Revised forecasts: Consolidated unit sales of 996,000 vehicles (was 1,041,000), net sales of JPY3,120bn (JPY3,210bn), operating income of JPY185bn (JPY220bn), ordinary income of JPY193bn (JPY229bn), net income JPY140bn (JPY167bn).

Why is mighty Subaru less so outside the US?

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