Subaru Will Idle Japanese Plants Due To Chip Shortage, Production Unlikely To Rebound This Summer: News

Automakers probably won't make up the lost production, even by the end of the year

2019 Subaru Forester Touring: Dude, I Love (Or Hate) MY New Ride!
If you’re shopping a new Subaru, examples may get harder to find — much like virtually every other car. (Images: Subaru)

Subaru plans a “production adjustment” thanks to the ongoing chip shortage.

On Friday, the Japanese automaker said it would cut production at its Gunma manufacturing plants thanks to a shortage of crucial semiconductors. The two plants, just outside Tokyo, will suspend production from July 16th. While there’s no exact word at this point as to when the facilities would resume production, though the revelation is hardly surprising given how supply issues continue to hammer nearly every manufacturer across the industry.

Subaru builds several of the models it exports to the U.S. at these plants, including the Crosstrek, Forester, BRZ and WRX. Dealers were reportedly down to just nine days’ supply, according to a recent Reuters piece. The Ascent and Outback are manufactured for the U.S. market in Lafayette, Indiana, and were not mentioned as part of the latest shutdown — only the plants in Japan. The Subaru of Indiana (SIA) plant did halt production in April due to the semiconductor shortage, but at the moment is running normally.

2022 Subaru Outback Wilderness
At the moment, Outback and Ascent production hasn’t been affected by the latest production announcement.

Automakers likely won’t make up lost production this summer

As the shortage carries on, the supply chain crisis overlaps with scheduled summer shutdowns, as automakers retool their production lines to bring out new models. AutoForecast Solutions, a research firm, suggests the North American factories could lose more than 340,000 scheduled vehicles from their total outputs over the next two months. “Plant closures in July and beyond virtually eliminate the ability for manufacturer to make up any of the lost volumes this year,” said Vice President of Global Vehicle Forecasting Sam Fiorani.

Among the latest news, prior to Subaru’s is Nissan shuttering some of its production to conserve chips. In a reallocation of resources, the company aims to keep popular models like the Rogue, Kicks and Sentra going as long as possible.