According to Subaru’s new top executive in the U.S., Takeshi Tachimori, the March earthquake in Japan has delayed the launch of the redesigned 2012 Impreza compact until November. It was originally scheduled to go on sale in September.
In addition, production was also slowed across the rest of the Subaru lineup, including the Outback crossover, Legacy sedan, Tribeca SUV and Forester crossover, due primarily to a shortage of semiconductor chips for engine control and airbag control units. Normally, the 2012 models would begin arriving in August, but Subaru says it will now be October.
Subaru is counting on the Impreza as a linchpin in its goal to boost its total U.S. sales volume in five years to 350,000 units, an increase of 30 percent. Tachimori said he wantsthe 2012 Impreza, which was redesigned to better accommodate U.S. customer requirements for better fuel economy and more interior room, to double in sales. Currently, the Impreza sells between 2,500 and 3,000 per month.
Although the 2012 Impreza will begin arriving in November, dealers probably won’t have sufficient supply until December.
[Automotive News (sub.required)]