Subaru resumed production at two plants in Japan after they were shut down for nearly two weeks due to a defect on a power-steering component.
The problem began in late December, according to the company, and involved the Forester, Impreza and Crosstrek models, but Subaru elected to halt production on other models assembled on the same lines. The shutdown began Jan. 16.
The two factories in Gunma, north of Tokyo, were set to make 650,000 vehicles this year – two-thirds of Subaru’s total global output – before the shutdown. Many of those models produced on that line end up in the U.S., as it accounts for most of Subaru’s sales.
Meanwhile Subaru said none of the affected vehicles reached dealers or customers outside Japan – although about 10,000 would have come to the U.S. Ultimately, the automaker didn’t say how many vehicles were impacted and Subaru still hasn’t decided what to do with vehicles made with the defect.
(Subaru shuts down plant in Japan due to part defect. Click Here for the story.)
The company can ill afford a major problem as it’s already taken a hit to its reputation due to the part inspection scandal it suffered through recently. Additionally, Subaru cut its earnings forecast for this year due to rising recall costs
Profits for the Japanese automaker have dipped each of the last three years, despite it setting new U.S. sales records each of those years. That said, officials revealed plans to produce 650,000 vehicles in Japan and 1.03 million globally this year, up 1% on the previous year.
(Click Here for our first driving impressions of the new Subaru Ascent.)
It has forecast record global sales of 1.08 million vehicles, of which 700,000 are expected to come from the profitable U.S. market. After its strong results in 2018, it had good reason to expect an uptick.
Subaru of America reported record-breaking sales of 680,135 vehicles for the 2018 calendar year; an increase of 5% over the previous annual record of 647,956 vehicles set in 2017. This marks the 10th consecutive year of record sales for Subaru of America and 11th consecutive year of sales increases.
(To see more about the impact of the inspection scandal on Subaru’s profits, Click Here.)