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Old 08-27-2021, 05:24 AM   #1
Pacomartin
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Subaru Stars Why do you think Impreza sales are dropping?

Impreza US sales Average per month
Code:
2,553 2021
3,636 2020
5,535 2019
6,367 2018
7,170 2017
US 5th generation Impreza sales have been dropping since the new generation was introduced in 2017 even before COVID and the chip shortage, Subaru started a national advertising campaign to promote the 5th generation sedan as a safe family vehicle when the 5th generation was introduced, but advertising seems to have almost completely shifted to the SUVs.

Subaru does not provide any insight into the breakdown of sales between hatchbacks and sedans, We don't know if sedans are vanishing or if both types are diminishing equally.

Crosstrek US sales Average per month
Code:
11,088 - 2021
9,976 -- 2020
10,929 - 2019
12,032 - 2018
9,178 -- 2017
Sales of the Impreza were only lower than Crosstrek Sales by 22% in 2017, now they are lower by 77% in 2021.

Why do you think Impreza sales are dropping?
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Old 08-27-2021, 08:20 AM   #2
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'Muricans buy trucks and SUVs. Look at other companies. If you want a Ford car, you can buy a Mustang. Gone are Fiesta, Focus, Taurus. I don't know if I can even name all of the Ford SUVs and crossovers. Let me think. Escape, Flex, Explorer, Expedition. With its configuration, I'd even put the new Mustang Mach e into the crossover basket.

Why?

Gas is too cheap to care that your Suburban only gets 16 mpg. Subaru has performed miracles keeping Imprezas alive by creating and promoting the Crosstrek. Fool the public into thinking they're getting a small SUV when they're really getting a small car lifted on bigger tires. (I own 2 Crosstreks)

More Crosstrek sales than you'd think have come from multi-Outback drivers who decided that a new generation has just gotten too big. It's the actual reason we went from our 08 Outback to the 13 Crosstrek. I remember telling the dealer "I don't want an S-10 Blazer with a Subaru badge". So why not an Impreza? Well, the wife liked the slightly higher driving position of the Outback, so the slightly higher position of the Crosstrek worked. It's funny how the Crosstrek and Impreza are perceived. She looked at both and wouldn't even consider the Impreza, saying it was way too small.
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Old 08-27-2021, 08:45 AM   #3
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Seriously, just go for a drive and pay attention to what's driving next to you. It's either a truck or an SUV... and if it's a sedan it's probably a Toyota or Honda. Sometimes I do wonder how so many Americans can afford $60k trucks.
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Old 08-27-2021, 01:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack View Post
It's funny how the Crosstrek and Impreza are perceived. She looked at both and wouldn't even consider the Impreza, saying it was way too small.
Yet if you lay out the dimensions of a Crosstrek and an Impreza 5-door they are almost identical except for ground clearance.

Part of the reason that I laid out both the sales of the Crosstrek and Impreza is I wanted to make it obvious that this phenomena is fairly recent and Crosstrek sales peaked in 2018.

The change in Subaru seems more extreme than the general shift away from sedans to SUVs that has been happening over the last two decades.

Code:
Crosstrek - Impreza sales avg. per month
11,088 2021 2,553 
9,976  2020 3,636 
10,929 2019 5,535 
12,032 2018 6,367 
9,178  2017 7,170
This seems more like a corporate goal instead of just broad market changes. Advertising is very important to car sales. If you cut out all Impreza commercials, you are simply not going to sell very many Imprezas.

It may be as simple an explanation that Subaru simply can't expand production facilities easy and the Impreza is simply the least profitable vehicle.

If faith in the future of Impreza is so poor, then why bother to debut a 6th generation at all in 2023 with a new engine? Why not just terminate it like all the other compacts like the Toyota Yaris , the Scion xD , the Mazda 2, the Ford Fiesta , the Nissan Micra , the Smart Fortwo, the Fiat 500, the Honda Fit , and the Chevrolet Sonic that have been discontinued.

Last edited by Pacomartin; 08-27-2021 at 03:53 PM.
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Old 08-27-2021, 04:57 PM   #5
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It's definitely a combination of a shift in the public's preferences (for the worst), a desire by Subaru to make more money, and the average person's complete lack of any kind of financial sense.

As others have stated, the general public only wants minivans (yes minivans. SUVs are for off roading, trucks are for regularly hauling large materials and/or off roading, minivans are for going grocery shopping and soccer practice). This has unfortunately reduced demand for any reasonable cars, and pushed for gigantic, impractical, unreasonable, and over priced minivans.

Subaru, like other car companies, is in business to make profit, and the profit on minivans is much higher than on cars. This makes perfect business sense that Subaru would push the higher markup products, especially if the public thinks that they want them. This is exactly why Ford, with the exception of the gasoline Mustang, now exclusively sells minivans.

Finally, people are financially stupid. I can't explain why, but way too many people think it's reasonable for the average person to spend $50-80k for a regular vehicle. If people are willing to throw away massive amounts of money like this, of course a for profit company will jump on it to make more profit.

All of this is terrifying and depressing, as I'm afraid that I'll be stuck buying nothing but classic/antique cars for the rest of my life. On the plus side, Subaru does still make the WRX/STI, and offer them with a stick shift. While sales are down, I believe that the Impreza is still being sold, and maybe even with a stick too. I think the Toyota Corolla is also still sold, and offered with a stick. Nissan also just unveiled the new Z, also with a stick shift, so all decent cars aren't dead yet.
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Old 08-27-2021, 06:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerdelectric View Post
... reduced demand for any reasonable cars, and pushed for gigantic, impractical, unreasonable, and over priced minivans.

Subaru, like other car companies, is in business to make profit, and the profit on minivans is much higher than on cars.
The Crosstrek is basically a 5-door Impreza at heart with a few tweeks and a $3000 higher price tag. But it is only heavier by 148 lbs.

Curb weight
3,117 to 3,298 lbs 2021 Subaru Crosstrek
2,976 to 3,150 lbs 2021 Subaru Impreza

Cargo volume
20.8 to 55.3 ft³ with seat area 2021 Subaru Crosstrek
20.8 to 55.3 ft³ with seat area 2021 Subaru Impreza 5-door

Wheelbase / Length
105.1 in. / 176.2 in. Subaru Impreza 5-door
104.9 in. / 176.5 in. Subaru Crosstrek

MSRP Manual Transmission or CVT Base
$19,295 2022 Impreza 5-Door 5MT Base
$22,245 2021 Crosstrek 6MT Base
$20,595 2022 Impreza 5-Door CVT Base
$23,595 2021 Crosstrek CVT Base

Crosstrek base for extra $2950-$3000 over the Impreza base gives you
  • Ground clearance increased from 5.1" to 8.7"
  • Aggressive 17-inch silver/black alloys;
  • Unique bumpers and grill;
  • Wheel arch cladding;
  • Black rocker spoiler;
  • Privacy glass;

Crosstrek vs Impreza is similar to the teenage movie theme where the nerdy girl takes off her glasses and puts on some eyeliner and the audience realizes that she is incredibly hot.

Last edited by Pacomartin; 08-27-2021 at 06:45 PM.
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Old 08-27-2021, 09:24 PM   #7
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Wow guys
For 1st time in a loooooooong time
I completely agree with all members posts after OP

Very interesting the similarities of the two models that Pmartin pointed out

Jefe159 says $60k for these new trucks? If it is a freakin base model with cloth seats!
I was waiting for my company car to be pulled up to drive off(Ford)
Service dept had some issue. After 20mins, I decided to walk sales lot to waste time
Mind u this was 3yrs ago
I almost barfed on myself seeing sticker prices. (Im naive, my 2cars are 98 and 01)
A XLT crew with cloth seats $55k. A King Ranch diesel crew freakin $93k
Say what?????

Lastly nerdelectric YES people are financially STUPID!
IMO
It is true story of the Haves and the Have Nots
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Old 08-28-2021, 04:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AliBenn View Post
For 1st time in a loooooooong time I completely agree with all members posts after OP
I don't know if that means you don't agree with the OP. I tried to lead off with some straightforward numbers without any analysis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AliBenn View Post
Very interesting the similarities of the two models that Pmartin pointed out
In 2012 after 19 previous model years Subaru decided to seriously reduce the mpg for the Subaru by removing Automatic and putting in CVT, and at the same time reducing the horsepower from 170 to 148. At the same time they introduced the Crosstrek which was a little more agressive looking (albeit with the same underpowered engine).

Conventional wisdom would dictate that customers would flee from the Impreza towards other brands with their "hot hatches" (even the Honda Civic had a 201 hp engine for an option).

Instead Impreza sales soared from 27,391 in 2011 to 68,175 in 2012. The only reason I can think of was that years Emmy nominated Subaru commercial that actually made people cry.


The second year that Crosstrek was distributed (2013) sales came within 9% of the Impreza. The Crosstrek continued its meteoric rise with Crosstrek peaking in 2018 while Impreza peaked in 2017

Quote:
Originally Posted by AliBenn View Post
Lastly nerdelectric YES people are financially STUPID! IMO
It is true story of the Haves and the Have Nots
Conventional wisdom in business is you sell a lot of cheap things (like coach class airline tickets) so you have a solid money flow with very little risk, and then you try to sell the overpriced items with a huge profit margin (like business class airline tickets).

Subaru, like other car manufacturers, lately seems to make it's major profit from the middle (the Foresters and Outbacks) with poor sales on both extremes (Imprezas and Ascents).

I don't know exactly where sports cars fit in. Conventional wisdom is that car manufacturers like cars themselves and they don't want to be bored to tears with their own product. Also they give a halo effect to the rest of the company products, but they don't make much profit in and of themselves.

In August 2017 - The Red Subaru WRX get-away car from the film 'Baby Driver' was up for sale on eBay Motors and sold for a cool $69,100.

So what is the future? Will a new generation of Impreza be released in 2023 for the 31st model year as planned and will we get another round of loving family oriented commercials for the Impreza, or will Subaru just let the Impreza continue it's death by Seppuku on a sword held by a Crosstrek?
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Old 08-29-2021, 11:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerdelectric View Post
It's definitely a combination of a shift in the public's preferences (for the worst), a desire by Subaru to make more money, and the average person's complete lack of any kind of financial sense.

As others have stated, the general public only wants minivans (yes minivans. SUVs are for off roading, trucks are for regularly hauling large materials and/or off roading, minivans are for going grocery shopping and soccer practice). This has unfortunately reduced demand for any reasonable cars, and pushed for gigantic, impractical, unreasonable, and over priced minivans.
Minivans may well be what would best suit most buyers, especially those with growing families. But minivans are saddled with a "too-domesticated" image. SUVs are an attempt to hide that behind a more "rough and ready" appearance . . . never mind that most SUVs are driven exactly like minivans in exactly the same sorts of service.


There's also the matter of advertising, which also includes product placement in movies and TV shows. If the public rarely sees a current sedan either advertised directly or indirectly as the vehicle of choice of either the protagonists or the antagonists in their entertainment, it does the classic "out of sight, out of mind" thing to sedans in general.


People are also stupid enough to overbuy in terms of vehicle size/cargo capacity/seat count relative to their actual needs. Does anybody really need to be able to pack three weeks worth of supplies and things that "somebody might want" for a weekend get-away? Or for a week-long road trip, for that matter?


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Old 08-30-2021, 09:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norm Peterson View Post
People are also stupid enough to overbuy in terms of vehicle size/cargo capacity/seat count relative to their actual needs. Does anybody really need to be able to pack three weeks worth of supplies and things that "somebody might want" for a weekend get-away? Or for a week-long road trip, for that matter?
While that may be a valid cultural observation, in Subaru's case they simply took a hatchback and lifted it to give 70% more ground clearance, went from 16" to 17" wheels, and added some exterior SUV styling and priced it at an extra $3000. The new model is wildly successful.

$20,595 2022 Impreza 5-Door CVT Base Trim (5'1" ground clearance)
$23,595 2022 Crosstrek CVT Base Trim (8'7" ground clearance

Subaru has actually been trying to get a bestselling vehicle in the 7-8 passenger market since 2005 with the Tribecca and now the Ascent. So far they have not had a solid hit as Kia did with the Telluride.
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Old 09-01-2021, 03:35 PM   #11
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Code:
Forest.	Outback	Month	Crosstk	Ascent
13,207	11,784	Jan-21	10,431	4,743
13,482	12,666	Feb-21	10,691	4,619
21,005	17,053	Mar-21	14,065	5,111
19,452	15,728	Apr-21	12,599	4,398
20,006	13,994	May-21	10,013	4,310
 8,813	16,394	Jun-21	 6,415	5,192
12,235	14,058	Jul-21	13,402	5,044
12,688	14,219	Aug-21	11,587	5,418

120,888	115,896	2021	89,203	38,835
				
Legacy	Impreza	Month	WRX/STI	BRZ
1,746	2,771	Jan-21	1,555	163
2,234	2,708	Feb-21	1,721	179
2,325	3,636	Mar-21	2,290	241
2,464	3,447	Apr-21	3,183	118
2,101	2,946	May-21	3,169	19
2,051	1,657	Jun-21	2,354	1
2,375	  706	Jul-21	2,305	0
1,980	1,287	Aug-21	2,194	0

17,276	19,158	2021	18,771	721
It looks like August sales of Impreza are increased, so the executives have not decided to send production to zero. I don't know if they did it at the expense of some Crosstrek production or not.

Subaru is within striking distance of beating Hyundai and Nissan in US sales revenue, but I doubt that it is possible without manufacturing some cars.
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Old 09-06-2021, 09:13 AM   #12
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Default The Crosstrek..

I just bought my 2012 Impreza and had never previously owned a Subaru. My other car is a Jeep so my wife felt the Impreza was more car while the Crosstrek was more to her liking. (though i may not let her drive the Impreza)

Based on perceived safety, you get similar gas mileage and capacity with a slightly higher stance. A ~3,000 upgrade gets you a more 'safe' car.

We drove both and I choose the Impreza because of the handling on the Crosstrek. It was very squishy and felt loose to me.
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Old 09-08-2021, 01:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JutMan View Post
I just bought my 2012 Impreza and had never previously owned a Subaru. My other car is a Jeep so my wife felt the Impreza was more car while the Crosstrek was more to her liking. (though i may not let her drive the Impreza)
I think both men and women are very moved by appearance, but women slightly more so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JutMan View Post
Based on perceived safety, you get similar gas mileage and capacity with a slightly higher stance..
I have a second generation Impreza with a 6.3 inch ground clearance. The 4th generation Impreza (2012) had a 5.7 inch ground clearance. Subaru lowered the ground clearance considerably for the 5th generation Impreza to 5.1 inches for the 2017 model year. All four Subaru SUVS, the Crosstrek , the Forester, the Outback and the Ascent have 8.7 inches of ground clearance.

I assume they hobbled the Impreza so the contrast with the SUVs would be more pronounced. The Subaru Legacy still has 5.9" of ground clearance, but since it no longer comes in a hatchback it cannot really be considered as a lower cost alternative to an Outback.

Even if you never go off-road you still sometimes drive over tree branches or piles of snow. So, I agree that a little extra ground clearance can be perceived as safer.

-----
The 2022 Impreza sedan (152 hp) with manual transmission has a base MSRP of $18,795 while the original 1993 Impreza (110 hp) sedan had a base MSRP of $10,999. That's an increase over 29 model years of 70.88% or an average of 1.86% per year. " That increase is well below the inflation rate.

Using CPI inflation calculator, $10,999 in January 1993 has the same buying power as $21,057 today. So I suppose people's desires increase faster than inflation.


Quote:
Originally Posted by JutMan View Post
We drove both and I choose the Impreza because of the handling on the Crosstrek. It was very squishy and felt loose to me.
They only differ in weight by about 230 pounds, and other than that I thought they had identical drive trains. But I've never driven a Crosstrek, so I will take your word for it.


These two upper level models with manual Transmission only differ by $300
2021 Impreza Sport Trim Manual 5-Door $22,995
2021 Subaru Crosstrek Premium Trim Manual SUV MSRP: $23,295

For each model, these are the only trims that offer manual transmission other than the base trim.

Last edited by Pacomartin; 09-08-2021 at 02:45 PM.
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Old 10-01-2021, 03:06 AM   #14
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This was In an article dated 19 July 2020, so I apologize if this is old news to many.

It seems that the Subaru engineers intend to replace the 2L Naturally Aspirated engine in the Impreza and in the Base and Premium trims of the Crosstrek with a 1.5L turbocharged engine in 2023. There will be a minimal loss of about 4 horsepower at sea level, but since naturally aspirated engines lose ~3hp / thousand feet of elevation due to air density dropping the performance of the new engine will be an improvement at alitude.

The better gas mileage may make a big difference in sales in Canada, Australia, Japan and Europe where the Impreza makes up a larger percentage of Subaru sales than it does in the US.

Impreza sales as percentage of overall Subaru sales
31% Global
42% Japan
28% U.S.
43% Canada
37% Australia
36% Europe
8% China (china has a sales tax on engines over 1.6 liters)
12% Russia
41% Other regions (Turkey has a massive increase in sales tax on engines over 1.6 liters)

Presumably Subaru engineers will eventually replace the 2.5L naturally aspirated engines that is in the majority of their sales.


Do you think this change to a 1.5L turbocharged engine will improve flagging sales of the Impreza in the US?

Last edited by Pacomartin; 10-01-2021 at 03:35 AM.
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Old 10-13-2021, 12:26 PM   #15
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No wonder why I rarely see any IMPs in the city.
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Old 10-21-2021, 10:43 PM   #16
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I feel like WRX sales have been steadily increasing here in the Great White North.

The further north you go, the more there are.

I've been to Yellowknife and Whitehorse and see a lot more there proportionately.
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Old 10-22-2021, 07:55 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacomartin View Post
Do you think this change to a 1.5L turbocharged engine will improve flagging sales of the Impreza in the US?


No. Americans are obsessed with SUV/CUV models. Even with the growing number of EVs, Americans still want large, high off the ground vehicles for the most part.
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Old 12-11-2021, 10:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pacomartin View Post
Impreza sales as percentage of overall Subaru sales year ending 31 March 2020
31% Global
42% Japan
28% U.S.
43% Canada
37% Australia
36% Europe
8% China (china has a sales tax on engines over 1.6 liters)
12% Russia
41% Other regions

Presumably Subaru engineers will eventually replace the 2.5L naturally aspirated engines that is in the majority of their sales. Do you think this change to a 1.5L turbocharged engine will improve flagging sales of the Impreza in the US?
Impreza sales as percentage of overall Subaru sales year ending 31 March 2021
24.5% Global
30.9% Japan
24.7% U.S.
39.7% Canada
13.7% Australia
0.8% Europe
10.6% China
11.6% Russia
26.2% Other regions

Impreza percentages seem to have fallen globally but particularly in Europe (presumably because of poor fuel economy. They also seemed to have tumbled badly in Australia.

I haven't heard any more speculation about a new Impreza engine for 2023. Possibly the falling sales might mean it wouldn't affect the CAFE calculations very much.

Now I am hearing they may take the Levorg 1.8-liter turbocharged direct-injection (DIT) engine and add an electric hybrid motor to make the Forester and Outback into hybrids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snow_bound26 View Post
No. Americans are obsessed with SUV/CUV models. Even with the growing number of EVs, Americans still want large, high off the ground vehicles for the most part.
Perhaps they will put the Levorg engine into the Impreza without the more expensive hybrid option. That would give the Impreza a little more power (174 hp.)

Globally, the Impreza is almost as strong as the Forester.
Fiscal year ending 31 March 2021 saw global sales of
  • 209,700 Legacy & Outback
  • 247,300 Impreza & Crosstrek
  • 252,000 Forester
  • 108,500 Other (WRX, Ascent, Levorg, BRZ, OEM in Japan but not including minicars)
  • 817,500
Of course in the United States Foresters are outselling Imprezas by 4.5 to 1 for the last 12 months.

Last edited by Pacomartin; 12-11-2021 at 11:40 PM.
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Old 01-12-2022, 10:34 AM   #19
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I'm very happy I can use E83 for my Subaru. I keep seeing the "I did that - Biden" sticker at many gas stations..
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Old 01-14-2022, 08:23 PM   #20
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Suv is the future, forester/outback/and probably the ascent will be the main cars. I guess the crosstrek is also very good with sales, then things are everywhere. They are reliable, affordable and honestly they look good for someone young that doesn’t need a fast car.
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Old 01-17-2022, 12:54 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericsson View Post
I'm very happy I can use E83 for my Subaru. I keep seeing the "I did that - Biden" sticker at many gas stations..
I always find it entertaining when people think a US President has complete control over a global commodity.
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Old 01-17-2022, 09:17 AM   #22
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I think a large part could be because of the chip shortage. I know the dealership up the street from me is hurting so bad, they are converting their loaner cars into inventory just so they have cars to sell.
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