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Expect Forester, XV and Outback delays as Subaru begins rebuilding supply with chip shortage easing

Supply of the Subaru Forester, Outback, XV, WRX and BRZ are low, but buyers should still be able to snag an Impreza.

Subaru Australia said it is experiencing production delays on its major models, such as the Outback, XV and Forester, as the global shortage of electronic semi-conductors – or chips – bites into deliveries.

As a bit of silver lining on the cloud though, Subaru has had a bit of luck during the chip shortage as three of its models – WRX, WRX STI and BRZ – are in run out ahead of new model releases expected later this year.

The next-gen cars may be fortunate enough to miss much of the delays and customer frustration now occurring with Subaru’s most popular SUV trio.

Subaru Australia spokesman David Rowley told CarsGuide that these three SUVs had been the worst hit and may now experience delays as long as three months.

But Mr Rowley said stock for the Impreza sedan and hatch was good and buyers shouldn’t expect major delays for its small-car model.

The news isn’t so bright for people scrambling to buy the last of the current-generation WRX and WRX STI though, which are running low in stock as they run out.

Both sports sedans finish up this year before a new generation arrives, but Subaru Australia has no firm timing on the dates of the replacements – or any details about specifications and pricing.

Mr Rowley also said there was no stock at the wholesale level for the BRZ as Subaru readies itself for the new generation model due later this year.

Subaru and its major shareholder, Toyota, have both been hit hard by the restricted supply of chips as they are major customers of electronics manufacturer Renesas Electronics.

The chip company, based in Tokyo, supplies about one-third of global auto chips and was under pressure to deliver components when in March one of its factories caught fire.

It led to Subaru idling its Yajima factory for almost three weeks in April, cutting production to about 10,000 vehicles instead of the usual 30,000 units at the time.

Renesas has subsequently repaired its factory and is building up its chip stocks while Subaru is back to full production.

Yajima is one of two Subaru factories in the central north of Japan’s main island, Honshu. It makes Outback, Forester, XV and Impreza at the rate of about 2500 vehicles a day.