Subaru CEO: U.S. auto sales may take three years to recover from COVID-19

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TOKYO — U.S. auto sales may take three years to recover to pre-coronavirus pandemic levels even as sales continue to rebound from an April low, the CEO of Japanese automaker Subaru Corp. said Thursday.

“The feeling of Subaru America is that a return to the 17 million vehicle level could take two to three years,” Tomomi Nakamura said during a press roundtable in Tokyo.

In 2019 light vehicle sales in the U.S. totaled 17.1 million, according to the Automotive News Data Center. The U.S. market accounts for around two-thirds of Subaru’s sales.

The maker of the Outback and Forester sport-utility vehicle crossovers will see likely see U.S. sales of around 600,000 this year compared to a forecast of 700,000 made before the coronavirus outbreak, Nakamura said.

That figure may grow to around 660,000 next year, he added.

Automotive News contributed to this report.

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