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New Vehicle Order Time

I was walking around the Subaru dealership this past Monday and the salesman and I were discussing the XV Crosstrek. The salesman mentioned to me that ordering a new XV Crosstrek from the factory takes 25-30 WEEKS being from Japan and all. My job puts me in Subaru’s VIP program as I can order a new Subaru with a special, no-negotiation price and I indicated this to the salesman. This makes me inclined to think that the saleman wasn’t pulling my leg. Is the saleman being ridiculous with 25-30 weeks? Is that even possible? That just seems outrageous to me.

Sounds pretty extreme, but this may be a hot model and all the production is spoken for. Or possibly they’re producing it in batches since it’s just a variant of an existing model. So few people order directly from the model it’s hard to know what is reasonable. A friend ordered an Audi S4 under the program where you pick it up at the factory, get to drive it in Europe for a few weeks with their insurance before dropping it off at a shipping location from which they’ll send it to your local dealer. From the time he started the process it was a couple of months befote he was notified they were ready to make the car and giving him a pickup date. After he had his vacation and dropped it off, it was close to a month before is dealer called him to come and get it. So about three months of their time. The shipping does slow things down quite a bit.

He probably meant if you ordered it today. Subaru may not build many (or any) more XV Crosstreks in the 2014 model year. Then there is the usual plan shutdown for year-end maintenance, and processing orders already in for the next model year; probably from dealers. Last, the car has to be delivered from Japan to the dock that is probably not near you, and then driven by truck to your dealer. If Subaru starts building new ones in August, that’s 3 months delay for the new model year and maybe a month to get it to you. That’s 17 weeks or more even if your Subie is the first one off the assembly line.

It’s true that the car is made only in Japan.
The only Subaru models that are made in Subaru’s Indiana factory are the Outback, the Legacy sedan, (and the now-discontinued Tribeca).

I tend to think that the salesman was correct with that estimate, based on the fact that…
…there is always an order backlog
…the ocean transportation is fairly slow
…it is a “hot” model, based on the number of them that I have seen on the road.

By comparison, when I ordered my 3 Subaru Outbacks (made in Indiana), the waiting periods were…
…3 1/2 months for the first one, in 1996
…2 months for the second one, in 2001
…2 1/2 months for the third one, in 2010

If it takes that long to get a Subaru built to order from their US factory, I think it is possible that it could take upwards of 7 months to get one ordered from Japan, but…Why not do some shopping at another Subaru dealership in order to get their estimate on the wait time?

It is possible that the salesman is trying to induce you to take a Crosstrek from dealer stock, rather than custom ordering it, or it is possible that he is telling the truth, and inquiring at another dealership will give you some perspective on this.

It probably depends on what options you want, and how that works w/the factory’s build schedule. If you gave the salesperson the specific options you wanted, you may well get a reduced time estimate for delivery.

I’ve never waited more than 6 weeks for special order GMs, but who knows?

If they can’t find one on the Color/Trim you want it could take awhile for an order but they might have something close already being produced. My dad bought a Honda CRV a few years ago that was already ordered by the dealer and scheduled for production a week after dad gave his deposit (built In Japan). 5-6 weeks later it arrived at the local dealer but we don’t know how far in advance the dealer placed their order. Could you try a few larger dealers? Some vehicles can be ordered and built pretty quickly but with a heavy demand it could take awhile.

Today’s RoRos carry over 8000 cars. It takes a while to produce that many. They can’t leave the harbor every week, or possibly every month.

It takes awhile to fill the ship and also to unload in port, not counting any rail or truck shipping to your state. Then it might take some time to sort out and load up all the cars going to your dealer. We had a car that we knew arrived in port at Portland Oregon on a certain day and it took a week to get the car shipped up to Tacoma Washington.

I used to watch those ships come in under the Golden Gate Bridge from my desk. They’re amazingly large, but such awkward-looking critters, with no grace whatsoever. Just big flat-sided blocks with huge doors on the side. Somehow those huge doors looked strange in the hull of a ship, but they were far above the waterline. Those ships are all hull, basically. I hated the job (still gives me unpleasant memories 25 years later), but the location was magnificent, in the Presidio looking right out at the Golden Gate. My next job was high on a hill with partial ocean views through the eucalyptus forest that surrounded the building (at UCSF) . Both jobs were like leaving the city every day, despite staying right in San Francisco. There are some surprisingly wild bits here, complete with coyotes, and peregrine falcons that nest on high rises. I wish they would come down into the subway stations to chase the pigeons away.

I just spoke to the son of a large vehicle dealership and asked him how long that he waited for his Nissan GT-R. He said about 6 months. I guess some models take a lot longer to deliver than others. I drove this beast about 100 miles to a dealership auction for him. I’m glad I’m older now because in my younger days I would either be in jail or dead.

I ordered my Mazda CX-7 from the factory in Japan in Jan. and it was May when I got it, so a long wait is conceivable for a popular vehicle.

One thing you should be aware of, the stuff they spray the car with for shipping will need to be burned off, and will take a couple hundred miles to do so. It is NOT a pleasant smell and could be confused with burning plastic, or something similar. I noticed this when I took a 7 out for a test drive and an unpleasant odor came wafting into the cabin. I had read about it before I test drove one, so it wasn’t that big of a shock when I noticed it.